Kidding Around

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 4, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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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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Retiring 12

Posted by David Hopkins on January 1, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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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 !!

m

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:

  1. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Get off my back.
  2. 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.
  3. I think almost every Mav should have their number retired… but it ain’t gonna happen.
  4. 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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General Manager Time Machine

Posted by David Hopkins on December 4, 2012 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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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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Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on September 17, 2010 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

  • Can the Mavs beat the Lakers? A definitive answer from within the Dallas organization.
  • Erick Dampier is making his list and checking it twice. Certain to be considered: Miami and Houston. A possible surprise: Atlanta. I’ve heard Utah may be interested as well, but I haven’t the faintest idea if there’s any reciprocation.
  • Josh Howard, on why the Wizards “took a gamble” on him for the coming season, and how the Wizards stack up with Howard’s former teams in terms of talent (via HoopsHype): “[The Wizards] see a natural-born leader. They got a guy that loves to win games, loves to play, has a total enjoyment for the game… I appreciate that they gave me the chance and I will take advantage of it...Oh, talent-wise the sky is the limit for this team. It’s a young team. Blatche, McGee, Nick Young, No. 1 pick John Wall and a host of other guys. These guys have tremendous upside. If we stay focused and stay dedicated to the game, the sky is the limit for them. I think that’s one other reason they brought me in here – to be a leader. I think I can take those guys on the right path.”
  • Mike Prada of Bullets Forever takes a look forward at what’s in store for Howard over the coming season.
  • Here, you can cast your vote for the top Mavs of all time at each traditional position, but the race has long been decided: Steve Nash, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Dirk Nowitzki, and Roy Tarpley should win-out easily. There are other good candidates — Michael Finley, Derek Harper, and Jason Kidd among them, but those five were clear favorites from the tip. (EDIT: I stand corrected. Finley has surged to take the lead at SG. I love Fin, and I’m still shocked.)
  • For a journey down the other path, Tom Haberstroh, ESPN Insider, a fellow contributor at Hardwood Paroxysm, and one of the invaluable minds at HoopData, has identified the five worst statistical tenures for players of each and every team. Dallas’ bottom five: Devean George (’07-’09), Scott Lloyd (’81-’83), Darrell Armstrong (’05-’06), Bill Wennington (’86-’90), and Elston Turner (’82-’84). My initial reaction: isn’t there any way we could come up with a harsher distinction than “worst Maverick ever” for George? My secondary reaction: Armstrong doesn’t deserve to be on this list at all, if for no other reason than the role he played in the Mavs’ comeback, overtime win against the Toronto Raptors in February of 2006.
  • Haberstroh also continued his fine series exploring the statistical implications of position on HP, and it’s worth your time.
  • According to a report by Sport97, Jessie Begarin, a Guadaloupean and participant in Rodrigue Beaubois’ camp, was invited to tryout with the Texas Legends and his since been invited to Mavericks training camp. If this report is indeed true, you could be looking at a future Legend (capital L, y’all). (via DOH at Mavs Moneyball) EDIT: According to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com, the Mavs/Legends don’t have any plans for Begarin after all.
  • Akis Yerocostas conducted an interesting exercise at his blog, Pick and Scroll, in which he launched a hypothetical expansion draft. I was consulted as an unofficial representative of the Mavs, in order to choose which players to “protect” for the purposes of the draft. See who I selected and who he ended up drafting here.
  • Tim Thomas, on his wife’s health (via Earl K. Sneed): “She’s healthy, she’s getting better. I don’t want people to think that she’s on her deathbed. I just want everybody to know we’re doing fine. She’s doing better. Who knows, if she gets better then maybe I’ll give it another try.”
  • This commercial for NBA 2k11 has nothing to do with the Mavs whatsoever, but is glorious nonetheless. Plus, the 2k series makes a mean game, to boot.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois goes shopping…at the MavGear headquarters.
  • Former Maverick Malik Allen will go to training camp with the Orlando Magic this season.

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 29, 2010 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • Jason Terry, maybe, possibly, probably a little bit frustrated (via Earl K. Sneed):”It’s unbelievable to me that we’ve come halfway through the season and we still look like we’re searching in the fourth quarter. It’s not that hard. The fourth quarter, that wasn’t Maverick basketball.”
  • Seth Pollack of Bright Side of the Sun: “Switching picks was certainly also a big key to the Suns defense in the fourth quarter. With that group on the floor they were able to mix it up and didn’t let the Mavericks use screens to get open looks like they had earlier in the game. Physical, smart, aggressive defense. About as common of a sight in Phoenix as snow but just as exciting and welcome.”
  • Among the best players never to make the All-Star Game: Jason Terry and Derek Harper. Kevin Pelton, of Basketball Prospectus, on Harper: “Harper was probably the first person I thought of when I considered the best non-All-Stars before looking at the numbers. It’s hard to believe he never made it once while posting 10-plus WARP every season from 1986-87 through 1990-91, especially considering he was doing it with a good Dallas team. However, Harper was caught in a numbers crunch in the Western Conference. Magic Johnson and John Stockton were locks, leaving Harper fighting for spots with Kevin Johnson, Terry Porter and eventually Tim Hardaway (all three of whom made it in 1991, giving the West an unthinkable five point guards). Oh, and did I mention Fat Lever and Sleepy Floyd? Yes, the late ’80s and early ’90s were not a good time to be a West point guard.”
  • M. Haubs of The Painted Area has put together an incredible piece on Ricky Rubio. I am very much of the Church of Ricky, and to have comprehensive updates like this on Rubio’s progress is just brilliant. But, of particular interest: Haubs wonders if the best comparison for Rubio is, perhaps, Jason Kidd.
  • Last night’s loss sealed it: Rick Carlisle is officially out of the running to coach the Western Conference All-Stars.
  • Chad Ford (Insider) picks the Mavs as one of the teams most likely to strike a deal before the deadline.
  • Network programming note: Kurt Helin of the Lakers blog, Forum Blue and Gold, has been called up to the big leagues. Some congratulations are in order, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kurt and his writing.
  • The thing you may not have considered about Jason Terry’s blunt comments at halftime (via Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic): “The Suns already were in the locker room for halftime and were able to take in Dallas guard Jason Terry’s walk-off interview with TNT’s Cheryl Miller. Terry said, ‘We’ve got to score on these guys. They’re not very good defensively.’ It was the truth, but the Suns players still were fired up by the comment. It just didn’t carry over to the court, where the Suns starters proved Terry right by allowing Dallas to score on eight consecutive trips early in the third quarter.”
  • Maurice Ager: D-Leaguer.
  • Where have you gone, Dan Dickau? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo, woo, woo. (Also: Tony Delk.)
  • Just in case you have a random interest in Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, be sure to check out this collection of thoughts compiled by Jared Wade of Eight Points and Nine Seconds. It’s a great group of writers/bloggers, and worth the read.