My 73 Mavs Championship Day Donuts
DONUT 1: How did Tyson Chandler sleep last night?
"I slept like a CHAMP last night!'' he just tweeted.
DONUT 2: Rick Carlisle and "the purity of our game.''
DONUT 3: "I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant,'' Dirk said. "I've been in this league for 13 years. I've never faked an injury or illness."
With a little time to gain a little perspective, this wasn't just a supposedly respected peer with a 101-degree fever calling out Miami's "Mr. Ignorant & Mr. Childish Show''; this was their superior calling them out, the principal cracking a ruler across the knuckles of a couple of sixth-grade miscreants.
I now know what job Dirk should take after he retires in five or 10 or 20 years: NBA Director of Discipline. Don't screw with this dude.
DONUT 4: "We had no champions on this team. And we walked away with a team full of champions. We've had guys come to this mountaintop and weren't able to close the deal. That makes it that much sweeter." - Tyson Chandler.
DONUT 5: To the very last moment, even as he emerged as a fearless hero of a title team, somebody (this time Jason Terry) mispronounced J.J. Barea's last name.
Fine. Call him "Barrera'' if you wanna. It's part of the kid's legacy now.
DONUT 6: Caron's increasingly comical insistence that he might be activated at any moment … along with his sincere elation at being involved in a championship even in street clothes.
Once we get to the exit interviews this week, I fully expect Tuff Juice to proclaim himself ready for "the next series.''
DONUT 7: Having the honor of being live on the air as a Mavs studio analyst for what I will assume will be one of the highest-rated programs ever on FoxSports Southwest … and arguing the merits of LeBron with my friend Nancy Lieberman … and being traffic-cop'ed by the talented Dana Larson … and trying to be not too much of a fan but maybe just a little bit of one … and being the first person on air, I'm sure, to blurt out something about wanting the Mavs to come back next year and do it again.
DONUT 8: "Dress For A Funeral.'' Clever. Because if the Mavs lose Game 6, nobody will ever have had to know that the fellas arranged to wear black suits to Sunday's affair … you know, because they were attending what they'd planned as a funeral for their opponent.
This will be one of a number of Mavs Donuts that signal an intense dislike for the way the Miami Heat conducted themselves … and there is nothing more rich in sports than Sports Hate.
We become fans of a team for two reasons, mostly: To root for our guy and to hoot at the other guy. And it turns out when the other guy is the Miami Heat, the Mavs themselves were hooting right along with us.
DONUT 9: The DUST Chip for TY.
DONUT 10: Carlisle took the moment to define the word "resourceful.''
"We have the definition of the word "resourceful" in our locker room,'' Rick said. "It means, 'Able to devise ways and means to accomplish a difficult task in a challenging situation.' That's what they did.''
I love how he used a certain word. No, not "resourceful.'' The word "they.'' THEY DID IT.
DONUT 11: The above Donut is the difference between Carlisle and his precessor. And someday, when the full story is told, this Carlisle character will be remembered also as The Man Who Got Cuban To Pipe Down ... all for The Glory of The THEY.
DONUT 12: Cuban apparently rented out the South Beach nightspot Club LIV in advance … in anticipation of winning … and then hosted an open-door party where the level of festivity exceeded even that of the preseason championship party hosted by the Heat in this same town.
The Mavs didn't just party on the Heat's gym floor; the Mavs partied in their streets and in their restaurants and in their nightclubs and in their hotels and, most hysterically, with their fans being swooped up in the exciting rush.
DONUT 13: "Kidd is a basketball savant.'' Carlisle has said that a bunch of times this month, and it's a great way to frame what J-Kidd does around here. But Sunday night, Rick went beyond, detailing how much he'd learned from the point guard.
The coach learning from the player. Remarkable.
DONUT 14: Jason Terry said he didn't believe LeBron -- shifted onto him in a Game 2 surprise -- could guard him for "seven games.'' On Sunday, Jet alone outscored the Miami bench 27-20. As a unit, the Dallas bench outscored its Miami counterpart 43-20.
And Jet didn't need to prove that LeBron couldn't guard him for seven games. Because it never got to seven games.
DONUT 15: There will be a parade. It was not planned last week. It will be planned this week. And Mark Cuban will pay for it.
"We'll do it,'' Tony Cubes said. "All I told them was -- Terdema Ussery, our president -- you plan the parade, I'll pay for it because I don't think it's right for the city to have to pay for it. And let's just have some fun."
DONUT 16: "This is as mentally tough team I've been around. I was fortunate to play in the '80s with Boston teams. They were mentally tough. ... What these guys were able to do collectively ... I am just really proud to be around this group.'' - Rick Carlisle.
DONUT 17: Why, before and largely after this decisive 105-95 Game 6 victory that gives Dallas its first-ever title, did none of Dirk's gum-flapping/eloquent teammates retaliate verbally to Wade and LeBron? Why were Shawn Marion and DeShawn Stevenson and Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry mum?
