Monday Mavs Donuts: Why'd Dirk Bother?
DONUT 1: I don't wish ill on any of the players, and certainly not the Dallas Mavericks players. They are all lovely gentlemen who have worked hard to rise to their positions. They have hopes, dreams, families ...
DONUT 2: Allow me to suggest another "deadline'' of sorts for serious movement in lockout negotiations: mid-November.
Mid-November, I believe, is when most of the players would ordinarily receive their first checks of the season. Yes, many players have likely budgeted for the absence of that paycheck. But here's a financial fact: Most people who make $50,000 a year live fully on that $50,000 -- paycheck-to-paycheck. (Indeed, 64 percent of Americans do not have as much as $1,000 in an "emergency fund.'') Meanwhile, people who make $5 million a year live fully on that $5 million -- paycheck-to-paycheck, in the sense that they have committed their money to certain places. They own expensive homes, they pay employees, they have an investment plan that needs funding, they finance their brother's college tuition, whatever.
If a player has home he bought for, say, $4 million (not at all unusual), his mortgage payment figures to be $20,000 monthly. That's $240,000 he'll need, in cash, for the next 12 months. If said player has a home in say, Dallas ... and another mansion back home ... and maybe he pays for his mother's home ... and maybe he's got a condo in New York or Miami ... we could be talking about $1 mil a year in mortgage payments alone.
Most guys need income to keep up payments like that. Some guys might be hurting a bit right around mid-November when the mortgage(s) come due and the checks aren't in the mailbox.
DONUT 3: I see where some critics think Rick Adelman is "too old'' to connect to the "young T'Wolves.'' Those critics are likely unaware that Minnesota's pivotal player, Kevin Love, grew up in Portland as friends with Adelman's son when Rick was the Blazers coach. How much you wanna bet the teenage Love idolized Adelman and gave the organization his stamp of approval before the hire?
DONUT 4: A nice story from Germany wondering, "Why did Dirk play for Team Germany?'' I've got the short answers, in two simple paragraphs:
a) Dirk performed for Germany, even after a lengthy NBA season, because as a German icon, a loyalist and an all-around nice guy, he promised he would do so.
b) Dirk played because that's what players do. Players play. They might do so less as their 34th birthdays approach, which will be the case for The UberMan next summer. But players play.
DONUT 5: In what I guess is supposed to be an excuse for Serena Williams' angry outburst (again) at the U.S. Open, Grantland.com's Emma Carmichael says, "Tennis breeds headcases. It's part of the sport's entertainment. Calling Serena 'overwrought" is a little bit like calling a linebacker "aggressive."
Here's Serena this year:
Here's Serena at the 2009 Open, establishing that this is a pattern:
This sort of behavior is somehow "normal'' or "accepted'' from female tennis stars? Listen, if a linebacker tells somebody he's going to shove something somewhere, the nature of football allows said somebody to retaliate. In tennis and in life? It's unacceptable because the verbal victim is ill-prepared to retaliate.
Normal bebavior for a female star? Tell that to Grand Slam winners like Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navrátilová, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, this year's Open winner Samantha Stosur and countless others.
DONUT 6: Come join DallasBasketball.com in the Mavs Twitterverse!
DONUT 7: They are the finest dentists in all of Collin County ... and maybe all the land! Thanks for the Mavs DB.com sponsorship to my family dentists, McKinneyDentist.com! Need 'em today? They will see you today!
DONUT 8: A very loosy-goosey report connects Sebastian Telfair with the Mavs. Why am I not excited?
Telfair, 26, is a free-agent point guard who tells CBS that he has "a list of teams in my mind. Those teams being one of the teams to make a run for a championship or the teams that are fighting every year for a championship. Seeing Dallas win a championship, congratulations to them, but I'm jealous. I'm extremely jealous. Dallas is definitely on my list. They've got the gold right now. It's not a bad thing in this league to want to go where the gold is. If you can compete and help the team win a championship, that's one of the main focuses in the NBA.''
Yeah, but ...
*In seven NBA seasons, Telfair has never exhibited the ability to help a team win.
*The Mavs would only consider him for a roster spot if JJ Barea was to leave -- and even then would almost certainly be able to acquire a more reliable bus driver as a backup PG.
*There is no indication that Sebastian's admiration for the Mavs is reciprocated. That should probably be included in this story, no? Hell, Donnie and Cuban can't even fist-bump Dirk, but the story allows the ready to believe that maybe, just maybe, Dallas has some sort of plan that includes Telfair?
DONUT 9: Are a Facebook sort of human? Any Friend of the Mavs on Facebook is a DB.com Friend of Fish.
DONUT 10: Did we create a way for you to dress like a champion! YES. WE. DID.
DONUT 11: Word keeps leaking from the NBA players side that they believe the owners "are a house divided'' and that in-fighting will be the owners' downfall.
Fellas, are you trying to fool me with that garbage? Or are you trying to fool yourselves?
DONUT 12: Having said that: A well-informed NBA friend of mine disagrees with my take that the "in-fighting'' among NBA owners is overblown. He says, "I do believe there is a fracture between the Sarvers and Gilberts and the rest of the ownership. No way Buss, Reinsdorf, Dolan and Arison want this.''
Maybe we're playing a semantic game here, though. Certainly different owners have varying degrees of views. But most of them, including, I believe, Mark Cuban, is hard-line enough. (My friend characterizes Cuban as someone who "would not stand in the way of whatever is agreed upon because he has shown a willingness to play whatever game needs to be played.'')
I do not believe that two "new'' owners represent a "fracture.'' I think they represent natural debate from a side that can give in their direction, or nudge in the Buss/Dolan direction ... and either way they nudge, they still win.