Monday Morning Mavs Donuts

Monday Morning Mavs Donuts: Dirk's first pitch, LeBron's ranking, cheating for gourmet popcorn, and some insight into who is really running these lockout negotiations ...

DONUT 1: LeBron is No. 1 on ESPN's Top 400 ranking of NBA players, and I'm sorry but if this is supposed to trigger barroom debate, but I am not motivated to play.

All I know is that the last time I saw LeBron James -- and I saw him up close, with my own eyes, in person at practice and in championship games ... he was, objectively, no better than the third best player on the Mavs-vs.-Heat floor.

And subjectively, in terms of overall effectiveness, he not only ranked behind Dirk and Wade, but also behind Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion.


So ..

DONUT 2: Can you be the No. 1 player in the NBA over the course of a six-month period but be only the No. 3 or 4 or 8 player over the course of a two-week period? Apparently so.

How can LeBron be the No. 1 player in the NBA when, last time we saw him, he was no better than the No. 3 guy on the floor?

DONUT 3: It took Major League Baseball a while to get its stuff together ... but Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks did his Randy Johnson thing on Saturday for Game 3 of the World Series and got the gig - and The UberMan had HIS stuff together!

After some fake-deep talk of "two-seam fastballs,'' Dirk also spoke about the sport he actually knows something about.

"We were all hoping that with the mediator something was going to happen," Dirk said. "Just talks broke off, so it's very unfortunate. We'll see. Hopefully we can get something going here any time soon, but it doesn't look good."

Nowitzki again addressed the notion of playing overseas.

"If there is no settlement, I'll go back home any time soon and probably start training with (Holger) again and really get back in the routine," he said. "And then you've got to keep your options open, maybe see what's going on overseas. ... If the lockout still stays strong then I've definitely got to look into something there in January, February."

DONUT 4: If you are a high school coach in Lewisville and you are going to cheat, you ought to do it for something more than just gourmet popcorn.

DONUT 5: Just to show that I'm an equal-opportunity insulter today ...

The Sixers have been sold. Now, the "cool'' part of this story is that the husband-and-wife performing duo of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are in the ownership group. But the most notable part is something else:

Lead owner Joshua Harris is a leveraged buyout specialist who ranks 655th on Forbes magazine's list of the world's billionaires. (He's worth $1.5 billion) in March 2010. The Harvard grad is worth $1.5 billion.

The deal is reportedly for $300 million (and doesn't even include arena ownership).

So ... tell me again that owning an NBA is bad business, is a losing proposition, is a stupid thing to do.

The smartest, richest people on the planet continue to want NBA franchises. What does that tell you?

DONUT 6: The side that is running the negotiations is the side that is winning the negotiations. Right? So let's go to the New York Post's account of the recent meeting and the supposed "take-it-or-leave-it'' position of the owners.

According to a source, Holt/Silver made the take-it-or-leave it threat to the players' negotiating committee. Sources said Hornets point guard Chris Paul shot back, "You're saying take it or leave it?" "Take it or leave it," Holt was said to have responded.

That tells you who is in charge here. The players don't have to like it. The public doesn't have to like it, either. But in any relationship -- even in a marriage -- somebody has to be "the decider'' on certain issues. Somebody has to be the "CEO of the family.''

This was Holt dictating to Paul, not the other way around. In terms of dynamics, this puts Holt in charge, not Paul.

DONUT 7: Thanks to for their support of and the Mavs ... and their personal attention when it comes to the care of my family. Folks, check 'em out. They are the finest dentists in Collin County ... and quite possibly the world.

DONUT 8: As a coincidental counteraction to Bill Simmons' assertion that the negotiating NBA players possess "limited intellectual capital,'' player-turned-exec Rex Chapman says the meanie owners are exacting payback for teenage "dodgeball beatings.''

Is that what this all is? "Revenge of the Nerds''? Give me a little time here and then let's dig into the jock backgrounds of some of the owners, the supposed Negotiating Nebbishes.

I'm about halfway through with this project and so far, let me tell you: If you think the owners are all guys who spent their high-school days getting wedgies from the jocks, you will be surprised.

DONUT 9: A fun time was had by all in Arlington on Sunday ... unless you are a St. Louis person.

In the evening at the Ballpark, Derek Holland helped the Rangers tie the World Series at 2-2. Earlier in the day, former OU star DeMarco Murray subbed for Felix Jones and went nuts on the Rams, the rookie making his first career start a memorable one with a 91-yard touchdown run and a total of 25 carries for 253 yards.

On Sunday night on NBC, Dan Patrick intoned, "Hello DeMarco Murray and goodbye Felix Jones!'' I don't believe DP has any particular insight into the Cowboys' plans at running back, though his his attempt to be cute might convince American otherwise. It is of course Tashard Choice who will be the odd man out; on a team that had struggled on the ground and was overly reliant on the QB, there is plenty of room for two legit ballcarriers.

DONUT 10: In case you missed it: staffers Chuck Perry and Mike Piellucci break down the realities as they answer the question, "Would the Mavs benefit from a shortened season?''

DONUT 11: To understand the peacefulness of being a Mavs fan, of being a Dirk fan ... Dear Dallas Mavericks followers, pretend for a moment you are an Orlando Magic fan and a Dwight Howard fan.

Dwight Howard is admitting to Esquire magazine that jumping to a big-market franchise could appeal to him. The All-NBA center says he's "stuck in a tough position'' and that he "can't live for everybody else.''

"I'm stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I'm at, I've done so much,'' Dwight says. "And I just don't know what else I can do. I can't live for everybody else. I don't know what decision I'm gonna make as of right now. It's been crazy. ...''


"Crazy'' indeed. I hate "crazy.'' I enjoy Mavericks Peace.

DONUT 12: Michael Jordan played golf against Bill Clinton and chided the ex-Prez for wanting to play from the white tees.

'You're going to play from the little girls' tee?,' Jordan said to Clinton.

Properly inspired, Clinton shot under 100.

Good to see Jordan applying himself to such important matters. Now please advance straight from the 19th hole to some lockout-solving ... both of you!

Speaking of which: For Premium Mavs Fans later today, David Lord offers his latest breakdown of lockout news. D-Lord has the goods ... stay tuned!

Dallas Mavericks products in The Store! YES. WE. DID.

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