Monday Morning Mavs Donuts

A very special treat for today: Following the Mavs' morning practice, the team is involved in a fun event that is not open to the public … but we've been granted access so will bring you in with exclusive reporting, photos and even Video Visits. Lots of one-on-one time with the Mavs coming up on ... shortly after you nosh on a breakfast of Monday Morning Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: This isn't at all Mavs-related (though it will inevitably be someday) so it's more a matter of sports policy. Call it Rule No. 17 from "Fish's Little Book Of General Managing'': You don't fire a coach unless you know the replacement option is superior.

Now apply it: If you fire Wade Phillips, you accomplish __________________ .

Fill in that blank and get back to me.

DONUT 2: A potential for Mavs "unselfishness''? Mavs coach Rick Carlisle talked tough about it at the beginning of training camp.

He seems unworried now.

"We just don't have those kinds of (selfish) guys,'' Rick says. "This summer Jason Kidd said that he'd come off the bench. Shawn Marion is saying he'll do whatever for the team. Jet has already put his money where his mouth is the last three or four years. And look, our center position is fluid, and those guys know we have to find the right formula. So none of that stuff is in play.''

DONUT 3: I'm a Cowboys observer and Troy Aikman is my boy. But I wonder if Troy's overrating of the fellas from Valley Ranch is reflective of their thoughts of themselves … and if that is among the reasons they are 1-4.

Yesterday in Minnesota, Troy informed a national TV audience that:

*Jason Witten is the most complete tight end in football.

*Marion Barber and Marc Colombo are among the Cowboys who provide a unique form of "tough leadership'' in the huddle.

Miles Austin is no worse than the second best receiver in the NFL, right behind Andre Johnson.

Toss in an assortment of lofty remarks about Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Leonard Davis and Felix Jones. Add an undeniably fine day from Roy Williams. And finally, assume that Troy thinks highly of our mutual pal Jason Garrett and …

Every single piece of that offense – from quarterback to backup running back to third receiver to coordinator -- is Pro Bowl-worthy.

I have my Vikings biases, but let me suggest that across the offensive board, Minnesota is comparable or better at every position group – and coming into the game, the Vikings were 1-3, too.

"Names'' aren't "players.'' "Reputation'' isn't "performance.'' And double-figure penalties on a weekly basis aren't "holding a team'' back from being what that team really is.

Double-figure penalties, week after week after week, are illustrations of what a team really is.

DONUT 4: Want another example of a Cowboys team that thinks too highly of itself, that thinks it is cool, that thinks it is cute?

Show me any team in NFL history that was burdened in one week with a costly "excessive celebration'' penalty … and common sense by damned, came right back the next week and stubbornly, arrogantly earned itself another one?

DONUT 5: It's a good thing the Rangers players (probably) don't think of tonight the same way a Rangers fan might, or they'd go nuts. But are you finding yourself unable to let go of the belief that it oughta be 2-0 Texas with Cliff Lee ready to make it 3-0 over the vaunted Yankees?

DONUT 6: This weekend, I saw "The Social Network'' and I saw "The Expendables.'' We spent $30 bucks at "The Social Network.'' We spent $2 at "The Expendables.''

I would've spent twice as much to see "The Social Network.''

For wasting my time in "The Expendables,'' I feel like Stallone owes me twice as much as that.

DONUT 7: Here's a little piece about ‘Gana Diop, but I direct you to it for another reason: Veteran NBA beat writer Rick Bonnell demonstrates, I think, a positive revelation in the way newspaper guys can cover their teams. Bonnell doesn't pretend to be completely unbiased. This item – because it's a "blog'' does Rick allow himself to phrase things differently than he does in the Charlotte paper – doesn't bother to hide the author's affection for Diop or the good vibe the author gets from the locker room.

What's wrong with admitting that? It's unconventional in terms of the way the job was supposed to be performed when I first came up and with Bonnell first came up … But it's honest.

The Charlotte beat writer kinda likes the guys in the Charlotte locker room, and says so.

Good for him.

Especially because, in the case, of ‘Gana, he's right.

DONUT 8: Looking for Mavs tickets? Go get the personal care – and the unbeatable prices – Ryan can offer to you at MavCowTickets … he's taken great care of many, many folks and Ryan will take care of you!

DONUT 9: Old friend Brandon Bass is apparently on the Magic trading block – and probably not unhappy about that.

DONUT 10: I've got the General Sales Manager on the line.

You want accountability when you buy a car? I direct you to Freeman Toyota -- when you're ready to shop, of course – and I direct you to the boss.

Our Friend of Fish, B.J. Stankovich, is a guy and a Mavs guy and B.J. is your man. Call him at (817) 287-5285 and talk with him about your automotive needs. ... and B.J. will help Freeman Toyota do for you what they've done for scores and scores of DB.commers all over the Metroplex!

Of course, the work we do here is made possible in part by the work of guys like B.J. over at Freeman Toyota! Thanks for supporting the sponsors who support us … and after browse and when you are ready to call … you can just call the boss!

DONUT 11: Shawn Marion reports that his Friday collision in Chicago resulted in nothing more than a black eye. A good time to remind you to check out my visit with "The Matrix'' concerning a collision that was nearly much, much more serious.

DONUT 12: I haven't formulated a powerful opinion here ... maybe because I'm so taken aback by the notion. So let's throw it into the pan and watch it sizzle:

The Mavs' starting 2-guard should be ... Jason Terry?

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