Mavs Kaman: 'Texas Should Be Its Own Country'
Through two games, Chris Kaman fits with the Dallas Mavericks on the court.
As he's recovering from a calf injury that kept him from playing in the first three games, he's come off the Dallas bench as a center in the last two -- blowouts both, over the Bobcats and the Blazers. Kaman has become a centerpiece for the 3-1 Mavs, with He has 32 points in 44 minutes in the last two games, shooting 16-of-19 from the floor.
He's demonstrated 7-foot grace with post-up moves in scoring 16 in each of the games. Coach Rick Carlisle says it's not a matter of having called plays for Kaman, but rather, his understanding of Flow that's allowed him so many interior opportunities.
"I had some easy put-ins,'' Kaman says of the Monday night win over Portland. "DoJo did a good job throwing me the ball in places that made it easy for me.''
See? He fits. Receiving easy-basket chances. Calling the kid "DoJo.'' Kaman fits.
On the floor, at least.
"I'm different,'' Kaman tells me in a one-on-one visit. "I'm a different kind of guy. You can tell that, right? My teammates don't always 'get' me and they sure don't always get the hunting. I've tried to take them out with me. I usually don't have any takers.''
Teammate Dirk Nowitzki is generally game for anything, and he's mock-pledged to join his buddy -- with whom he became close when they teammed up on the German National Team -- for a round of hunting. But to my knowledge, it hasn't happened yet. Maybe because of Dirk's knee. Maybe because ... well, like I say, it was a "mock-pledge.''
So Kaman sort of goes it alone in the way he thinks and acts.
"I'm a Republican,'' he says. "And I might be disowned for this, especially in the great state of Texas, which I love. But I didn't like some of the decisions George Bush Jr. made. I like George Sr. Just didn't like Jr. So if we secede, let's just not put George Jr. in charge, OK?''
Secede?! Is Texas seceding?!
"Well, we have the right, right?'' Kaman says. "I don't know all the gun laws in Texas. But the ones I know, I like. It's good for a hunter. They should be their own country!''
If it's good for a hunter, it's good for Kaman, who dresses up in seven feet of camouflage and listens to country and Christian music on his excursions away from the city to pursue his other passion. The NBA season and his hunting season coincide, so he doesn't get many excursions in-season. But when it's time, white-tail deer is a favorite. And while he's a gun guy, he also loves to hunt using a bow.
"All of it's not for everybody, but it's something I've been doing with my family all my life,'' Chris says. "I can relax, sit out there and have my time to reflect and enjoy myself. My dad used to take us around Indiana and Michigan when we grew up there when were kids and my brother has been a hunter for the last 15 years.
"I starting shooting when I was little, shooting at cans with my dad and grandpa. And then I started collecting guns and knives. It's just my thing, and my family's thing.''
It's also a Texas thing, and Kaman wants to be a part of that. It's why one of his first purchases upon signing with the Mavs this summer was a pair of cowboy boots, which he posed with in a photo featuring a Texas flag.
"I love Texas and I love basketball,'' Kaman tells me. "But believe me, because basketball season is hunting season, I'd take 20 games off if I could to go hunting. I wish I could afford to take off and go hunting. If I could, I would.''
An alternative idea: How about just using your off-days to blow up vehicles?
That's apparently legal in Texas. No need to secede.
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