Because Dirk asked them to be, urged them to join him in doing their work behind him on the floor instead of behind a microphone on a podium.
DONUT 18: Kidd putting to rest the notion that he'll retire (with one year and $10.8 mil left on his contract? Sure!) saves me a lot of time this summer. I keep having to re-re-re-interview him to re-re-re-confirm the story DB.com broke months ago about his plans to play next year and maybe two years after that. Kidd told the country last night "I feel good'' and that he wants to play maybe three more years.
Good. Kidd, three years from now, may or may not be the same baller he is now – "Best point guard in the world,'' Jet said, and in a way that's rather true. But when you have access to a "savant,'' you like to stay plugged into each other.
DONUT 19: The revelation from Nancy Lieberman on TV that special assistant Tim Grgurich was the secret mastermind behind last fall's re-writing of the Dallas defensive playbook. Cool that she knows that. Cool that the low-key Grgurich doesn't care if anybody else does.
DONUT 20: Holger's smile. Cracked in the locker room once. During the on-court ceremony once. And in the mosh pit at Club LIV, watching his protégé and all the other kids guzzle and dance … almost certainly wearing a flannel shirt and likely checking his watch to see what time tomorrow's One-Man Rowboat Saxaphone Yoga Class should begin.
DONUT 21: Ian Mahinmi pick-and-nothing jumper as time expired in the third, THE deflating moment for the Heat. "The Ianimal'' is hitting buzzer-beaters now instead of Chalmers?
The Miami players' shoulders seemed to sink to their hips.
DONUT 22: Wade invoked "The Basketball Gods.'' LeBron tweeted that God wasn't in favor of him winning this year.
Fellas, God wasn't against you. It was just Dirk, Dallas, Texas and all of America that was against you.
DONUT 23: Did I hear Dirk referring to his trademark jumper as "The One-Legged Lean-Back''?
Wonder when and why he started calling it that? As soon as he sticks the word "Euro'' in the middle of it, he'll have it nailed!
DONUT 24: There is no "me'' in "Miami.'' But there sure are a lot of "I's.''
DONUT 25: My weird travel plans/non-plans. My bag was packed. With Marcia's help, if there was a Game 7, I was going to do TV until 1 a.m, write until 5 a.m. and then go to the airport and get to Miami first thing Monday morning.
Mixed emotions? You bet. I wanted to be there for a Game 7 ... but I wanted them to win Game 6.
It worked out. But I haven't unpacked my bag. Next couple of days, I gotta grab this girl and go on a mini-vacation. You will excuse me for a couple of days, please?
DONUT 26: Larry tattooed on Jet's right biceps. I'm an old man. I do not understand tattoos of zip codes and Chinese lettering and pictures of the girl you'll eventually break up with.
But I understand Larry.
DONUT 27: Elsewhere they talk the talk of team. In Dallas?
While Dirk was 1-of-12 in the first half for three points, the rest of the Mavs were 20-of-31 (64.5 percent) for 50 points.
DONUT 28: I am so proud of the MFFL's who have been with DallasBasketball.com for the ride, many of you for a dozen years, many of you so active on DB.com Boards! Our community is unique in terms of its staying power, its faith and its friendship. Thank you all so much for being there for each other, for me and for the Mavs.
If you are a relative newcomer to DB.com but a Mavs follower, check it out -- or rather let me say "Check them out,'' because DB.com Boards is about the people who populate it and make it fun and smart and passionate.
Again, thank you.
DONUT 29: "The Custodian'' button. I didn't like the elevation of Brian Cardinal over Peja in this series at the time it happened. I didn't understand it until a coach explained to me it had less to do with Brian's ability to hit a 3 (which he did in Game 6) and more to do with some bone-rattling that needed to be doled out against Wade and pals.
And it happened: Brian Cardinal "Country-Strong'' screens and "Country-Strong'' charges drawn and even on those block-or-charge plays that didn't go The Custodian's way, they still registered as a small advantage for Dallas.
Because he was doling out wear-down punishment.
DONUT 30: I got messages from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. today from DB.com colleagues Miek Piellucci, Kevin Brolan and Michael Dugat, each of them asking/offering, respectively, "Do you need me to cover the airport arrival?'', "When are exit interviews?'' and "I'm going to get to work on Mavs free agency plans.''
Nancy Lieberman asked me last night, "What do you do all summer now?''
It never stops, Coach. It's DallasBasketball.com. It's the Mavs. It never stops.
DONUT 31: "We fought for this all year. We had the talent to do this. We just had to put the pieces together and we did a great job. Everything clicked at the right time." -Jose Juan Barea, also known as "Mr. Universe.''
