Friday Donuts - Mavs Torn Or Together?

Today is the day. The opening of Champ Camp. Some may now label me a 'journalist'; I was a Mavs fan first. Some may claim a conflict of interest in this, but to deny it is nothing more than a lie meant to sell a position. And as a fan, I'm internally torn - divided between a heart that only wants to bask in championship glory and a greed for more … now.



DONUT 1: Unless they truly don't care for sports (and never did), never watched a game they weren't covering in the sport they do cover to find themselves pulling for one side above another, and truly are apathetic towards organized athletics in general (at which point, you have to question their career choice), never believe a writer who claims to not be a fan.

It doesn't have to be the group they are covering, but they were once and are still a fan of some team.

That will be the vibe on the sidelines today at the AAC when the defending champs take the court to open training camp. The reporters will be excited to experience it all.

Of course, all the vibes won't be positive.

DONUT 2: Regardless of the motivations, writers are fans and carry rooting interests. Maybe their fandom is planted firmly in their personal income, or would they rather not see their work remain nationally relevant longer and increasingly pertinent as the team they cover advances through the postseason?

Perhaps it's in relation to their hometown, to the allegiances created in their youth. Perhaps it's something else entirely, but journalists are human beings. They root for outcomes, and they carry bias with them.

That's not to say objectivity is lost. Most people are capable of disconnecting emotion or the weight of preconception to view circumstances subjectively, practically and truthfully. A sports journalist shouldn't be admonished for his fandom, nor should one necessarily be praised because of it. Its presence should simply be accepted as reality. If viewed correctly, it can also help place context around some opinions.

Anyway, all of that to say, as a fan, I'm internally torn … divided between a heart that only wants to bask in championship glory and a greed for more … now.

To deny the warmth still swimming within my sports soul, to turn away from the glow of a championship that has yet to see one game pass in its defense, to bury that smile seems premature. More than that, it feels ungrateful.

We are learning about what Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson are thinking in regard to what Fish is calling "Competing in a SuperTeams Era.''

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The insight from colleagues David Lord and others in MAVS RUMOR CENTRAL is so valuable (if a bit depressing.) We'll keep runnin' that every minute as your one-stop shop for Mavs rumors during this hectic time. By the way, for pennies a day, with a buy-one-month-get-the-second-free offer, and with the 7-Day FREE trial, there's no reason to do anything but dig in to Mavs Premium. ...

The sunny promise of Dirk captured so beautifully here is somewhat reassuring. ...

But no matter what, we do have our moments.

There are fans that would give anything for those moments. Those few minutes before the confetti begins cascade down, before hats, shirts and trophies are passed around, before champagne burst in waves of joy, relief, and berthing memories too large to comprehend as they are unfolding.



DONUT 3: No sports pain will ever erode the sight of Dirk cutting to the basket and draining a left-handed layup over LeBron James and Chris Bosh to put the Mavs up 11 with under 30 seconds to play.

DONUT 4: A lifetime of losing seasons won't erase Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler raising their hands to the crown of their heads, Dirk's first crossed at the wrist, then woven hand-in-hand, then simply pressed against his temples; as both were swallowed by a moment that always seemed so far away, no matter how close it strode.

DONUT 5: Nor will it scratch away Brendan Haywood dancing on the sideline during that Dirk layup with Mark Cuban and DeShawn Stevenson in dual headlocks, his grip threatening to stretch their necks a little too far with each ecstatic little jump.

DONUT 6: And finally, Jason Terry darting up court and finding Marion wide open, but peeling back from an easy dunk to run the clock out instead … and always, Dirk heading back into the safety of momentary solitude to yield privately to the emotions devouring him whole.
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DONUT 7: These moments will not die. They were earned, and they can't be stolen back. Half, more than half, of me wants to close my eyes to once again peer into that amazing wealth, to refuse to allow it to intertwine with yesterday. As sweet as the memories are, that greedy, selfish part of me wants to keep it alive in the presence of now, to keep it in this place where there is no need for moving on. No need to fret with the trials of tomorrow, of what time will undeniably force upon us.

It's a world where celebration is eternal.

DONUT 8: Yet, there are already dark clouds on the horizon. As blasphemous as it feels to glance up, to chart their movement and to allow the fear encased in their encroaching approach to breathe, there it is.

It's not without reason to question whether those clouds are a storm gathering, or merely the hand drawing forth another day. Whether it brings joy or sadness may not be the point, as it is guaranteed to bring change.

Time can't help but trip forward.

This is where the rip is born.

DONUT 9: Tyson Chandler has played his final game as a Dallas Maverick. There's no denying the hurt that will arise at the first sight of Caron Butler in a Clippers uniform. And, for all of the highs and lows, all of the arguments for and against his worth, there will be a quiet sadness to watching JJ Barea likely bring his fearlessness to another team.

They are clouds floating in the distance forcing my mind to take the first, undeniably hesitant, step forward … and away.

DONUT 10: But nine guys will be in the gym today and DB.com will be there, too, with media access at about 4 p.m. ... and The 75-Member Staff crowding the baseline in the AAC basement. It'll be 10 when Rudy gets here this weekend, and Fish is already downtown this morning checking in to report that the Mavs are against just "bringing in random bodies'' to fill out the Champ Camp roster. Fish also says that D-League guys can't just come down for a visit, that they must have NBA contracts, so unless they are true prospects, there won't be a flood of Texas Legends zipping south on 75 today, either.
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DONUT 11: It's worth a reminder, too ... we're back in business. DB.com Boards. The Mavs DB.com Store! The Mavs and Fish and the rest of our gang on Twitter. Sponsors. Games a'-comin'. Remember, just two weeks ago, we didn't think we'd get any of that, as Shawn Marion was lockout-minded and declaring his Mavs "the longest (single-season) champion.''

DONUT 12: There is a part of me that proceeds here with trepidation. But there is a part of me that can't wait. For, what comes next carries with it the hope, the wonder, of the unknown.

My memories won't die, even if they fade slightly … but that doesn't mean I long for no more.









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