Monday Mavs Donuts: Can A Rookie Be A Star?
DONUT 1: Terry's tats ...
Jason Terry gets comfy in the tattoo guy's chair ...
But gets a tattoo that, at least until it all heals, looks rather nasty.
I take that back. Even when the ink is dry and the skin is healed, that leprachaun still will look nasty.
DONUT 2: Kobe Talk ...
A reporter in London asked Kobe Bryant if he is the second-best Team USA player in the low post. The suggestion was that TY was the best.
"No, no, no," Bryant said. "Not other than Tyson Chandler. I'm the best post player on this team, period. Tyson Chandler is not in that conversation."
Forever and ever, Kobe Bryant will be able to talk the talk.
DONUT 3: Thanks to our pals at Studio Movie Grill! ...
Studio Movie Grill -- Eat, Drink, Movies! -- is teaming up with DallasBasketball.com for some fun Mavs-lovin' projects. We're proud of our partnership ... check 'em out!
DONUT 4: How long does it take a rookie to become a star? ...
O.J. Mayo came close. Darren Collison? Not quite a "star.'' Kaman? Nah, not quite. Dirk Nowitzki? He'd laugh at you if you suggested that. Elton Brand? In his rookie season, Brand averaged 20.1 points and 10 rebounds per game. So yeah, there's one.
How long will it take Cowboys rookie Mo Claiborne to be a star?
"They sacrificed a lot to come down to get me, but I feel like I'm worth it," said Claiborne on Draft Day, reflecting on the trade up to select the LSU cornerback. "I know my talents. I know what I'm able to do. They want me to come in and play right away and be a lock-down guy … I feel like I can come in right away and do that." Claiborne will play and start right away. ... At least once his knee tweak clears up (I'm in Oakland for tonight's Cowboys-at-Raiders preseason opener, and Mo is sitting this one out).
There will be times when he demonstrates that he is indeed a "lock-down guy,'' a "shutdown corner.'' ... Maybe not unlike the times when Roddy B had us excitedly wearing those wonderful FREE RODDY B t-shirts.
But what is the historical learning curve for a cornerback to move from talent to starter to reputed success to true star?
DONUT 5: Thanks, Esparza's! ...
The gang at Esparza's in Grapevine loves that it's Cowboys season and the Cowboys love Esparza's, too! Let me put it this way: You never know who you'll see out on Esparza's famous front porch! Thanks for your sponsorship, Esparza's!
DONUT 6: A rookie cornerback history lesson ...
Let's use standard NFL honors as the measuring stick: A first Pro Bowl appearance … and then, for the rare player who is an all-time great, the NFL's official All-Decade Teams.
A dozen cornerbacks have earned All-Decade honors for the decades of the '80's, ‘90's and 2000''s. As recognizable as these names are … and as brilliant as their talent was … you might be surprised to learn how long it took them to achieve Pro Bowl-level "stardom":
All-NFL Team of The 80's CBs
MIKE HAYNES - A first round pick in 1976, the Raiders corner intercepted eight passes to earn All-Rookie honors. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls including a berth as a rookie. So it took him his one NFL season to get recognition.
MEL BLOUNT - He was an All-Pro selection four times. But his first Pro Bowl didn't come until ‘75 .. and he was drafted in '70. Blount sat the bench for almost three years before emerging as a Steelers standout … so it took him six seasons to make the Pro Bowl.
FRANK MINNIFIELD – He was on the All-Rookie team and later won first-team All-Pro honors from 1987-89. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection for the Browns, but his first Pro Bowl didn't come until ‘86 … meaning he had to wait three years.
LESTER HAYES – He entered the league in 1977 and was a first- or second-team All-Pro choice five times. But the Pro Bowl? He didn't make it until 1980 … a four-year wait.
All-NFL Team of The 90's CBs
DEION SANDERS – He entered the league in '89 and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1994 and is considered the best "cover corner'' of all-time. But the Falcons draftee (and then NFL champ with the 49ers and Cowboys) didn't make his first Pro Bowl until '91 – a three-year wait.
ROD WOODSON – Another all-timer, named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. Woodson earned 11 career Pro Bowl nods after coming into the league in '87 … and then waiting until ‘89 for his first Pro Bowl. A three-year wait.
DARRELL GREEN – The Redskins great entered the NFL in '83 and made the Pro Bowl in ‘84 after year two.
AENEAS WILLIAMS -- The Cardinals standout – according to Troy Aikman second only to Deion as the best CB he ever opposed – came into the league in '91 and earned first-team All-Pro honors four times. But not until ‘94 was he a Pro Bowler – a wait of four years.
All-NFL Team of The 90's CBs
CHAMP BAILEY – He was drafted by the Redskins in 1999 and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2000. A two-year wait.
CHARLES WOODSON – He was drafted by the Raiders in 1998, was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for Green Bay a decade later, but was recognized immediately as a stud, making the Pro Bowl after his first season.
RONDE BARBER – A five-time Pro Bowler for the Bucs, he was drafted in '97 and finally made the Pro Bowl in 2001 – a five-year wait.
TY LAW – Drafted in 1996, he qualified for the Pro Bowl in '98. A three-year wait.
Add it up. Those 12 guys – the greatest cornerbacks of three eras – needed on average three full seasons before becoming Pro Bowlers. Haynes and Woodson made it after one year, so it's possible to earn recognition right away. But six years for Blount? Four years for Hayes? Three years for Deion?
DONUT 7: So let's learn a lesson ...
Jared Cunningham is being discussed by national media as a two-way talent. We've seen Jae Crowder play and we've tiptoed toward suggesting he's ready to be a rotation player. And who isn't assuming that if Bernard James can fight wars, he'll fight Spurs?
But the above evidence tells us that we might want to use to patience here. Mo Claiborne will become a starter immediately. He may become a "shutdown corner'' soon after. But one of the goals for him is true stardom, and history says the Cowboys are in for a wait.
Just like, with Elton Brand as the notable exception, the Mavs are in for a wait, too.
DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter ...
DONUT 9: An OJ Simpson sex tape?! ...
TMZ reports that OJ Simpson's girlfriend is selling a sex tape. But then in the "fine print'' of the "breaking news,'' TMZ reveals that the sex tape is of her, and does not include OJ Simpson.
Arg. We're so disappointed.
DONUT 10: Kaman's a Texan ...
Chris Kaman has updated his Twitter identity so it reads: "Center for the Dallas Mavericks..... The Stars At Night, Are Big & Bright. ... www.NRA.com.''
Welcome to Texas, son.
DONUT 11: Want more Mavs? ...
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DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Junk for Dwight Howard? I'd rather have a disgruntled, back-stabbing, flip-floppin' Dwight Howard. ... until February, at which time I bet I could've done better than junk.