DONUT 32: I feel a genuine sadness regarding not Dirk's revelation that LeBron is ignorant, but LeBron's revelation that LeBron is ignorant.
"At the end of the day," LeBron said after the game, "all of the people that were rooting for me to fail, tomorrow they'll have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before they woke up today. They got the same personal problems they had today, and I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do."
This is not a sound Life Philosophy, young man. I urge you to seek counsel. Maybe from KIDDIRK?
DONUT 33: The naysayers and the haters and the racists and the trolls and the contrarians and all those who make a living off trying to establish that there is some inherent reason, some obviously poisoned formula, to why the Dallas Mavericks or Rick Carlisle or Dirk Nowitzki or Donnie Nelson or Jason Kidd or Mark Cuban were destined to fail, must all now put a cork in it.
That goes for everyone from the fraudulent scientists like John Trollinger to the Glenn Beckian carnival freaks like Skip Bayless. They must now put a cork in it ...
Until next season, when they will roll out their tired schtick all over again.
DONUT 34: "I could care less about the Heat." - Mark Cuban.
DONUT 35: "Remember '06!'', Jason Terry told Dirk repeatedly throughout the fourth quarter.
DONUT 36: Dirk in sixth fourth quarters in the NBA Finals: 62 points.
Wade and LeBron in sixth fourth quarters in NBA Finals: 61 points.
That's right: The UberMan wasn't just more clutch that one of them. He was more clutch than both of them combined.
DONUT 37: Turning down ABC and listening to Coop do it right.
DONUT 38: Heart-and-soul center Tyson Chandler getting to pose for photos with Bill Russell, the very first and very best heart-and-soul championship center.
DONUT 39: D-Steve not letting Haslem walk in his path. Even though it was actually Haslem's path.
DONUT 40: The Matrix' Dancing Ma-Ma-Trix.
DONUT 41: D.A's kooky inspirational voice in the middle of everything.
DONUT 42: The fact that Mark Cuban went to sleep in his hotel-room bed embracing the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
DONUT 43: The debunking of the "Window Is Closed'' myth. The window is never closed. Next year is another chance, and then comes the next, and the next. ...
DONUT 44: When did Charles Barkley start actually paying attention to games so he could get all his predictions so right?
DONUT 45: Sunday capped a 7-1 run on the road in the playoffs from a team that had previously recorded two road wins in five postseasons.
DONUT 46: The final five on the floor. All "old guys.'' All having climbs mountains. All reaching the top ... together.
DONUT 47: That bottle everybody was sipping at in Club LIV ... that bottle that was itself the size of a mini-fridge. You had to be a pretty accomplished weight-room guy just to lift the damn thing.
DONUT 48: The TMZ photo gallery featuring the partying Mavs ... and they made it in there without getting arrested or anything!
DONUT 49: I'll remember how Dirk left the floor immediately after the buzzer. He vaulted over the scorers table. (And you thought he had no hops!) He didn't engage in postgame on-court hugs with his enemies (And you thought he was all sweetness and light!)
He excused himself to be by himself. Because he felt the tears coming. (And you thought UberMen don't cry!)
"I had to get a moment,'' Dirk said. "I was crying a bit. I was a little emotional ... I actually didn't want to come out for the trophy, but the guys talked me into it."
DONUT 50: I love Carlisle's subtle rip job on the way Miami conducted itself, from the beginning of the year to the bitter end. That is what he was referencing, you know, when he said:
"This is one of the unique teams in NBA history. Because it wasn't about high-flying star power. Come on, how often do we have to hear about ‘The LeBron James Reality Show' and what he is or isn't doing? When are people going to talk about the purity of our game and what these guys accomplished? That's what's special. … We knew it was very important that we won this series … because of what the game is about, and what the game should stand for. … (The Mavs) have made a statement that's a colossal statement.''
Is that enough of a hoops mandate? Or do you need Dirk to say it, too?
DONUT 51: Fine. Dirk will say it, too.
"This,'' The UberMan said, his new "NBA Champions'' hat sitting crooked on his head, "is a win for team basketball.''
DONUT 52: Cuban's plans to get everybody something bigger and better than "old-fashioned'' rings.
DONUT 53: How spoiled we are, DFW sports fans, even today, saying it's been a "long time'' since the Stars won a title for North Texas "way back in 1999.''
DONUT 54: That hallway Dirk trotted up for his private cry? Same one he once marched up so he could angrily kick a Stairmaster into submission.
DONUT 55: The post-game locker-room appearance of a wrestling-style championship belt. Not an imaginary one, not an invisible one. A real one.
DONUT 56: "Nobody can take this away from me. They can all kiss my ass." - 'Trix.
DONUT 57: No Roddy B, no Caron, no Big Wood. No problem. Who does that?
DONUT 58: Moreover, who turns it into a positive?
