DONUT 1: DeAndre Diss
The Clippers won the battle and they won the war.
It is Mark Cuban's claim that he "doesn't give a s---t'' about the Clippers and that "the Clippers are the Clippers'' (meaning something negative) and it is Mark Cuban's claim that LA is all about so many dastardly things ...
But only that last claim is true.
As we detail in our coverage of Thursday's Mavs loss at the Clips here in Rapid Fire and here in Mavs Donuts, the Mavs care desperately about who they are compared to who the Clippers are. Furthermore, Dallas would gladly trade rosters and positions in the standings and chances at contention.
Tony Cubes once again this week went on-record as suggesting the Mavs are better off post-DeAndre Defection because the goofball center's got the flaws he has. But ...
a) Dallas knew all about those flaws when it campaigned to get Jordan and celebrated like madmen when they got him. (However temporarily.)
b) All the meaningful ensuing moves made by the Mavs in the wake of DeAndre's departure could've been made anyway. Wes. Zaza. Deron. Evans. Jenkins. All of them, even JaVale. Though ...
c) Had the Mavs kept Jordan, the Clippers would've been the ones scrambling for center help, and with no cap room to buy one, would've themselves been trying to sign JaVale and Mavs releasee Sam Dalembert, too.
So, really, if DeAndre comes to Dallas, the Mavs are "Clippers-like.'' And the Clippers would be "Mavs-like.'' And we'd be the hated and pursued team ... and the Clippers really would be "what they've generally been'' because they'd be insignifcant.
Instead, Dallas struggles to remain significant. ... but yet might be "dangerous,'' if Dirk has his way. Read on ...
DONUT 2: Mavs Travels
They are many.
We've got Dirk and some fellas in Phoenix on Friday to celebrate Steve Nash's Suns Ring of Honor induction.
"Started off as too little and too slow and ended up as one of the best to ever do it,'' Dirk said via Twitter. "Great player and great teammate.''
Because of NBAers' desire to attend Flip Saunders' funeral in Minnesota, we've got Cuban loaning out his plane to Rick Carlisle (and enemy Doc Rivers, who I hope at least was made to sit in the jumpseat. And with no peanuts, either.
And we've got the whole gang scooting back to LA for tonight's meeting against Kobe and the Lakers. (They aren't really rightfully billed that way anymore, but must be due to the demands of The Black Mamba's brooding ego.)
The Lakers are 0-2 and have given up 132 and 112 points in the losses. The 1-1 Mavs tip off against them at 8:30 DFW time at Staples Center hoping Deron, Wes and maybe even Chandler Parsons can go. CP has yet to play this season; Deron has a knee problem that the club hopes isn't serious. Wes (Achilles) seems way ahead of (some of our thoughts on his) schedule and played in Wednesday's season-opening win before sitting out the Clips game.
All three participated at some level in Saturday's practice.
While Kobe struggles to accept that he's no longer "The Man'' (and is barely "The Mamba''), LA's kids are trying to take over ... but are highly vulnerable inside. Example: In that opening loss to the Kings, LA suffered a points-in-the-paint disadvantage of 80-38.
Kobe seems to think he could single-handedly fix all of these problems but he's too unselfish to do such a thing.
“It’s difficult,” Bryant said of stepping aside so the young core of rookie guard D’Angelo Russell, second-year guard Jordan Clarkson and second-year forward Julius Randle can grow. "“But it has to be done.”
How generous of Bean.
DONUT 3: 'Der-ek Fish-er'
The fair people of Indiana have a reputation for basketball purity (good ol' Hickory High!) and milquetoast politeness but Matt Barnes can suck the acid out of a loaf of white bread ... which is why Pacers fans chanted "Der-ek Fish-er!" at Matt Barnes.
To be really fair, they should also when suitable chant "Ma-att Bar-nes!'' at Derek Fisher.
DONUT 4: Dead money lives!
ESPN's Brian Windhorst on the stretch provision and the dead money and ... Hello, former Mavs star Michael Finley! And hello former Mav-for-a-moment Fab Melo!
DONUT 5: HBO and Kareem
HBO is offering up a documentary entitled "Kareem: A Minority of One.''
That's an inviting clip.
DONUT 6: 25 Cabs
Dirk Nowitzki said something the other day about the rapid-fire turnover that has been part of the Dallas Mavericks' makeup since the 2011 title-team breakup (and really, before that, too, because that's how sports in the free-agency/salary-cap era works).
