Donuts: Our Review Of The Mavs-Centric ESPYs
PRE-DONUT: The thing about the ESPYs is I always thought it was a bit of a Look-At-Me scam by ESPN in order to grab some attention during a time of year when there's not much on the sports horizon. Aside from a few meaningful moments like the Arthur Ashe Award and the Jimmy V Foundation, it just seemed like a 2-hour way for ESPN to remind us that they're here.
We know, ESPN. We get it.
Additionally, as a fan whose teams always seemed to fail in the end, the ESPYs mainly served as a reminder of my favorite teams' shortcomings. Sure it was cool to relive the year of sports in a way, but I didn't need to be told how awesome Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant were in umpteen different ways. More gimmick than substance, I could generally do without the ESPYs. Then a funny thing happened…
The Mavericks won the championship.
Ya know, I always liked those ESPYs. I guess I could give ‘em a look this year.
DONUT 1: In what is usually reserved for the Mannings, Bryants, Dwyane Wades, and Tom Bradys of the world, how weird was it to see the ESPYs absolutely boss-hogged by your Mavs? Not only did they sweep the awards they were up for (Best Team, Best Coach, NBA Player of the Year, and Male Athlete of the Year), but they grabbed the majority of host Seth Meyers's monologue and received the loudest applause from the crowd outside of The Biebs.
As Mark Cuban said when the Mavs received their Best Team award, "Good guys do win and can win and will win." The good guys did win tonight and it was somewhat, almost, kind of, sort of satisfying to know that the fans voted correctly for the good guys.
Well played, America. Well played.
DONUT 2: Though it was the least surprising event of the night, there was no sign of Wade, LeBron James, or Chris Bosh. Honestly, you've got to completely understand that. If your team just got so thoroughly embarrassed on the national stage and you knew you were going to be the butt of more than enough jokes, would you show your face? Fair enough, no harm done for being no-shows.
On the other hand, what if LeBron did show up? What if he showed up with a big smile? What if he made sure he was seen talking to Dirk and shaking his hand? What if he over-laughed at all of Meyers' jokes poking fun at him and his teammates? What if he stood and applauded the Mavs as they received all of their accolades? Sure, that's a lot to ask and it would be a cold day during a Texas summer before any of us were caught dead doing it, but this was an opportunity for LeBron to shock the world in a completely new way. America would have absolutely eaten this up and LeBron would be the hot topic today. At least, I think that's how we would've reacted.
Either that or we would've just called him soft and a phony jerk.
DONUT 3: Allow me to present a hypothetical to you loyal DB.commers: What if these ESPYs were replayed exactly the same, except the Lakers, Kobe, and Phil Jackson were the ones having buckets of praise heaped upon them from every direction? We'd all be bitching about how the national media only cares about the Lakers and that this thing is rigged just because LA is such a glamour city. I hate to break it to all the former doom-and-gloom Mavs fans, but the "The Mavs never get any national respect" credo is officially dead. It's time to move on.
Allow me to formally announce the "Dirk is the tannest German in the world and has clearly been on a beach for weeks" campaign.
DONUT 4: I think at some point during their careers I need to see Blake Griffin and Kevin Love together on the same team. You can tell that the guys legitimately like each other and constantly goof around no matter what they're doing. It would have to happen in LA so they could have some reality TV show together, but I think this has potential. Plus, I want to see the combination of the least and most athletic power forwards fighting for offensive rebounds. Too bad there is zero chance of this happening with Donald Sterling running the show.
DONUT 5: For the first time ever, I watched the ESPYs Pre-ESPYs show or whatever it's called and I was struck by Hannah Storm. I never really had an opinion on her until yesterday, but she looked AMAZING. She looked extremely fit and really stunning. What was my problem? How had I never noticed that she was such a babe before? I thought about it on and off for an hour or so.
Then Emmanuelle Chriqui walked on stage and Hannah Storm fell off a cliff.
DONUT 6: Dirk was up for the Best Athlete of the Year award and won. While he was totally deserving, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was also up for the award and this is football-crazed USA, so I wasn't going to be shocked if Rodgers took home the hardware. That didn't happen obviously as Dirk won, gave his girlfriend a big smooch, and walked up on stage.
Waaaaaait, a second. What was the middle part?
Oh, you read correctly. As first explored a year ago on DB.com Boards, Dirk's been in a pretty private relationship with Jessica Olsson for a while now and you can't really blame him since he has a tad bit of girlfriend trouble in the rearview mirror. The couple threw privacy to the wind last night though, as they were seen together all over the red carpet and during the awards show. The night's spotlight on their relationship reached a pinnacle when they shared some PDA before The UberMan accepted that particular award.
