Thursday, June 30, 2011

NBA Set to Lockout Its Players Tonight, Player Reaction Via Twitter

Here we go again.  All that feel-good Mavs mojo from the championship will come to a crashing thud later today when the NBA heads into its first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season.  On the bright side the Mavs could be the champs a little longer and those vet guys (I see you, J Kidd) will get some rest.

The NBA will lock out its players Thursday night when the current collective bargaining agreement expires at 11pm Dallas time.  Both sides have failed to reach any common ground on a new CBA.

NBA team owners, coaches, team executives and staff members are basically following a gag order and not commenting.  The Dallas Mavericks have made it clear they will not speak about the lockout.  Nothing from owner Mark Cuban, GM Donnie Nelson or head coach Rick Carlisle on the subject.

Cuban and Shawn Marion did seem to be focused on more positive issues like lunch and championship hardware.  Here are their tweets with the accompanying pictures from Thursday:

@matrix31 Fresh in my kitchen

YUM!
@mcuban Who is under there Yoda, ET or Larry O ? My kitchen never looked so good


Cuban's counter & Yoda? I like the Tiffany blue
Here are a few more NBA player tweets for your lockout pleasure, with a triple latte bonus from Shane Battier (best NBA tweeter out there, imo):

@ShaneBattier Dear @NBA, lockout hasn't even started and I already miss your loving touch. Come back, baby. Cocktails and talk this out?


@ShaneBattier I think I have just decided to balance the national budget while I wait for the CBA to be signed. Wish me luck. Goodnight good people.

@ShaneBattier Barring a last minute miracle, looks like the lockout is on like kong. Anyone hiring/needing tall dark and handsome? Negotiable. Make offer

@andrewMbogut NBA Friends: Its July 1 in Australia, Lockout has started for me!! #unemployed #needwork #workingonresume #HOLYSHIT

@agentzeroshow So too all my NBA mates don't go overboard that's what they want us too do..so stay out of trouble and good luck

@dwilkins3000 Guess it's official...we are LOCKED-OUT!! Sad day for the NBA and it's fans. Hopefully we will resolve this sooner than later about 1 hour ago

@JJ Redick47 Last day of camp for me. Probably won't be able to go tomorrow #lockout. For everyone who has asked me to plank- WON'T HAPPEN! #stupidity about 7 hours ago

 

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Details on the Sports Illustrated Commemorative Issue Celebrating Mavs Championship

FINALLY!  The "Big One for Big D" is here.

The Mavericks are getting that Sports Illustrated championship issue that's a rite of passage for all title-winning teams.  These are great opportunities for fans to relive some of the memorable and magical moments of a championship season.

Some of the magazine's highlights include:
  • A profile on Mark Cuban titled a "A Maverick Kind of Town". 
  • A pictorial of the championship season.
  • A feature on the unique makeup of this team: from superstars in Dirk Nowitzki to role players and unsung heroes. 
  • It also has a great story that looks back at the 12 players who had a lasting impact on the franchise.  Of course, this is where my bias emerges as Derek Harper is unquestionably one of those men.  It includes other Mavs greats I grew up loving like Rolando Blackman, Brad Davis and James Donaldson (I had the "grow tall with James Donaldson poster as a kid).
The issue is already on newsstands and tons of area retailers (think 7-11, Kroger, Costco, etc.).  It will cost you $7.99.
 

D Harp!
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your NBA WORLD CHAMPION Dallas Mavericks to Present Letterman Top 10!

How fun is this!!!!!!  (and look who is on the show with Carlisle)

The celebrations continue for the Mavs. This from the cut and paste department:

THE 2011 NBA CHAMPION DALLAS MAVERICKS TO PRESENT THE TOP TEN LIST ON CBS’S “LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN,” WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15

NEW YORK, June 14 – Members of the Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 NBA Champions, will present the Top Ten List on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Wednesday, June 15 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Eight players from the team, including MVP Dirk Nowitzki, plus head coach Rick Carlisle and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, will present the Top Ten List via satellite from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. This will be the team’s first talk show appearance since their victory. The Mavericks clinched their first NBA Championship Sunday, June 12, beating the Miami Heat 105-95 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Also visiting the LATE SHOW Wednesday, June 15 are actor Jim Carrey, who stars in the new film “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley from “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”; and musician Todd Rundgren, who will sit in with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.

The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.
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Mark Cuban, Dirk and Mavs sing "We are the Champions"



The best thing about winning an NBA championship is all the ridiculous, crazy, fabulous crap you get to do that you never thought you would EVER experience. From riding in parades, to popping an $80,000 bottle of champagne, to sharing moments with teammates, family and friends that are truly priceless; it's the best feeling in the world. Honestly. The absolute best.

