D-Lord's Top 12 Exit Interview Donuts

Caron's behind-the-scenes role ... Thoughts on free agency ... The Mavs' legacy ... What Barea wants ... Praise for Roddy B's future ... Let's win another one! ... All part of The 12 most Interesting Things I Overheard At Exit Interviews. ... Wednesday Exit Interview Donuts!

PRE-DONUT: Lots of media and lots of players and lots of scribbling on my part, so the following might include a few paraphrases and certainly some injection on my part of my perspective on the day ...

DONUT 1: Rick Carlisle on the ramifications of the Mavs winning the title:

"This bestows "lifetime bragging rights" to every one of these players. They won a title, and it can never be taken away.''

"This was a special team. It represented all the things that the NBA stands for and that basketball is supposed to be about in that it was a true team. No one worried who got the credit, and everyone worked to make the whole team better.''

"This achievement is going to be looked back at for a long time because of how it happened. This was "The Team That Could" and other teams are going to look at this team as an example. Roddy was supposed to be a starter and he got injured, Caron was becoming a special player for us and he was lost for the year, those are the things that are supposed to keep teams from going very far. But they just made these guys work harder.''

DONUT 2: On the role of Tyson Chandler for the Dallas Mavericks:

Carlisle: "Tyson's addition changed our season. His enthusiasm, energy, exuberance. He preached accountability, and never let up. He made this a veteran team – those veteran teams police themselves, like Boston when I played there. This team became that way with Tyson's arrival. He's an extremely special player.''

Dirk: "Tyson to me turned everything around for us. His positive energy. His defense, he was so key, and every big game down the stretch we won it with defense, our closeouts were always ignited by our defense. I have never played with a center so quick, who can cover so much ground.''

DONUT 3: On Rick Carlisle's coaching:

Chandler: "He's sneaky – maybe like a Phil Jackson? He makes you think you're coming up with ideas, but he's putting it in your mind. He's really good.''

Kidd: "He's great because he trusts his players. He's not afraid.''

DONUT 4: Caron and Dallas:

Donnie: "Caron is a part of the fabric of what we're doing.''

Carlisle: "He was a whisker away from playing in then playoffs. We were amazed. If it had gone another week or 10 days, he probably would have played. But he still had a tremendous impact in this title even though he didn't – he was consistent, positive, and held everyone accountable.''

Kidd, on whether the availability of Caron in 2011-12 might be the addition that could key a repeat: "His importance to us is not about next year. Caron doesn't understand how big he was to what we did AFTER he got hurt. He was always encouraging guys, and he was one of the ones who kept us accountable. Everyone has days where a foot is sore or you don't feel like working, but he was calling guys out so no one could slack off. That was big.''

DONUT 5: Rick Carlisle on Jason Kidd and his contribution to the title:

"Jason Kidd's contribution wasn't just on the floor. His DNA is all over this team. It's his leadership ability, his knowledge of our team, the example he sets with intensity and his coolness when the game is on the line. What he does can't be measured – he's one of the all-time greats.''

"Talking to him and getting his input is like talking to Larry Bird. They say something that is simple, yet gets right to the heart of things in a way you never saw it before. The way he thinks the game and understands the psychology of the players puts him so far ahead that sometimes it's scary.''

DONUT 6: JJ Barea on being a part of the Mavs:

"It's been amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This locker room was great all year.''

"Free agency is what you dream of. The timing for me is good.''

"But I love my role that I have on this team. Yes one day I would like to be a starter, but what I'm doing now really is good for me. I really don't want to change that role, so I hope next year I'll be back and can continue.''

"yes I'm looking forward to the money I'll get paid, but I love Puerto Rico and I've come to love Dallas, too. So hopefully Mark and Donnie can make it happen for me to come back.''

DONUT 7: Hey, Rick Carlisle – since Roddy Beaubois sat through the playoffs, what's his future role? Does he have one in Dallas?

"It starts with his health. We did get him about 20 starts and that was a good investment, but this summer he just needs to be healthy and then build from there. What we need from him to be the kind of NBA player we want is defense and consistency, not just be a mercurial talent.''

"But let me be clear: he can do things no one else on this roster can do, and we still see him as a building block for the future of this franchise.''

DONUT 8: Jason Kidd – any thoughts of retirement?

"I'm tired right now from the playoffs,'' he said. "But overall I feel great and I want to keep playing.

For, say, five more years?

"That might be pushing it,'' Kidd said, "but I'm gonna keep going until the wheels fall off.''

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DONUT 10: From some largely one-on-one visiting with Brendan Haywood ...

We asked him: At various times there were reports saying you were bothered with your diminished playing time this year. Does winning a title fix that? Are you happy with your role in Dallas, or are you hoping to go elsewhere if Chandler returns, to a team where you can be a starter?

"Who told you that?'' Big Wood responded, playfully.

"I don't know who said that, but I've never had a problem being here! My only problem was frustration when I wasn't playing as well as I hoped, because I have high expectations for myself.''

"I like it here. Everything's cool. We're a team, and no one cares about who gets the credit as long as we win.''

"Being on the same team with Ty is great because we try to push each other every day. I don't really see Ty leaving and that's great with me. My only thing is I want to try to have a bigger impact – make a better contribution – but I'm happy being here.''

And how's the hip injury?

"I'm about 2 weeks of rehab away from being well, I think,'' Brendan said. "But I was ready to play in Game 6 if they needed me, they gave it a shot full of whatever and I was ready to play if called on.

DONUT 11: What about the players who are free agents – what's gonna happen?

Carlisle: "I know how Mark and Donnie work, and I have faith in their ability to get things done, so I expect the main components to be back. ...''

Donnie Nelson: "We're focused solely on the draft right now. Because of the CBA issues, we aren't even talking about free agency or resigning players. That's Mark Cuban's area, he's in constant communication with all that's going on [with the CBA negotiations], and when he says it's time to go in that area, we'll go. Until then, we have other things to do.''

"But in an ideal world, we keep this thing intact and make another run.''

Kidd, on recruiting players to return: "I don't have to. They already know how great it is to play here.''


DONUT 12: Can the Mavs repeat?

Jet: "I expect great things. Always. Next year is no different.''

Haywood: "We're still hungry. Lots of teams win a championship but not that many repeat. We want to be special.''

Chandler: "I KNOW we can. If we all come back and we're all healthy, the sky's the limit for this team.''

Donnie with the final word: "Now that we've won one, winning just gives you a hunger for more.''

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