DONUT 1: Mavs at Cavs
What a difference a year makes.
Even with the good news of Dirk now ramping up (see above video from Friday's loss to Atlanta) the Mavs are not "top three'' in any category right now expect for The Injury List. Coach Rick Carlisle said Deron Williams "got an MRI (over the weekend) and it confirmed (the calf strain) ... He will not play in the exhibition games. And we’ll see if we can get him ready for the opener.'' Barea and Zaza will probably rest tonight in the 6 p.m. preseason tip at Cleveland (TXA21, 103.3 ESPN). Parsons, Matthews and McGee remain unavailable. Dwight Powell (elbow) probably isn't quite ready. And now Maurice Ndour reportedly has a stress problem in his leg.
"It’s been a frustrating thing for him,'' Carlisle said of Deron ... but he might as well have been talking about the whole team, which takes on the contending Cavs at a time during which some of their fellas want to focus on being "tough guys.''
DONUT 2: Nashitzki
I don't know what to make of this. I don't think I like it. I don't even have an answer to it.
But I can't quit staring at it. And it won't quit staring at me.
DONUT 3: 'Friends'? What?
Ricky Rubio is the worst TV reviewer of all time.
Want a more accurate summation of "Friends''? It was NBC's homogenized inoffensive version of "Seinfeld'' ... for the viewers who disliked cynicism and were largely women.
DONUT 4: Politicians politic
In 2006, your Mavericks won the first two games of the NBA Finals. With a 2-0 lead over Miami, championship talk -- and even championship plans -- bubbled to the surface.
Word leaked that Dallas Mayor Laura Miller's office had begun mapping out a parade route for a Mavs’ title celebration. The Heat (and maybe the refs?) took inspiration from the perceived prematurity. And you know what happened next.
Now along comes Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, steering "his'' Rangers and Astros into an all-Texas ALCS that never happened.
Jinx? Nah. But ...
DONUT 5: Dirk as Sports Ambassador
Why do we need the Laura Millers or the Greg Abbotts or the mayors who like to bet "our Philly cheesesteaks against your Texas BBQ'' or some other desperate and hokey bid for political attention-hogging when, in North Texas, we already employ the greatest sports ambassador in the buisness?
Check out Dirk on the Rangers ...
On the Cowboys ...
On the Stars ...
On FC Dallas ...
Politicians, you have your hands full with guns and immigration and ISIS and e-mails and sex scandals. Let's leave the sports ambassadorship to the professionals, shall we?
DONUT 6: The Maverick Bar
College football, the NFL and the Cowboys all weekend. Plus live music, 80 beer choices and the best burgers in DFW. Oh, and our love for the Mavs is on display, too, of course! It's The Maverick Bar at 1616 Hebron in Carrollton and we'd love to see you there this weekend!
DONUT 7: Quoteboard
"If we can get and stay healthy, we can make some noise.'' - Mark Cuban on the Mavs.
DONUT 8: Monitoring Odom
“Everyone across the league, it seems, loves the man.” - Scott Van Pelt, ESPN.
I have suggested that this is not entirely the case. As ex-Mavs flop Lamar Odom fights for his life, I examine that here.
But you don't have to be a "fan'' to root for him now, to do like Paul, Griffin and DeAndre have done by visiting the former Clipper at the hospital after a drug overdose left him unconscious at a brothel outside Las Vegas.
“He probably has no idea we were there, but just to be there and to see him, hopefully he knows there’s a lot of guys that love him and want to see him do better and want to see him get better,” Griffin said.
Odom is making progress but reportedly will likely have lasting brain damage on some level from the stroke he suffered during the overdose.
DONUT 9: Stay in Touch
DONUT 10: I'm better than Dirk
I am a poor golfer. I play twice a year, I don't understand the terminology, I'm constantly asking my playing partners which club I should use, and 18 holes always seems about nine too many.
But I am better at golf than Dirk Nowitzki.
Dirk may be better than Charles Barkley. But it is now, after seeing Nowitzki's swing fail to develop over the years when I've watched him at the "Mavs Masters,'' official: I am a "better athlete'' (in this one tiny way) than Dirk Nowitzki.
It seems like all the Donuts today are health-related, so ...
Some good news on Craig Sager, whose treatment for leukemia seems to be working well enough that he'll work Turner's Opening Night NBA broadcast of Pelicans-Warriors, the second half of a doubleheader starting with Cavs-Bulls.
Again, this is about the individual's health ... but it's also about giving hope a high-profile, about bringing attention to a cause.
And few things draw attention quite like Craig Sager's televised wardrobe.