Monday Mavs Donuts: Basketball Non-News
DONUT 1: Bobbing forward ... What's been agreed upon? The NY Times has some great details. Problem: At this point, I'll believe it all when I see Dirk Nowitzki sweating in the AAC basement wearing a long-sleeved shirt and sweatpants.
DONUT 2: Haven't we all been fooled enough? Haven't we all read the tea leaves in a logical way only to discover that logic is not the currency being exchanged to power the negotiations? Check out the piece written by DB.com's Chuck Perry and Kevin Brolan, going issue-by-Mavs-issue with the excitement of the fans they are ...
And while the piece has value -- eventually -- it right now feels like they are costumed children staring into a bag full of Halloween apples complete with inserted razor blades.
DONUT 3: Bobbing back to basketball ... In that radio interview he did with ESPN Radio in LA, Tyson Chandler was asked for his thoughts on who is the NBA's best player.
"I would go with Dirk,'' TY said. "It's funny, I tweeted about it and I've been catching the same flack about it. But I feel it's proven by what he did last year, what he did to the Lakers, what he did to Oklahoma City, what he did in the Finals, throughout the whole playoffs Dirk just became a man possessed. He went to a whole other level offensively. People talk about what he did defensively, but he actually stepped it up better during the playoffs last year and became a better team defender. And my whole thing is if you outscore the guy defending you by 10 to 15 points, then you're playing pretty good D."
DONUT 4: Some takes on TY's takes:
*TY "caught flack about it''? Why? From whom? Other players? Family and friends? People who don't get cable TV?
*Is Dirk Nowitzki the best player in the NBA starting tomorrow? I don't know. LeBron James can have that job. Or Dwight Howard. Or Dwyane Wade. Or KD or Kobe or CP3 or whomever. We'll see.
But it's sort of like the argument (still raging in Miami and in Trollinger's mind, apparently) of whether the Dallas Mavericks are truly the best team in the NBA. Answer: de nada. Of course they are. How else do you prove it but to do it?
And didn't Dirk prove the same?
*Finally, there is this: While Caron Butler's comments regarding his free agency sounded like the seed-planting of negotiations, you know what TY sounds like when he talks ... about Dirk and other matters?
Tyson Chandler sounds like a leader of the Dallas Mavericks.
DONUT 5: ESPN is informing us that the NBA's high-payroll-leads-to-wins concept is a "myth" that has been "debunked''! And certainly, when you break it down, it is clear that drafting the right guy makes more fiscal sense than even buying the right guy -- if only because it's cheaper to draft him.
Yeah yeah. Fine. But just in case, Mark Cuban, as you are reading this, please understand: Consume all the ESPN data you want ... and then know that just in case, we want the Mavs to keep spending to win, OK?
DONUT 6: The sooner we get basketball, the sooner we get the Mavs Quoteboard, presented to you by McKinneyDentist.com ... Thanks to sponsors like McKinneyDentist.com and to AV Spots, in charge of the technology in that man cave of yours. Thanks, guys! We couldn't do what we do without you!
DONUT 7: Congrats to colleague Gina Miller. Mother and baby (and father!) are healthy. Welcome to the world, Jordan Neale, 6 pounds, 10 ounces ... and I hope you are prepared to hear that laugh of your mother's.
DONUT 8: And more baby news: Mr. and Mrs. Tony Romo are about to have a baby ... Candice Crawford is preggers ... and I assume the gossip rags will have a field day with this because at the very same time, Tony's ex, Jessica Simpson, is also pregnant.
It's all some karmic coincidence, I am sure. And yes, I'm talking Cowboys babies to avoid putting you through the pain of enduring Cowboys-Eagles discussion.
DONUT 9: bobbing back away ... Billy Hunter to Bill Simmons:
"You talk about intellectual capital. … I can use that argument with you and say when it comes to parity and competition, the players — I think they know more about what it takes to put together a winning team than most of the people that run these franchises. Because when we sit in rooms in the negotiations, the players will point out time after time how they couldn't understand why a given team gave a particular player the contract they gave him. They are saying there's no way in the world — that all the guys around the league are laughing because we know these guys don't deserve these contracts. They have got to recycle some of these general managers. They need to go out and find people who really know how to conduct evaluations that are necessary in order to award contracts to the right guys."
DONUT 10: My reactions:
*Billy, your players sit in the room and "laugh'' at their brothers' contracts. Nice act of solidarity there.
*Billy Hunter has the nerve to tell teams who they should hire as GMs? Doesn't Billy Hunter have his hands more than full trying to figure out how to simply do his own job?
*"The players know more about what it takes to put together a winning team than most of the people that run these franchises.''
This is one of the most commonly-held misunderstandings in all of sports. Truth is, the very best athletes may or may not have the skills to assemble teams and run organizations. But their raw ability as athletes certainly don't qualify as credentials.
In baseball, the story goes, Ted Williams was a crummy manager because he simply couldn't understand why everybody else couldn't hit the way he could hit. This is one of the reasons the very best sports bosses ARE NOT Michael Jordans ... but are Popoviches and Nelsons and Carlisles and Rileys.
I find it frightening that as Billy Hunter sits alongside, say, LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, he believes he's sitting alongside guys who are as capable as the Popoviches and Nelsons and Carlisles and Rileys.
Maybe it's that sort of delusional thinking that has contributed to basketball being in its present mess.
DONUT 11: More Hunter foolishness, in response to Simmons noting how many NBA players are overpaid:
The problem with that, Bill, is that you're talking about maybe six or seven guys in the league — maybe 10 guys at the most who fall into that category."
Wait a sec, Billy. A moment ago you said the players "laugh'' at how many of their union mates get overpaid ridiculous contracts. Now you are saying they only "laugh'' at six or seven of the fellas' deals?
If you really think there are only "six or seven'' overpaid NBA players, Billy, you oughta inform the owners to go ahead and put in any sort of amnesty clause they like. Because if there aren't really any overpaid guys, then none of the union members you represent will suffer when amnesty comes. Right?
DONUT 12: And we bob back again ... The issues here seem solvable. Not solvable while also juggling Rubik's Cubes ...
But as we bob back and forth, solvable nevertheless.