"Just going through the journey of those injuries made us a better team, because we had to do a lineup change, and then we did the lineup change during the Finals," Kidd said. "And we didn't skip a beat. We just kept playing. That just shows the character of this team. No matter how old you are, we understood how to play the game."
They do. They turn it into a positive.
DONUT 59: "Be Ready.''
How many times have I written those words since they came out of Rick Carlisle's mouth way back in training camp?
"If you look at what we've built here, give credit to coach Carlisle,'' Jason Terry said. "In training camp, he told everybody to 'Be Ready.' Brian Cardinal. J.J. Barea inserted into the starting lineup in the Finals. Are you kidding me? Just gutsy by Coach, no fear at all and every confidence in his guys. Ian Mahinmi and just on down the line."
DONUT 60: Rick said "a billion people'' offered him well-wishes going into the clincher. Let's recognize that when it comes to Dallas Mavericks fandom, after all these years, History Loves Company.
DONUT 61: Want more Mavs? Invest about a dime-a-day and believe me when I say DB.com will do everything we can to earn that dime and retain your trust when you Go Mavs and Go Premium! We are inside the locker room, inside the front office and on the court with the Mavs with exclusive Video Visits, analysis from the experts, all the notes and quotes, excitement and enjoyment ...
Check us out. You will be pleased! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 62: "We've got superstars on this team. We've got one, two, three, we're all superstars." -Shawn Marion.
DONUT 63: We have fun with the t-shirts. Our genius designer, Beau Shoulders (well worth a peek at his work in the DB.com Store! ) is as much a Mavs fan as you are. There is not a great fortune to be made here, but there is joy to be had ... for sure when I walk around before the games at the AAC and see our shirts, or when you email me photos from around DFW and around the world with you wearing a Mavs DB.com shirt.
Well, it's time for more fun!
One of the ways we've celebrated the greatness of Dirk Nowitzki: We WEAR Dirk Nowitzki.
"The UberMan'' is the standard, the original. A DB.com Mavs legend. And since the middle of this year, when Dirk took to the microphone and coined the (now re-worked phrase "Take That Championship Wit Chew!'', this is what all the kids will be wearing ...
We've even arranged to have some of our available in the Mavs Fan Shops! But you can get it here, answering the question Dirk asked me when he first saw the design:
"Fish, where can I get one of those?''
Dirk got two. Get however many you need right now in the DB.com Store!
DONUT 64: Dirk's ill-fitting, straight-billed Championship Cap. I guess if you never played baseball you don't know how to curve that bill.
DONUT 65: Dirk's veeerrrrry extended low fist pump, executed late in the game (you know, when it was actually decided ... right in front of the helpless Miami bench.
DONUT 66: The social media involvement is stunning. I got on Facebook, I guess, two years ago and we started
*The Mavs LIKE you. ... our DB.com Mavs Facebook Page just a couple of months ago. It's fascinating. ... and Twitter? Brian Cuban "ordered'' me to get on there. Can't do my job without it now, and would be flattered to have you along for the ride at FishSports !
DONUT 67: You may be aware of what I think of Kidd as a person. Almost two decades of professional triumphs and tribulations, but in my dealings with him ... well, I find our relationship to be fruitful for me, personally and professionally.
So I am as happy as him as I am for Dirk or anybody else.
"Man, it's a dream come true,'' Kidd said. "It's not real right now because just the battles against the Heat and understanding the journey, it's been a long journey for 17 years. I thought I had an opportunity ...''
He had two. Two failed trips to the Finals. Twice the pain, in a way, of Jet and Dirk.
The pain is gone.
DONUT 68: "Now that we have done it you can say it was sweet vindication. We've been on the other end. We've been the team most hated, the team that's not picked to do anything." -Jason Terry.
DONUT 69: It's not about one guy, of course. But ...
"I don't think there's any doubt after this series that Dirk has certainly earned the clout of being one of the all-time great players,'' Rick said. "His versatility, how he's done it in the clutch. He goes 1-for-12 in the first half, and then in the second half he was just absolute money.''
Please appreciate this. This is Staubach, Aikman, Modano, Emmitt, Landry, Lilly, Irvin, White. This is greatness. It comes and then eventually it goes. And it may never come again.
It's taken parts of the world a decade to understand. You should know better. Please appreciate this.
DONUT 70: You sense the shift in priorities, the advantage of wrinkled eyes and graying hair.
"Man, this is what I obviously played for the last couple of years,'' Dirk said. "I think when you come in this league you want to establish yourself. All these All-Star Games and all those things are nice, in scoring. But when you get to a certain age you've basically seen it all, and all you play for is for that ring.''
DONUT 71: The Devin-for-Kidd trade is now officially a success. Forever and ever and ever or until Devin wins two championships.
DONUT 72: The NBA mini-movie:
DONUT 73: YES. WE. DID.
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