Singing off key in one of Dallas' best watering holes is another one of them. Some Mavs players including Dirk Nowitzki, along with staff members, friends and owner Mark Cuban indulged at the Loon earlier this week. Moments like this are truly once-in-a-lifetime and the Mavs are taking every opportunity to take advantage of them.

*Tip of the hat for the heads up on the video to Brian Dameris.

O/T: If I shared with you some of the things I did after the Rockets won the title in 1995, you might never look at me the same. I was a 21 year old PR intern who rode in the Rockets victory parade.  I took a celebratory offseason trip to La Jolla with the team, all paid for by owner Les Alexander.  And I had many all-nighters at the Volcano and Los Andes (our watering holes that season) with Rudy T and the gang.  It was the best experience of my life.  I like to joke that it was all downhill from there. ;)
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Any Different Pre-Game Rituals for the Mavs Prior to Game 6?

In a word: no!

Mavericks players are doing the same thing they've done all postseason which for most includes a good pregame meal and an hour long nap.

"Today you just relax, do your normal routine," Mavs guard Jason Terry said Sunday morning at shootaround.

Having said that, he admittedly is the one superstitious exception.  His pregame routine is quite different from his teammates. 
  
"I'm very superstitious so all those superstitions will be intact and ready to roll," he added.

His biggest one: how he ties his shoes.  For him, getting the perfect tie is paramount.
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What is the Mavericks Mindset Going Into Game 6?

Rick Carlisle's Sunday morning shootaround media session lasted an almost record-short one minute and 53 seconds.  Individual players' interviews weren't that much longer.  That's because eight hours prior to tip off of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, there's not much more these players and the Mavericks head coach can say about their Sunday night matchup with the Heat.


"This is Game 7," Jason Terry proclaimed on the American Airlines Arena floor.  "This is our approach tonight.  We're trying to get this thing done tonight."

If what the Mavericks have done previously this postseason is any indication, the odds are in their favor.  Dallas is 3-0 in closeout games this year.  Plainly put, they've ended playoff series when they've had the chance.   Whether it was the Blazers, Lakers or Thunder, Dallas got it done.

"It's been a killer instinct," center Tyson Chandler said when I asked him about the team's approach going into series-clinching games.  "Understand that you don't want it (the series) to go on, that you don't want to give the other team any hope, any chance.  You finish them while you can."

So what is the Mavericks mindset as they are just one win away from reaching that goal, winning the franchise's first-ever NBA title?  From what I've been able to glean, they're focused and relaxed while trying to maintain a bit of an edge.

"Same thing we been doing throughout the playoffs: we keep a certain amount of focus," Chandler said. "You don't change anything.  You don't try to get overhyped or animated, anything like that.  You just focus on the game, focus on execution, what you can do to succeed.

"This has been a very intense two week period," Rick Carlisle said during his 100-yard dash-like interview.  "It's an extended period yet it seems to go by quickly.  You just kinda roll with it.  I embrace the intensity of it and I know our guys do."
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Some Leftover Mavs/Heat Game 2 Post-Game Fun & a Joey Crawford Run-In


The heart attack comeback kids did it again.

The Mavericks posted another double digit come-from-behind win this postseason.  This time, Dallas overcame a 15-point deficit, closing the game on a 22-5 run to beat Miami 95-93 and tie the NBA Finals at 1-1.

From the Stat Geek department (actually Elias sports bureau): The last time a team overcame a 15+ point 4th-quarter deficit in the NBA Finals was June 14, 1992, when the Bulls came back to beat the Trail Blazers.

*Something I didn't hit in my late-night/early-morning ramble: On the Dirk Nowitzki go-ahead basket, he said he drove earlier than he would have. He was hoping to draw the foul, which of course didn't come.

*Btw, I ran into referee Joey Crawford at breakfast Friday morning.  He couldn't have been lovelier.

Headline Fun

This was the headline on the front page of the Miami Herald Friday morning.  The sports page also featured a headline that read "MELTDOWN" with a wonderful accompanying photo of Dirk Nowitzki hitting the go-ahead shot to put Dallas up 95-93.

My question to you is, couldn't the game be characterized as a great COMEBACK by Dallas?   Every Mavericks fan will say yes.  But remember when Dallas lost to Portland in Game 4 during the first round?  Brandon Roy had a brilliant fourth quarter, scoring 18 points, and helping the Blazers overcome a 23 point deficit to beat Dallas 84-82.  Was it a Blazers comeback?  Or a Mavericks collapse?  Mavs fans said collapse.  Guess what Blazers fans said?

I think it's a matter of perspective depending on which team you root for but ultimately it's probably somewhere in between.
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