It’s time to answer some more questions in regards to the Mavs. This week, we’ll be covering different angles of the offseason for the Mavs, via the questions and answers format. Again, questions can be sent via the comments section and on Twitter.
We start this batch of questions with a specific theme and that will be Jason Kidd. This week, the point guard of the championship roster of 2011 decided to call it a career after 19 seasons of NBA duty.
Dirk Nowitzki took to Twitter @swish41 to react to the news of Kidd’s retirement.
Kidd certainly means a lot of Nowitzki as the acquisition of the veteran point guard back in 2008 was instrumental in building the championship squad that won the title in improbable fashion over the Miami Heat.
With his career now over and the clock starting with his announcement as a Hall of Famer likely to be announced in five years, let’s look at five questions and answers in regards to J-Kidd.
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“Now let the charade end!” – Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
When I first inquired to Rob Mahoney about joining the Two Man Game team, I made a single request. I asked Rob if I could write about Derek Harper at least once a year. In my opinion, Harper hasn’t received the recognition he deserves. It’s the start of a new year, a good time to look back on the Ye Olde Mavericks. As a gift to myself, I’m taking this day to write about no. 12, and I’m leading the charge to get his number retired.
Here’s a secret. You are far more likely to get Mark Cuban to respond to your emails if you’re a season ticket holder. Start the email with an account number (I had a ten-game package, nothing too fancy). Almost a year ago, I wrote to Cuban:
Before Dirk Nowitzki retires and a whole new generation is considered for retired numbers, I believe Derek Harper is one essential member of the early Mavs who deserves the honor. Yes, there is Aguirre and Donaldson, Perkins and Tarpley, but only Derek Harper hits all the reasonable criteria for retired numbers — (1) greatness as a player, (2) long term commitment to the team, (3) long term impact on the franchise. I’m not the type of fan who believes retired numbers should be given out liberally. Once you have Davis, Blackman, and Harper, I think the pre-Nowitzki Mavs have been appropriately represented. Are there any plans to retire #12 before we get to #41?
I then went on to complain about the red t-shirts (see my last column) and tried to defend Lamar Odom. It was still early in the season. Mark Cuban responded:
brilliant minds think alike.
we agree across the board [smiley face]
stay tuned and thank you for your support of our Mavs !!
No privacy footnote included. Here you go, a year-old The Two Man Game exclusive with Mark Cuban.
You have to give Cuban credit. His response was affirming. He answered my questions, and yet he was still vague and noncommittal. If he agrees that those red t-shirts are cursing the team, why launch them into the crowd? If you agree that Derek Harper’s number should be retired, why not retire it? I have a few theories on his “we agree across the board” statement. It could mean:
- Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Get off my back.
- Be patient. The t-shirts will be gone once we run out of t-shirts, and we have a lot. We’ll retire Derek Harper’s number the day before Nowitzki’s.
- I think almost every Mav should have their number retired… but it ain’t gonna happen.
- I didn’t have time to give you a more honest answer.
So, why Derek Harper? A player who never played in an All-Star game, a player who wasn’t even the Mavs’ top draft pick in 1983, and a player who is often remembered for his terrible rookie error in the 1984 playoffs when he dribbled out the clock sending the game against the Lakers into overtime. If this is all you see, you’re missing one of the most important players to shape the culture and legacy of the ‘80s Mavs, one of the most dedicated and proud Mavericks (during a time when being a Maverick wasn’t always a point of pride), and yes, the greatest point guard for this franchise. Let me explain.
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“I am power incarnate! To Galactus, nothing is impossible!” – Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
For the first time in a long while, the Mavs have a sizable crop of rookies on the roster. Jae Crowder (who was selected with the 34th pick) has received the most attention. However, we shouldn’t immediately surmise that he’s the star selection of the trio; who knows what kind of player Bernard James or Jared Cunningham will develop into over the next year or two? Also, Crowder himself may level off as a player or might even continue to improve beyond our expectations. There’s simply no telling beyond our best guesses. If only we had a time machine, so we could glimpse into the future and get a sense of their fate.
Think about that for a second. You have a time machine, and let’s pretend you aren’t going to use it to kill Hitler or revisit household pets long since gone. Let’s pretend you can only use it as a general manager for the Dallas Mavericks. Fantasy draft spirals into the fantasy genre. What would you do? (Feel free to post in the comments.)
The ‘80s would be a good place to start. The Dallas Mavericks had several high draft picks — the 1st and 9th selections in 1981, 4th overall in 1982, 9th and 11th in 1983, 4th in 1984, 8th in 1985, and 7th in 1986. Credit should be given to Dallas Mavericks general manager Norm Sonju — he did well. There wasn’t really a dud in the bunch. The Mavs acquired Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Bill Garnett, Dale Ellis, Derek Harper, Sam Perkins, Detlef Schrempf, and Roy Tarpley with those picks. Include the acquisition of James Donaldson, and you have a team that competed against Magic Johnson’s hall of fame Lakers to the seventh game in the Western Conference Finals in 1988.
But move over Norm Sonju; I have a time machine.
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