Picture This

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 23, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment


Information is power. Getting seduced by information is dangerous. There is the clichéd saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, there were three photos that popped up last week that are very relevant in the Mavs’ universe. They provide information, two more interesting than the other.

The first one came on Friday morning as owner Mark Cuban reinforced his point to the fans that he is committed to making this past season as an aberration as opposed to the new norm.

That really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Cuban is driven. He used the analogy that he has started to go through the seven stages of recovery when it comes to the pain that was the 2012-13 season. He’s broken up with 2012-13, or it broke up with him. Either way, he’s a man who is motivated. Sometimes you need to be humbled or possibly embarrassed to feel find that extra gear of motivation.

It remains to be seen what will come of that new motivation. One thing is certain: he’s still networking in creative ways. And that leads us to the next photo.

Daniel “Dan” Shak is an American poker play and a hedge fund manager. He took the photo in question at Tiger Wood’s poker tournament in Las Vegas.

I have no idea if Cuban is going to face any backlash or penalty as he could be interacting with a future free agent, forbidden by the league and considered to be tampering. I’m assuming that the fact this was a charity function will cover all the bases. It’s safe to say he’s smart and will make sure he plays by the rules, but will bend them when the opportunity presents itself.

We later found out that Cuban was not alone in Vegas. “Poker Superstar” Dirk Nowitzki was in the building and a young lady has proof that Dirk and Paul were at least cordial for one part of the evening.

(Photo Credit to Karin Kildow)

Whether it’s a long shot or not, that is not going to stop Cuban and the Mavs will try their best to woo Paul into jumping ship and joining Dirk in Dallas. Sure, the visions of Dirk and Paul being friendly in Vegas is like the two operating in the pick and roll. It leads to pure excitement, but everyone needs to remember that the likelihood of Paul landing in Dallas is still a long shot. These photos provide information that can be very valuable though. Cuban is showing that he’s going to put on the full court press with free agents this summer. Dirk is showing he’s backing up his talk from earlier when he said he’ll get on a plane if he needs to and help make the pitch to free agents….for charity.

I’m still invoking the same principle that I had last year when it comes to Dallas’ attempts to go after the big fish in free agency. When having the option to get on the roller coaster or stay off, it’s better to stay off. It’s not exciting, but it’s just better for the long run if you steer clear of it.

Look at how it went for Deron Williams. That ride went for nearly two years. There was another photo, one that I took, back as the Mavs punched their ticket to the NBA Finals to face the Miami Heat in 2011. As the Mavs were finishing their interviews and getting ready to leave, there was one guest who was roaming around and giving his congratulations. That guest, sporting a red Texas Rangers hat, was Deron Williams.

That started laying the groundwork for the potential of Deron landing in Dallas. The speculation continued last summer as the Mavs were swept out of the playoffs in the first round at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Deron Williams was the prime target for the Mavs as free agency was approaching.

Anticipation was clearly high as everyone wondered what Deron would do. It certainly didn’t help that the New York media was involved, but news swirled nearly on a daily basis revolving around Deron and his thoughts as free agency approached.

There were reports all over the place that had confidence meter shift all over the place for Mavs fans in relation to whether or not Deron would land in Dallas. It was a prime example of how social media and the 24 hour news cycle can really ignite a fuse. Fans were consumed with information and clearly rode the roller coaster of emotions that came with that information.

The climax of the ride was finding out that Jason Kidd was basically tied to the hip of Deron on the golf course in the Hamptons near the end of June, heading into the free agency period. Fans were feeling good as they had “their guy” getting into Deron’s ear, suggesting that Deron needed to come to Dallas. What was the end result of that? Deron or Jason didn’t end up in Dallas.

Remember, the news of Vinny Del Negro being informed that he will not return as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers isn’t good news for the Mavs. Paul will likely get a chance to pick the coach he wants if he wants to stay in LA. That brings us back to now with the photo of Cuban and Paul and the one with Dirk and Paul. It’s probably hard to avoid the temptation as many look for hope and positive news, but it’s best to stay off the roller coaster if you have the option.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.