'Sons Of Anarchy' Weekend Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: Learning lessons ...
Even veteran teams never stop learning lessons.
In what I am deeming as divine action rather than a simple coincidence, the pilot episode of FX's ‘Sons of Anarchy' appeared on my DVR the night before the Dallas Mavericks would see their season come to a crashing end by losing Game Four against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Allow me to explain.
DONUT 2: "It ain't easy being king." ...
In the first scene of that pilot episode, the show's main characters Jax Teller and Clay Morrow are discussing how to "clean up" an accident that took place in the town their Motorcycle Club essentially runs. During that chat, the following interaction takes place:
Teller: "It ain't easy being king."
Morrow: "You remember that."
During the 2012 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks found out exactly how difficult it is to be "king." After going through everything they had throughout their careers, long-in-the-tooth NBA veterans Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion had supposedly finally seen it all by winning their first championship last season. Apparently, there was still one more lesson the Basketball Gods had in store for them.
"It ain't easy being king."
DONUT 3: The Odom Oddity ...
That wasn't quite how the organization pictured it. Though it shouldn't be used as a complete scapegoat for the season, the biggest cloud of negativity hanging over this disastrous year was caused by everything Lamar Odom did, or didn't do, during his time in Dallas. Though no Mavericks still on the roster from 2011 had any experience in defending a championship, Odom did. He had done it twice.
He had gone through both a successful and unsuccessful championship defense and was supposed to be a go-to source for the Mavericks as they tried to stay on track through the lockout-tinged adventure. That, and his unique skillset, would have made him a great asset.
Instead, the Odom experiment went about as poorly as it could. Among the many things that took a negative turn this season, the failure of the Lamar Odom experiment was an absolute catastrophe.
Even Dirk is willing to put a voice to that thought. ... and the consideration of what might have been.
"If the Lamar thing would have worked out and if he would have played like the year before when he was the best Sixth Man, I think we would have had a shot," Dirk said. "It would have given us another playmaker, another guy that's long, that can defend and rebound.
"But for whatever reason the stuff he was going through off the court was just too much. He couldn't help us the way he wanted, the way we wanted, and we had to move on without him.''
It speaks volumes that Odom's ex-teammates didn't bother to vote him a $20,000 playoff share. It also speaks volumes that Odom's locker stall is bare; while he's still technically a part of the roster, his name tag is stripped from the wooden panel above his dressing are, some strands of tape all that is left of The Odom Era.
DONUT 4: Three of our faves: Game Havens, The Wildflower Festival and NBA2K12! ...
Remember to plan for next weekend's 20th Annual Wildflower Festival in Richardson. A huge number of big-name artists (Augustana, The Commodores, Dashboard Confessional, Neal McCoy and Nelly to name a few) will be there .. as will our very own Game Havens with their 2nd Annual GAME ZONE. Oh…and don't forget the festival food!
This year, Game Havens will be hosting the NBA 2K12 Championship and FIFA 12 Championship, not to mention a second year of Call of Duty Zombies tournaments! Check out the events page on Facebook for all their tournaments or stop by for some FREE-PLAY gaming and Kinect stations. And you definitely have to visit the "Design Your Game Room" area with some live demos of the incredible (but affordable) game rooms they build.
In the meanwhile, "LIKE" Game Havens and follow @GameHavensTeam on Twitter and keep up with the busy weekend ahead and the gaming world in general!
DONUT 5: DB.com Boards ...
Make your way to DB.com Boards, where Mavs fans love to barroom-brawl it! Get your free membership and hang out!
DONUT 6: The Margarita Capital of Texas! ...
When you're in the neighborhood -- and what a fun neighborhood it is! -- come see the gang at Esparza's in Grapevine! The Margarita Capital of Texas and proud partners of DB.com now celebrating its 27th anniversary!
DONUT 7: The CBA and Cuban ...
Blame whomever you like, though. The CBA. Cuban. Odom. Whomever. And play along with the concession that this team was never going to be good enough, too, if you wish. But the season didn't exactly go how the Dallas Mavericks had hoped. A massive roster shakeup is one thing, but Mavs fans slowly found it unacceptable to deal with during a championship defense year. It's easy to overreact now, but hold out judgment on the decision to jettison players from the championship team. Time and what the Mavericks front office does with the additional salary cap room will ultimately tell us if it was the right or wrong call. Still, winning is expected in Dallas now. Things turned sour for the fans as it became more and more clear that 2012 wouldn't end in a winning way.
That was the case for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle as well.
"As great as the championship run was, there always comes a time when you have to look forward," Carlisle said. "That's where things are at now."
DONUT 8: Catch the Mavs and the DB.com Staff on Twitter! ...
DONUT 9: Expectations are built ...
Expectations are built when championships are won. Though it can be debated whether or not Carlisle, Nowitzki, and the rest were given a fair shake to mount their defense, a team must face the music upon failing to meet those newfound expectations. Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder made sure to promptly haul through Maverick expectations like I used to speed through the middle-school parking lot next to my high school (before the speed bumps were installed). As is the case when the Nowitzki-era Mavericks fall short in the postseason, there is now a ton of second-guessing and additional questions that need answering.
Will Deron Williams sign with the Mavericks, as our minds and hearts say was "promised'' by the Mavs when dismissing much of the 2011 roster? What is going to happen with Terry and Jason Kidd ? Will the amnesty clause be utilized? If it is, will it be used on Marion, Brendan Haywood, or another? Will Rick Carlisle be back? What is ‘Plan B' and ‘Plan C' if Williams opts for another NBA route?
DONUT 10: Best in the Business ...
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DONUT 11: Who needs tickets? ...
My guy Ryan at MavCowTickets knows the ins and outs of the Mavs, the arenas, the opponents ... the works! For the most personal service in the business -- with no stupid add-on costs -- check him out and tell him DB.com sent you!
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
There aren't answers to any of those questions right now, but there soon will be as the playoffs end and the offseason progresses. One thing the Mavs won't have to worry about, however, is repeating. That burden will fall on someone else, perhaps even on the same Thunder who kicked the Mavs so easily to the curb. Then it will be their turn to learn the lesson the Mavericks now know.
It's not so easy living large on top.