Mavs Donuts: Carlisle And Oprah On Fire!

Dirk hangs with the All-Stars and at Krustyland ... Fish hangs with Mark Elfenbein ... Deron hangs at the AAC? ... Josh Hamilton hangs by the pulpit ... Rick Carlisle hangs with Oprah - and walks on fire with her?! As the Mavs ready for the most challenging nine-game stretch of the year - featuring b2b, b2b, b2b and the crazy b2b2b - it's Monday Morning Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: Another Dirk Nowitzki All-Star appearance, another UberMan trot-around, another show for other guys more intent than him on winning an MVP trophy in a meaningless game.

Dirk played 13:44 in Sunday night's exhibition game in Orlando, won by the West, 152-149. He made 3-of-8 for seven points and also had four rebounds and an assist. Kevin Durant played 37 minutes and scored 36 points and won the MVP.

"Great times in Orlando,'' Dirk tweeted over the weekend. "Went to Universal Studios ... Anybody been to Krustyland?''

DONUT 2: We're gearing up for some radio fun on Tuesday as I join "Elf & Friends'' for the day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on 105.3 The Fan. Yeah, it's an audition of sorts. Spread the word and join us, please!

DONUT 3: Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has in the past employed some of the self-confidence teachings of guru Tony Robbins. I know that because I know the old "we only packed enough underwear for a short trip'' trick that Rick employed last spring in the playoffs is among Robbins' adopted concepts.

But thanks to reader Michael Mc, we now know that Rick also hangs with Tony Robbins to learn the art of walking on fire.

And that Oprah tags along with them.

There's got to be more to this story, and yeah, the first time I bump into Carlisle this week, his Weekend Walking On Fire With Oprah is top-of-list.

DONUT 4: A question of etiquette: With DFW native Deron Williams playing for the Net at Dallas on Tuesday, should 20,000 people cheer him?

I mean, will that encourage Deron Williams to become a Mav? Will it be off-putting for anyone presently on the team -- especially as they've come to realize the meaning of the 3D Blueprint? Is everyone so professional that they cannot be influenced by your passion?

DONUT 5: I don't go to Josh Hamilton for Biblical teachings any more than I go to The Pope for RBI.
DONUT 6: Please click on the links to Mavs sponsors like MavCowTickets, Esparza's Restaurant , Classic of Carrollton, Game Havens, and Red Rock Bar & Grill, where we're planning a Mavs Get-Together soon!

Give my sponsors a click, please. They keep crankin' and they will do you right!

DONUT 7: Big night on stages on opposite coasts and yet at about the same time last night, in Orlando and in Hollywood respectively, it was established that Kevin Durant and Angelina Jolie have the exact same arms.

DONUT 8: Stay in touch with Fish and the Mavs on Boards and on Facebook and at FishSports on Twitter!
DONUT 9: In the last nine games? Dallas was 7-2. In the next nine games? As this is the most brutal stretch of this condensed season, the next nine games might be quite telling. And a similar record would be quite an accomplishment.

The Mavs will tackle those nine games in a 12-day span while visiting seven cities. Included: three consecutive b2b's with a single day off between each (that's six of the nine) ... and then the year's grueling b2b2b (that's the final three) ... and all of those are roadies.

The only break? This ain't exactly Murderer's Row, as the nine games include Nets, Hornets, Jazz, Knicks, Suns, Kings and Warriors along with two top tests, Grizzlies and Thunder.

The Mavs get things rolling with a 2:30 practice this afternoon at the AAC.

DONUT 10: Every day. Every angle. Every Mav.

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DONUT 11: OK, time to go a bit deeper in our review: What was that "family matter'' that caused Lamar Odom to jet to LA instead of playing against the Lakers last week? His dad had a stomach virus, as Dad Odom explains on camera.

Um ... oh.

I put the kibosh on sarcasm as best I could last Wednesday, when L.O.'s absence was announced. Yes, his behavior is unusual and yes, to some his commitment is worthy of question.

Why is the answer to the second issue "yes''? How is that fair?

Let's create an admittedly-speculative timetable for the odd events of last Wednesday:

Odom missed the morning shootaround. Why? Presumably because the phone call from his father in LA preceded the workout, causing Lamar to jet to the West Coast. No problem there.

Could Lamar have told his father -- with whom he has historically had a strained relationship due in part to his father's problems with addiction -- to expect Lamar to arrive after that night's game against the Lakers? Maybe, but missing a game because you think your father might be on his death bed -- or because Dad says that -- is understandable, and a decision each of us can make only when we walk in those shoes.

Are you envisioning Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford telling his son, "Ooh, this is the Big One! I'm comin', Elizabeth!''? Yeah, me too. But again ... we're all allowed to make that judgment for ourselves.
So Dad calls Lamar in the a.m. and says it's "the Big One.'' Do the Odoms enlist a doctor's help? Call an ambulance? Care-flight Dad to the emergency room? Certainly with all the resources available to the Odom-Kardashian clan, Dad isn't waiting for Lamar to come to the house to handle the diagnosis himself, right?

So ... (speculating now) ... Lamar scoots from the W Hotel to Love Field. He takes a private jet from Love Field to LA. While aboard the jet and during the three-hour flight, he's in phone contact with Dad, the doctors, the hospital ..

Over the course of that three hours, wouldn't Dad's diagnosis -- a stomach virus instead of a heart attack or whatever -- be made available to Lamar?

We don't know when the first contact from "I'm sick'' Dad was made with "I'm coming'' Lamar. Let's say it was 9 a.m., Dallas time. (7 a.m. in LA.) Three hours later it's noon Dallas time ... and Dad is cleared by doctors as having a stomach virus. And it's NOON in Dallas ... a full eight-and-a-half hours before Lakers-at-Mavs tipoff.

Why doesn't Lamar hug his stomach-virus Dad, board the private jet, and hustle back to the gym in time for the job that pays him more than $100,000 per game?

Maybe I'm stretching it with the timeline. Maybe Dad Odom's call comes at 11 a.m. Or maybe Dad never left his bedroom, insisting that Lamar be with him before they call the doctor. Or maybe the diagnosis took not three hours but six ... and by the time the mess was cleared up and Dad was cleared medically, it was impractical to U-turn the jet and return to work.

But I will say this, amid my happy thoughts that Dad is OK and my hope that Lamar demonstrates second-half commitment to the cause in Dallas:

The fact that we are left to speculate about all of this is improper. Only because TMZ cameras found Dad Odom walking down an LA street do we even know why Lamar left and whether his father is dead or alive.

There is no statement from Lamar. No press release from the family. No announcement through the Mavs from Lamar. Nothing. Just a continuing impression left of an athlete who doesn't understand that his fans (Dallas fans) are stockholders in the business of Lamar and the Mavs ... that they care about his whereabouts and well-being and that they have a right to know everything is OK.

DONUT 12: I still can't tell if Big Wood's foul against the Lakers was flagrant or not. Let's take a look:

Nope. He's clearly going for the ball.

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