Mavs' Marion Exit Day: 'I'm A 'Dallas Local'
Shawn Marion has never been one to rob himself of a good time.
So while he spent Monday at Dallas Mavericks HQ mourning the team's playoff ouster, he also talked jubilantly about his offseason plans to visit Dubai, his wish to go to Brazil for the World Cup, his invitation to all to join him in Chicago for a Blackhawks game -- "Hockey at the United Center is the best sporting event you will ever see, I promise you!'' he said -- and his desire to live in both Dallas and Chicago in order to spend time with his new baby son, Shawn David Marion. (Not to be confused with daddy, who is Shawn Dwayne Marion.)
"I'm looking at maybe two, a couple of more (years of playing in the NBA),'' he said. "I think I'm going to have to call it after that. I think it'll be time. It's not all about basketball. I have a son now. A lot of it is predicated on him."
Usually, when a player approaches free agency -- especially a player with a Hall-of-Fame resume coming off a season in which he was paid $9.3 million -- a lot of things are predicated on money, too.
"Not much,'' 'Trix answered when asked about the money it would take to bring him back to Dallas.
Now, "not much'' is in the eye of the beholder. But Shawn's "bond for life'' with Dirk matters to him. The fact he's "made sacrifices to my game to accomplish my dreams (and) wouldn't mind doing it again, if I have to'' matters to the club. Altogether, Marion made it clear that championship contention means more to what he termed his "legacy'' that one final huge payday does.
"Oh yeah, by far,'' Marion said while wearing a fitted "Stay Refreshed'' cap and a Muhammad Ali T-shirt. "It's not about money right now. I've made a lot of money in my career. I've been truly blessed.''
Marion has some awareness that a team like Miami -- with numerous financial options for next year -- might wish to make a bid for a defensive ace, even as he will be 36 next year.
"I've actually never really experienced free agency,'' Marion said. "After your 15th year in the league, it's a weird feeling, I guess. I'm not even thinking about that. When July 1 comes, I'll look at my options and see which options is best suited to me to add to my legacy."
Meanwhile, the Mavs -- despite spending the last two days vowing to work to bring back Marion -- have to look at their options, too.
Do the Mavs wish to get younger? Employ more two-way talent? Don't bids on forwards like Carmelo Anthony and Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza need to be prioritized over the retention of even a soldier as good as Shawn?
"I think if we had the same cast or crew come and lace 'em up next year, I'd feel real good about our chances,'' said GM Donnie Nelson, who simply must be feel-good fibbing. The same cast and crew must be altered to be improved.
Marion's desire to remain, however, seems very real.
"This is a great city,'' Marion said. "The fans here are amazing, even media guys are awesome. It's a great environment here. Mark and Donnie have built an amazing franchise here. It's like a family here. ... I would love to add to the ring I have. I'm going to retire here, regardless. I'm going to be a Dallas local here in the coming years. I'm going to make this my home."
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