Easy, Dirk. You dirty dog.
DONUT 7: JJ Barea has worked hard his whole life to overcome his lack of physical ability. He fought his way through college, made it to an NBA roster after being undrafted, proved himself in the NBA D-League, and became a useful role player with a consistent contender on the Mavs. This year, Barea took it to another level as he showed how he can be a game-changing piece and deciding spark on an NBA champion. He even shook off a mean Andrew Bynum elbow to his ribs and gained the respect of a nation for his toughness. Then to top it all off, Mark Cuban called him a baby on stage.
It's not quite back to square one though. He always has Ms. Universe.
DONUT 8: The night wouldn't have been complete without catching up with Tyson Chandler and finding out his plans during the lockout.
Turns out that he's spending his time as a ‘great listener' for guys who have gone through bad breakups. In an ESPYs skit with Griffin and Love, Tyson gave some advice to a poor sap that just got dropped by his girlfriend. What was his advice?
"I would go on Facebook and say I'm looking for single, hot chicks," Chandler said. "Just invite them to your hotel…to have sex with them."
Obviously, this was in jest as Tyson was sitting with his wife, who must be unbelievably cool to go with this. I'm not sure Chandler was totally joking though. It seems to work for celebrities like Fish. (Just kidding, Marcia. Love you/Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary!)
DONUT 9: In the spirit of ESPN's Jimmy-V Foundation, here's a quick plug for a good cause.
You like football? You like blond or brunette girls? You like seeing blond and brunette girls playing each other in football? Sure you do. Please come out and join me for the 4th annual Blondes vs. Brunettes game/Alzheimer's fundraiser!
Every year, through stories from my friends, co-workers, and families, it's clear that it becomes more and more important to continue to raise money to help the families of Alzheimer's patients right here in North Texas.
A ticket is $25 and will get you entrance to the game and the after-party at Bryan Street Tavern. This year the game will be played at SMU's Ford Stadium on August 6th, kickoff will be at 7:30pm. The after-party will provide donated pizza and drinks for all ticket holders. All of this and not to mention, raising money for Alzheimer's.
If you can't join on game day, please donate any amount to help reach the BVB goal of $215,000 by August 6th. This stays in North Texas, helps families meet financial needs, assists the Alzheimer's Association bilingual help line, and funds research.
Donate $5, $10, $25, or whatever amount is in your heart, on the donation page before August 6th. And please check out the BVB website, too.
DONUT 10: Here is a quick medical fact that will make me sound smart even though I'm not: The cancer that Mark Herzlich beat is called Ewing's sarcoma, which is a rare form of cancer that doesn't screw around. Beating any form of cancer is an extremely brave and astounding feat, but this shows how much of a badass the man truly is. When you're a medical doctor science encyclopedia like I am, you know these things.
DONUT 11: One of the most entertaining Mavs-centric moments of the ESPYs was when Meyers and Co. did a skit that created a fake Dirk Nowitzki Academy for kids to learn to play basketball in the "awkward'' way that Dirk does. It was funny enough and pretty creative, but please allow the record to show that DallasBasketball.com was all about the One-Legged Euro Lean-Back way before it was fashionable. We've got a garage full of Dirkie's to prove it! Otherwise, trust me, we're not fashionable.
Except in the DB.com Store.
DONUT 12: Serena's dress.
DONUT 13: It may have been somewhat new to the rest of the country, but your Mavs conducted themselves at the ESPYs in a way that all of us have come to expect. When Dirk accepted his Best Male Athlete award, he was awkward and shy in his ‘Aw Shucks' Dirk way. When the Boys in Blue accepted their Best Team award, leader Jason Kidd had a few humble, short words for the audience before Cubes took over and had the crowd laughing and shaking their heads. All the while, Jason Terry grabbed Justin Bieber for a picture because his daughters asked him to, Shawn Marion was making sure he got a word in with Danica Patrick and the ESPY girls, and Brian Cardinal took his custodian jokes in stride just like the picture perfect teammate he has always been.
In the end, the ESPYs were exactly what they've always been. They were generally corny, overdone, and eye-rolling at times. Though, for Mavs fans, for us, there was certainly something slightly different this year. When the Mavs won the championship, I knew it was going to be the little things that were sweet reminders that they actually did it. I think it's the little things you don't necessarily think about that allow the championship to sink in. The ESPYs are one of those little things and they were all about our boys.
And so basically, these were the best ESPY's ever.
Catch DB.com staffers Mike Fisher on Twitter and Kevin Brolan on Twitter.