The Dallas Mavericks' Fan Jam event is wonderful for a large number of reasons.
Firstly, it's free. Anyone can get in. If you're keen on meeting the VIP criterion, you can have a first-hand experience with select Dallas Mavericks at the autograph table. Dirk Nowtizki, Dwight Powell, Wesley Matthews and others entertained such lucky fans at the American Airlines center on Sunday.
And it can be ... well, cute. From start to finish ...
As the action moved on to the court in the middle of the AAC, Rick Carlisle greeted the crowd with a few dry jabs directed at "The Beautiful One", aka Chandler Parsons who, apparently, also answers to "gorgeous," or so Carlisle informed the estimated 4,500 on hand.
Of course, at this time of year, if you are a Mavs fan, they are all beautiful ... because basketball is back.
Parsons wants to appear in the preseason but noted, "If I don't, it's not the end of the world."
After watching the team go through various three-man drills and the 100-points-in-four-minutes shooting display, the teams split for the annual Blue vs. White scrimmage, an event which seemed to perfectly suit Charlie Villanueva's flamethrowing methods (he led all scorers with 13 points) and gave those in attendance a good look at some of the young, athletic bench guys the Mavs are grooming during camp.
Among those with some impressive moments were Jeremy Evans (who threw down a vicious one-handed alley oop slam and put in a trey) and Justin Anderson, who appeared to be fully immersed in the giddy environment and even playfully picked a fight with Mavs Man, who also had some high-flying acrobatics of his own.
Maurice NDour also showed why we here at DB.com are intrigued at his prospects this season, and even saw some time running the point guard position. He displayed some nice range in the shooting drills and has the longest arms of any Maverick, a boon for him on the defensive side of the ball.
Perhaps most importantly, Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews (rehabbing from the Achilles) both looked loose and healthy during the drill segment of the event. Williams (otherise limited by a calf strain) even had a few good leadership moments during the scrimmage, moving out on to the court to offer advice to some of the younger players.
At the end of the day, Dirk threw handfuls of autographed cards into the crowd and a world-record setting attempt at the largest game of Knockout ever played took place just outside the south entrance in Victory Plaza.
The fun only figures to get better as the preseason starts tomorrow and the scores are actually kept on record. ... another rite of passage that unfolds Tuesday at the AAC with the Nuggets-at-Mavs preseason opener at 7:30 (featuring a 7 p.m. pregame show on TXA21 featuring our own Mike Fisher.)
“I thought the offensive flow was good,'' Rick said of the Fan Jam scrimmage. "We could use work on defense, and we can use work with our health. Let’s face it, we’ve got most of our main guys out. But the good news is they’re doing better. ... so we just keep chipping away in the right direction with our health.”