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Dallas Mavericks owner and number one fan Mark Cuban keeps reassuring Mavs fans not to worry about the team’s roller coaster 13-8 start to the lockout shortened 2011-2012 NBA season. Despite being the defending world champions, the Mavericks have taken the unorthodox style of rolling out a new look team the following year. With impending free agent superstars in the form of a franchise center in Dwight Howard and a franchise point guard in Deron Williams, the Dallas front office risked the fallout from breaking up their first ever championship squad to position themselves financially to be one of the main players in the 2012 free agency frenzy.
The Mavericks allowed fan favorite and one of the league’s best success stories of the past decade in J.J. Barea to walk, as he cashed in on that success with a payday from the Minnesota Timberwolves who needed a combo guard like the Miami Heat need a superstar.
But the most criticized move of the offseason by Mark Cuban and company was not giving center and the heart of the Mavs defense Tyson Chandler the long term deal he was seeking. With eyes committed to the big picture, Chandler was reportedly offered a one-year contract for a whopping $20 million dollars. But with a history of pesky injuries and the opportunity of his career to cash in for multiple years, Tyson signed with the New York Knicks. You can ask him how that’s going so far@tysonchandler. But I wouldn’t.
Sounds like the Mavericks, fresh off a title, are wasting a season of Dirk Nowitzki’s prime and Jason Kidd’s life to micromanage their personnel thinking about the following season. Two things; that is not the case, and never, ever, doubt Mark Cuban.
Although the team lost multiple key parts of the 2010-2011 squad, this season’s Mavericks are still a favorite to repeat as champions.
Veteran Brendan Haywood returns to a starting role, something he is no stranger to from his days in Washington. After a much criticized year and a half in Dallas, mainly attributed to his hefty contract, the former North Carolina Tarheel looks comfortable beginning the game without his warm-ups on. Ian Mahinmi’s emergence has solidified the backup role that Haywood previously occupied.
The wise and savvy Mavericks front office turned to the free agent pool to fill the gaps that the roster needed. Brought in were veteran guards Delonte West and Vince Carter for cheap value. Former top 10 draft picks Brandan Wright and Yi Jianlian were also signed to supply front court depth. In the midst of all these well under the radar transactions, the Mavericks took advantage of an awkward situation in Hollywood and stole reigning 6th Man of the Year Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Can Dirk return to his Jedi ways?
Through a little over a month this season, the defending champions have been through a tumultuous stretch that has featured two separate injuries to Jason Kidd, a week long hiatus for Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and ups and downs from Lamar Odom that take a new turn every game.
But all set aside, the Dallas Mavericks have a one game lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the Southwest Division. But it doesn’t matter; just make the playoffs like Cuban says.
It is kind of weird how over 5 years a lot can change, but a lot can also stay the same. I'll have feelings creep op on me from things I surely thought that I had pushed to the back of my mind. Sometimes I think of an an old friend, other times I'm haunted by Nelson Cruz not catching a fly ball in right field. I know, I'm sorry to bring it up.
It is pretty weird how this blog has just stayed here, completely unchanged, for 5 years. (I guess that means my myspace is still out there...there is a scary thought.) I went and wrote for Our Daily Bears for a couple years after being recruited by the great people over there. I was really into it for two years, and then that feeling kind of faded. You could say a lot of that was time. I fell for a girl, joined a fraternity and the whole class thing took up time as well. I never really lost my love for writing, it just kind of faded into the background. Until now.
I do not know if this is going to a be fleeting feeling, but I hope t…
In less than two weeks I begin my tenure as a student in the class of 2016 at Baylor University. The amount of applications Baylor received for this class was the most in school history. This is undoubtedly the result of the Year of the Bear and all the media attention it brought to the University. While I’m excited to begin my time at Baylor and can’t wait for football season, I know that my class enters Baylor at the same time as the greatest football player in the school’s history exits. I don’t see the electricity colored AdiZero shoes of Robert Griffin III ever being filled, but he has laid the groundwork for my class and classes to follow. I mean this figuratively and literally. Figuratively because he has set the foundation for Baylor to have a solid football program that isn’t laughed at by the other schools in the conference. He has set up Baylor football to be a team you have to give it your all against when you step out on the field against them. Literally because you could…
The San Antonio Spurs are unmatched in their consistency. In fact, they are so consistent that it is almost boring. They are highly efficient and make the playoffs seemingly every year. They are currently the holders of the longest playoff appearance streak in the NBA. The team behind the Spurs, the Denver Nuggets, are six seasons behind the Spurs. The team holding the longest consecutive playoff streak in the NBA all time is the then Syracuse Nationals who made the playoffs consecutively for 22 seasons from 1950-1971. The Nationals even changed their name to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1963 and still continued winning. What the Spurs are doing is amazing. It pains me to say this being the die-hard Dallas Mavericks fan that I am, but the Spurs are always one of the best teams in the NBA year after year. I had been trying to think of a team, in any sport, that parallels the success the Spurs have had in this incredible run they have been on, and there aren't many out there. Only two…