Special Guest Mavs Donuts: Gina Miller!
PRE-DONUT Gina Miller is one of DFW's most recognizable media figures - with one of its most recognizable voices and recognizable laughs, too! Her infectious personality is an important part of Mavs coverage on CBS11 and on TXA21. Follow her on Twitter, on her blog, and on YouTube. - Fish (find me exchanging Mavs thoughts with Gina and friends on Twitter at FishSports!)
DONUT 1: More than a few days after the Mavericks won their first ever NBA title, I'm still having pinch-myself moments. It took a while to sink in.
I got into this TV business because I wanted to BE a Dallas Maverick. I proudly wore my Mavs t-shirts to pick-up games even during the 11- and 13-win seasons in the early 90's.
Being in the locker room after Game 6 in Miami was not the experience I thought it would be. I had dreamed of this moment since I was 10 years old but covering the team for the last decade as a reporter has desensitized me a bit. As a reporters, our first order of business is to be objective in order report and get the story as fairly and accurately as possible. There is no cheering at games. No outward rooting. After the Mavs won, for me, it was all business.
"Reporter" Gina dominated "longtime fan" Gina because I had to accurately capture the moment, tell the story of what happened inside the locker room, and share the players' reaction.
It wasn't until I rewatched last Thursday's celebration from inside the American Airlines Center on my DVR that night that I had that moment of "Holy $%*!, the Dallas freaking Mavericks are the NBA Champions!"
It was while watching Dirk Nowitkzi brush away tears that, I'm embarrassed to admit, I had a sports cry I hadn't experienced in a long time. Worth the wait and worth every tear.
DONUT 2: I talked to a few Mavs players following the parade and every one of them recalls the absolute surreal awesomeness of that day.
I was lucky enough to be a part of a championship parade in 1995 when the Rockets won their second straight title. I was lowly intern but still a part of the team, in the eyes of the Houston brass. I rode on a float and won a ring. That hot, sweaty, frosty beverage-filled day in downtown Houston is easily one of the top three experiences of my entire life. (Topping an old wedding day, btw).
There are few experiences that can beat a championship celebration. Ask any Mavs player, coach, or staff member and I bet they'll have a similar story a few years from now.
DONUT 3: It has been stressed ad nauseum but soon-to-be free agent Tyson Chandler is a definite must re-sign for the Mavs this offseason. I didn't think that earlier in the regular season but Chandler easily proved his worth during this playoff run. From anchoring the defense to his presence in the locker room to the fact he's just a damn good interview and even better guy, the Mavs need him.
Thinking 5 years, $65-66 million and worth it.
DONUT 4: I think JJ Barea falls into the "really wants to re-sign" category.
I feel that the Mavs might be outbid for his services. Barea wants to stay in Dallas. His agent has made it clear his client wants to stay in Dallas. Jason Terry wants his teammate, JJ Ba-rer-a (I still can't believe he can't get it right) to stay in Dallas.
That's all well and good but I am afraid a team might want Barea a little more and be willing to pay, even overpay to get him. He would be a great addition to a team that's on the playoff verge, looking for a player who has some experience. He could see a 4-year, $20 million offer.
Could he take the hometown discount? Doubtful. That cash is hard to turn down.
DONUT 5: Having played in just 31 games for the Mavericks last season, yet flirting with returning all throughout the playoffs, Caron Butler remains an interesting piece to the Mavericks future puzzle.
Re-signing him would almost be like getting a free agent considering his limited playing time last season. Remember how effective he was? He was a solid 15 and 4 guy and nice defender before he went down.
I predict Butler remains in Dallas and eases back into his starting spot.
DONUT 6: The rest: I think Peja Stojakovich is gone. Brian Cardinal seems an easy and inexpensive candidate to return, for his dance moves more than anything else. Deshawn Stevenson remains one of the wilder cards. My gut says he gets a nice offer from another team and runs.
And one more note: The Mavs have announced that another surgery on Roddy B's foot is "successful.'' Let's hope so. His foot could use some success.
DONUT 7: Nice to go into the Rangers clubhouse and have players talking about the Mavericks championship run. Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz was sporting a Jason Terry t-shirt on Wednesday, although it looked to belong to possibly his little sister. It was a tad tight. Pitcher Derek Holland wears his Mavs love proudly and is one of the biggest Dirk Nowitzki fan you'll find.
DONUT 8: And speaking of Rangers fans who had vested interests in the Finals: Don't be startled when you hear catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli's walkup music in the near future. He made a nice little wager with FSN's Emily Jones regarding the outcome of the Finals. Jones took the Mavs. Napoli the Heat.
The bet: Emily gets to pick Napoli's walkup music if the Mavs won. My girl is good.
Napoli's already fearing "Barbie Girl."
DONUT 9: Want MORE Mavs? Sign on up! It's about a dime-a-day for the very best in Mavs coverage from DB.com. And yes, DB.com keeps it rolling all summer long ... You won't get 'em covered like you get 'em covered here! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 10: Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells TMZ.com that despite the Dodgers financial "mess" he would be interested in the buying the struggling team "for the right deal." Now that Cuban has an NBA championship trophy and all the spoils that come with it, I wouldn't be surprised if he kicks his flirtations with owning a Major League team up a notch.
During the Lakers series, LA media types surrounded Cuban trying to get him to open up about his interest in the beloved Dodgers franchise.
I can tell you this: as vilified as Frank McCourt is in SoCal, if Cuban brings the same passion and ensuing success to the Dodgers franchise, he would become one of the most beloved figures in LA sports history. ... Much to the chagrin of former MLB commish Fay Vincent.
DONUT 11: Fish reminds me to remind you to visit the DB.com Store . I'm the proud owner of a FREE RODDY B shirt. Check 'em out!
DONUT 12: We're delivering a perfect 10 this morning (not counting Fish's promotional arm-twists) and, to me, there's no better final Donut than a resolution to NBA's CBA issue.
I certainly don't have the solution but I hope the league and the NBA can come up with one quickly. Easier said than done with Forbes magazine estimating that 17 of the league's 30 teams lost money last year.
With the current CBA set to expire on June 30th and the two sides about $7 billion apart, a lockout seems unavoidable. The season ended on such high: record TV ratings (including the highest-rated Game 6 ABC has ever had), a phenomenal and competitive championship series and, let's be honest, a Mavs title. A work stoppage would be all-out disastrous for the NBA. It took marquee players and almost a full-decade for the NBA to recover from the 1999 lockout. TV rating plummeted, attendance dropped and teams drained cash. The league and the union ratified its current CBS in 2005 but, unfortunately, I don't think it can a new deal can be reach this summer and we'll have a fall with basketball.
I'm offering Krispy Kremes to all if a deal can be reached.
On second thought, I might have to ask Cubes for help with the purchase and delivery.