"I've probably played with 1,000 teammates,'' the Mavs icon said, not meaning it as a gripe but rather a wildly-exaggerated observation. "You learn in this game it's about business."
There are 30-some-odd ways to skin the championship cat. The dynastic 1974 Oakland A's featured superstars who engaged in clubhouse fistfights with each other, one of the brawls putting Ray Fosse in traction. The Cowboys teams of the early 1990's were fueled by Michael Irvin's godfatherly leadership that includes illicit partying. Those 2004 Red Sox that upset the regal Yankees nicknamed themselves "The Idiots'' because ... well, they were idiots. ... except for the fact that their bond was so powerful that they could allow each other to call their teammates that.
And as you're trying to figure out just who these Mavs are, our season preview featuring the roster and the salaries is here.
DONUT 7: Texas Legends Care
That video at the top of Mavs Donuts featured a great day at Frisco Lakes for the Texas Legends Care golf tournament, featuring Donnie Nelson, Derk Holland of the Rangers, Nick Van Exel (the Legends new head coach) and yours truly along with R.J. Choppy, and yes, the two of us our back for the TV play-by-play of the D-League Legends games.
DONUT 8: Happy Anniversary?
One more note on Chandler Parsons, from Chandler Parsons:
"We’ll see how it feels in the morning, but I went through everything again today and felt great,” Parsons said following the Saturday workout. “I did a lot of work in the weight room, shot afterwards and felt fine. So, barring a setback or any swelling tonight, my hope is to play (Sunday). You know, I’m sure there will be a minute restriction of some sort, but we’ll see tomorrow for sure. Something could happen, so I can’t say if I’m playing or not, but I want to and I hope to. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.
“I’m antsy. I’ve been antsy for a while. Tomorrow is the six-month anniversary of when I had the surgery, but I wasn’t playing two weeks before that, really, so it’s been about seven months since I played. I know it’s going to be a process and at times I’m going to get frustrated, but the best thing is I’ve got teammates that believe in me. They’ll make me comfortable out there, and coaches will put me in great situations. I just can’t wait to play, man. I’ve been playing my whole life.I’ve never had something I love like this taken away from me for so long, so it will be an unbelievable feeling if I’m able to play (Sunday).”
DONUT 9: Stat O' The Day
The Mavericks have won seven in a row against the Lakers, including three wins at Staples. Consider how Dallas has been something short of a true contender during this time and that 7-0 number might be the most stunning example of how far the once-regal Lakers have fallen.
DONUT 10: Dangerous Dirk
The UberMan with a newsy injury update and a delicious quote:
“I’m not sure how bad D-Will is, but if Parsons has a couple of more good workouts, there might be a chance that he’s out there (on Sunday). And Wes looked good (Wednesday) to me. He probably could have played (Thursday), so Wes is for sure a go, I’m hoping. And the other two, we’ll just see how the next couple of days go,” Nowitzki said, adding, “I think, once we’re all healthy, we could be a dangerous team.''
DONUT 11: WTF
The Grizzlies have a play called "What The F--k.'' Only, without the two dashes in the middle.
I can think of one reason not to do this (the children!!!) but two reasons to do it.
One, I guarantee it keeps the players loose and amused. Tony Romo once told me the reason QBs like him (and Peyton Manning) bark out nonsensical or humorous instructions at the line of scrimmage is to get a chuckle out of the fellas.
“What you find is Miller Lite is the official beer of the Cowboys, so they pay a lot of to get their name on some of this stuff,” Romo told me. “But a lot of it is just junk. A lot of it is just stuff you’re saying that (everybody) knows by signaling or by footwork or different things. So it can just be junk words.”
“Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to it.”
And two ...
... when coach Dave Joerger yells out that phrase, might the other team simply and mistakenly think he's just cussing? Meanwhile, might the referees -- when he shouts a "WTF!'' in their direction -- simply and mistakenly not issue him a technical because, hey, "I'm just calling a play!''?
DONUT 12: The Final Word
“The most encouraging thing is I like our chemistry. I really like the vibe that the team has. They really like each other as a group, they help each other, and I think we know who were are. And it’s early to really understand that, but we know we’re a team that’s dependent on one another. We have knowledgeable, skilled, veteran guys that know how to play the game, and I think we understand that collectively is the only way we’re going to get it done.” - Rick Carlisle.