All-Access: Caron Dunking? What's It Mean?

Your All-Access Pass to the Mavs' optional workout on Tuesday: Caron is Dunking?! What's that mean? Bynum is apologizing to JJB? What's the point? The Mavs under the influence of the 'SI Jinx'? What decade is this? ... You want All-Access? Come see 'Rick Raw,' the Coach Carlisle Video press conference ...

NOYB: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle oversaw a Tuesday practice at the AAC that was "optional'' for the players.

Hmmmm. Who showed up, we wonder, and who instead opted to stay home and watch "General Hospital''?

"Who showed up,'' Rick said, grinning, "is none of your business.''

We completely disagree. Stockholders and board members, remember?

But, OK, Coach. You're wrong. But do what you gotta do.

HOT TOPICS: Coach Carlisle went on to elaborate on the greatness of Dirk, the comparison of last night's Memphis-OKC double overtime thriller to a historic Celtics games that featured Don Nelson, and a Caron Butler update.

CARON PROGRESS? At last, something at least a tiny bit substantial to report on Caron Butler.

"He's now at a point where he's dunking the ball," Carlisle said.

Aha! Tuff Juice is dunking! Next thing you know, he'll be ...

"When he's back, he's going to be back 100 percent,'' Carlisle said, adding, "Timetable-wise, I don't know exactly when that's going to be. ... "I'm not going to talk about a a timetable because I'm not a doctor.''

Our read on this? Rick is both reporting fact (dunking!) and throwing Caron a public bone as a reward for his terrifically hard work. By the time Carlisle was done addressing the issue, it turned into more of a Caron pep rally than a press conference.

Butler's rehab, Rick said, is "something that's energized our team ... Just simply being here every day and doing what he's doing is a an incredible source of inspiration for all of us. I can't even begin to explain to you his positive attitude, the work that he's putting in; he's in here two or three times a day."

That's not playing. That's not coming back for the WCF. But dunking? We can see how that is valued as inspiration.

MAVSELLANEOUS: Andrew Bynum's exit interview today in LA included a full apology to JJB Barea. Is there an alterior motive here? Certainly Byrum knows some remorse might aid in his desire to not open next season with a lengthy suspension ... Sekfo reports that the Golden State Warriors have asked for and received permission to talk to Dwane Casey, the Mavs assistant and "defensive coordinator,'' regarding their head coaching opening. Casey is already on the Houston Rockets' short list ... You know, if Jason Kidd took the optional day to stay home and watch "General Hospital,'' we're pretty fine with it. And when you watch the Raw Rick, you'll see he's pretty much suggesting that the older, big-minutes guys, likely took the day off ...


SI COVER JINX?: Somebody's worried about this? Really?

First off, the SI Cover Jinx is a myth perpetuated by Sports Illustrated itself in order to sell mags. Secondly, this is your father's myth; the world doesn't react to magazine covers anymore, unless the person on the cover is both naked and pregnant. And finally, as you can see here, it's pretty much a picture of Jason Terry's shoe.

So if the jinx is on, misfortune is about to strike ... on Jason Terry's shoe. So to avoid it, all the Mavs have to do it change footwear.

THE FINAL WORD: From across the country, to the Lakers' Derek Fisher:

"This feels worse than losing in the Finals in '08,'' Fisher says.

To which we respond: Good.

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