Mavs At Cavs - 'Champs' Meet In Preseason

DALLAS - When Shawn Marion made his decision to sign with Cavs, he immediately received a text from Mavs leader Dirk Nowitzki. 'I thanked him for his last couple of years here,' Dirk says, 'and I reminded him we’re champs.' Even though Trix isn't scheduled to play tonight, a face-to-face reminder comes now in Cleveland:

The Dallas Mavericks visit the Cavs tonight in Cleveland, and big-picture that means they'll oppose LeBron, Kyrie and Love, arguably are the NBA’s best trio.

“They’re going to be murder to deal with because it’s three different positions on the floor, taking two great playmakers and one guy that can score and get the ball,” Dallas coach Carlisle says. “LeBron could average a triple-double if he played enough minutes and that was his goal — he’s that good.''

There is even a second tier of longer-term headline story as Dallas will debut its starting five of Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson, Jameer, Monta and Parsons (as discussed in detail here).


But in terms of immediate emotion, nothing can top the Mavs' reunion with Shawn Marion, who parted ways with the Mavs after five terrific seasons in Dallas, topped of course by his huge contributions to the 2011 NBA championship.

Even before Chandler Parsons signed his free-agent contract for three years and $46 million to come to the Mavs, Dallas management and Marion had agreed that giving him a limited role and limited dollars would not make for a good fit here, as wrote back in July. So the split was an amicable one. Marion explains his viewpoint here ...

And Carlisle and Dirk are happy to explain theirs:

From Carlisle: “He’ll go down as one of the all-time great Mavs because of his contributions to a championship team, No. 1. But No. 2 is his versatility and his ability to do so many different things that contribute to winning.”

From Dirk: “It was a great five years. He’s one of the most versatile defenders this league has ever seen. We basically had him guard anything from 1's to sometimes even switch on 5's. He was the best at that, because he had the strength to play with big guys, but he also had the quickness to defend little guys, and the length. ... He was a special player.''

"When I heard he signed with Cleveland, we texted a little bit and I wished him all the luck. ... "I thanked him for his last couple of years here, and I reminded him we’re champs.''

That is indeed forever, but Trix, 36, is now on a cheap deal to be part of LeBron's supporting cast. Tonight's 6:30 p.m. tip at Quicken Loans Arena is a tiny piece of that climb for Cleveland, which is 4-0 in preseason (to Dallas' 1-2).


"It was was up in the air,'' Marion said of his summer plans before joining the Cavs. "I was contemplating a lot of different things (including his new role as a daddy), but I felt like I really wanted to pursue another championship and I felt like this is the best way for me to do that.”

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