Friday All-Access Practice: Dirk's Own Words

Dirk says it'll be 'one of the best days of my life.' The Heat say they won't be able to bear to watch. The Mavs talk banner-raising and more at Friday's practice, and we've got Video Visits with Nowitzki, Rick, Jet and Odom, who is 'tired of beatin' up my own guys' and is learning about the Mavs-Heat rivalry ... Plus Vince lovin' that right-corner 3 and an All-Access feast for your eyes!



RAISING THE BANNER

It's become known that while the Miami Heat are required to be in the building on Christmas Day for the 1:30 tip of the Mavs-Heat season opener, they have no plans to be on the court to actually witness the Mavs' banner-raising and title celebration.

Nowitzki said, "The banner raising is probably one of the best days of my life -- working for something for so long and being there with my teammates and the coaches and, obviously, the fans there, it's going to be something special. But also, we don't want to get too emotional over this thing.''

Good luck with that. And hey, maybe "too emotional'' will be a powerful thing on Sunday. The UberMan suggested that if he'd lost the title, being an emotional witness to another team's celebration might be fuel for his fire.

"They're going to be the heavy favorites having played a whole season together already and even more hungry than last year losing in the Finals, so I think they're going to be the team to beat this year,'' Nowitzki said. "I don't know what I would do; maybe I would watch it as motivation, but either way that is not really about the Miami Heat. It is about us and our fans and what we did last year. But then we have to forget about that and play a good game.''

Dirk meets the media:



LAMAR IS LEARNING ... AND TEACHING

L.O. has preached the same theme for two straight days ... that one title isn't enough.

"It seems like you've got to get two to be established,'' said the multi-ringed ex-Laker.



"I'm tired of beating up on my own guys,'' Odom said. "It's time to go out there against somebody else and see what we've got."

A SLOW START?

Dirk seems prepared for such a thing.

"It might take a while until we hit our peak," Nowitzki said. "You want to be sharp at the beginning. (But) at least if you're not that sharp, still find ways to stay around in games and win them when it comes down to it. That's what good teams do and hopefully we'll find a way."

As Fish has written a few times, the Mavs talk privately about simply making certain they "get into the tournament.'' KIDDIRK and company seem certain to be a contender, almost regardless of what happens this week while the new pieces get used to one another.

On that subject and more, Rick offers his State of the Union Address ...



CAN SEAN WILLIAMS SHOOT?

It's certainly not what he's going to be asked to do. But the Mavs are obliged to develop his game beyond just its shot-blocking aspects, so the newcomer gets to go Around the World (just like in real life, as he's skipped from Israel to Frisco to Dallas in the last few days.)

Carlisle and Brad Davis have a look-see ... and so do you:



Rick has already developed an affinity for the kid. He gave him a big hug after the workout.

QUOTABLE

Carlisle knows the Mavs must ready to have a nightly bull's eye on their backs.

"We're talking about that,'' Carlisle said. "We have an understand of the way teams are going to come after us this year. Every single team is going to be lining us up as their opportunity to be champions for that night.''

And more Dirk: "Shaq made the famous saying, ‘One is like winning nothing' so you'd love to get two."

VINCE FROM THE RIGHT CORNER


Not bad. Of course, we'd also like to have some Sunday night video to examine that shows Vince driving to the hole.

MAVSELLANEOUS We love when the fellas talk BBIQ: "We have pretty smart players, I'd like to think, with a lot of basketball IQ,'' Dirk said, "veteran players that have been around.'' ... What music will be played during the banner-raising? Can we vote for "Gold on the Ceiling" by the Black Keys? ... Trix did a lot of shooting from the perimeter and we're not certain we approve ... Lamar and Darrell Armstrong are already fast friends. But isn't that true of D.A. and everybody? ... Carlisle on Vince: "He's one of the smartest players I've been around in the short period of time I've been with him.'' ... Dirk on the "Khole & Lamar Show'': "Never watched one episode. Never. And it'll probably stay that way." ... The UberMan ended the day by running a series of wind sprints joined by The Custodian ... And then the last man on the floor, Roddy B, just the way we like it. ... We don't guess L.O. is sick of the E!-related questions he keeps getting. But we are. At the same time, props to him for the way he handles the foolishness. Today's smart answer regarding the Kardashian fortune: "Money doesn't separate people,'' Odom said. "At the end of the day you want what I want -- happiness, family stuff. "Race, color, creed, where you're from. We all want the same things in life.''

THE FINAL WORD

Jet sounded like he's trying to convince himself of something that seems beyond his reach.



"For me, it's not emotional," Terry said of the banner-raising. "It's emotional for our fans and for the city, yes, because they haven't seen us since obviously the parade. But, for us we're ready to get the season started. I'm ready to play some basketball and get after it. The banner, that's fun, but again, its all about coming out here and putting together a good performance in Game 1."

"Readiness'' out of Jet? We buy that. A lack of emotion? Doubtful.


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