The Dallas Mavericks face the Golden State Warriors tonight at the American Airlines Center in a battle for the last few playoff spots. Win and the Mavericks will retain sole possession of the seventh spot in the West. Lose and the Mavs will be tied with Denver and Golden State.
This is the first home game since Cuban announced that he would allow amateur bloggers into his locker room. Unfortunately this blogger wasn’t granted credentials.
Since the sole purpose of this blog was to report from the Mavericks locker room, denial to said room renders this blog moot. So I suppose that this will be the last maverickslockerroom blog. I thank all of my loyal readers. Both of you have been very supportive.
Before I drift off into the Internet obscurity where pages can only be accessed from cached files on Google, I’ll fire off my parting thoughts on the Mavericks. This is after all a Mavericks Blog.
I’m not going to disparage Mark Cuban. What does bug me is that these guys are called owners. They’re NOT owners! Owners are in complete control of their business, save for government oversight. Cuban is in control of very few things. He wants to complain about officiating? Sorry, you can’t do that. You want to run onto the court? Not gonna happen. You want to ban bloggers from the locker room? Sorry, that’s a no go. Face the facts; David Stern is the true owner. He’s in control of the NBA, not Mark Cuban. Let’s call them what they are…franchisees. They’re franchise operators, not owners.
This semantic annoyance came to a head when Minnesota Timberwolves franchisee Glen Taylor complained that Kevin Garnett tanked the end of last season. The media asked what he thought about his former owner’s comments. Former owner! Kevin Garnett isn’t a slave. These multimillionaire genetic freaks aren’t owned by anyone. Saying that their franchisee “owns” them is disparaging at best, but offensive and given the racial profile of owners vs. players, racist at worst.
The General Manager
Why is Donnie Nelson still around? This is one of the worst cases of nepotism since any movie with any Baldwin not named Stephen. Let’s recap his career with Dallas as GM:
2003 Drafted Josh Howard
March 19, 2005 Named Avery Johnson Head Coach
That’s it! What does this guy do all day, play sudoku?
Unfortunately for Mavs fans, he’s done a lot more than play sudoku. He’s responsible for Jason Kidd, Tyronn Lue, Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Eddie Jones, JJ Barea, Austin Croshere, Maurice Ager, Keith Van Horn, Calvin Booth, getting rid of Michael Finley and Steve Nash, passing on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Baron Davis, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Shaquille O’Neal, and worst of all…re-signing Raef LaFrentz.
While San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston, and Utah all trade and retool their rosters to become stronger, this guy, who’s only qualification seems to be that he was born to another guy who looks like he should be coaching while holding a scotch and soda, has done nothing but run the beloved Mavs into the ground.
The Head Coach: Avery Johnson
Can’t you hear it?
Dom-dom-do-do-dom…Over-rated! Dom-dom-do-do-dom…over rated! I actually don’t think that the “Little General” (which consequently sounds like something some teenager would nickname his genitals), is that bad. I put him in the company of Byron Scott and Doc Rivers. Former players, decent coaches, but not great coaches. He’s not going to make your team better; then again, he’s not going to make it worse.
His record to date, would suggest he may be a future hall of famer, but that’s just what I call the Phil Jackson syndrome. He looks so good, because he’s coached such a good team. The team he inherited from Don Nelson could pretty much coach itself. But, now that Donn (the extra “n” is for nincompoop) Nelson has run the team into the ground, you’re witnessing the beginning of mediocrity. I hope he enjoyed the NBA finals, because I doubt he’ll ever get back that there.
The Superstar: Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk, du bist eine kleine Fraulein.
Blondie probably expressed Mavs fans’ frustration best, “Once I had a love, and it was a gas. Soon found out, had a heart of glass.”
If the playoff frustrations of recent years weren’t enough evidence, the giant German offered up more today. After being cleared by medical professionals, acting as if disability investigators were watching, he hobbled around a shoot-around and said, “I've got to be pain-free…I would rather have somebody out there that can go and give 100 percent.” Let’s see, Kobe Bryant is playing with pretty much a finger that’s ripped to shreds and Yao Ming played over a week with a freakin’ broken foot, but Dirk wants to wait until he’s pain free. Suddenly, he’s the coach and thinks he knows which personnel decisions to make.
At least, someone in the Mavs organization had the cojones to make Dirk play tonight. He probably told him that the playoffs have already begun for the Mavs. The math is simple…take care of business and win, and they move on, lose the majority of their remaining games and they’re going fishing.
Despite Dirk playing, his remarks have to lower locker room morale. I wouldn’t know however since I wasn’t granted locker room access! I just wish the Germans had Dirk’s fighting spirit during World War II. A lot of good Americans would still be alive.
The Has-Been: Jason Kidd
I think he should have to change his name to Jason Old Man. Kidd is misleading. Clearly, he hasn’t made the team better, and his shooting skills (and migraine difficulties!), have been well documented. Cuban’s a businessman, so let’s put it in terms he’ll understand. According to ESPN’s trade machine, Jason Old Man is making $19.7 million dollars this season, Deron Williams $4 million, Chris Paul $3.6 million. Yeah, Donn Nelson’s a genius.
The Big Man
This is probably the most glaring weakness against the Mavs. The Shaq-named Erica Dampier is no match for the Western Bigs. Shaq, Yao, Duncan, Stoudamire, Bynum, West, Gasol, and Boozer will score at will.
The San Diego Mavericks
Hate to break it to you, but these are not your Dallas Mavericks. They’re a business out to make money, and has somehow conned the public into funding their building. Make no mistake that the Mavericks are one sweet deal away from moving to another city. They don’t represent Dallas. The players and staff are not from Dallas. Even your favorite player is one phone call away from being traded.
Depending on the year, it’s not unusual to hear a Dallas fan scream out:
“Yea! Jason Kidd! Rookie of the year! We love you!”
“Jason Kidd, you suck! I hate Phoenix!”
“Jason Kidd, you suck! I hate New Jersey!”
“Jason Old Man! Welcome back! We love you!”
These players are just doing their job and have no allegiance to Dallas. The club has no allegiance to you. Essentially you’re rooting for the jersey; you’re rooting for clothes.
Although this blog comes to an end, maybe I’ll see you at a Mavs game. I’ll be the one screaming out, “Go white shirt! Woo!”