Mavs Donuts: Grading Dallas' Offseason
DONUT 1: Ladies first ...
The Spurs have hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach. Because it's the Spurs, many are in a rush to view it as "groundbreaking'' (which it is) and as "a first'' (which it is not).
Lisa Boyer, now the associate head women’s coach at South Carolina, served on the Cleveland staff in the 2001-02 season. ... and the capacity of her service, limited as it apparently was, still qualifies.
Similarly, our friend Nancy Lieberman's work as the head coach of the Texas Legends -- and thereby an extension of Rick Carlisle's staff in Dallas -- deserves mention, too.
To pull off something like this in the macho world of pro sports requires just the right circumstance and leadership, I think. If Pop tells everybody to listen to Hammon -- a six-time WNBA All-Star who is finishing up a 16-year career as a player -- they listen.
The same applied to Nancy, for my money the greatest female basketball player of all time and a charismatic figure who made headway with the D-League Legends (and still does, as a member of the front office) thanks to the non-linear thinking of her bosses and the unbreakable professionalism that Nancy herself brings to the gym.
This wouldn't work with just any team, despite the qualifications of a Lieberman or a Hammond. This is a right-time/right-place sort of a deal.
The Spurs are that. Just as the Dallas Mavericks are that.
DONUT 2: Cutting carbs? …
LeBron James is ... thin. This could it be the result of a weird camera angle. It could be true that he has simply been cutting carbs to lose weight, as has been reported. If this is all part of a my-body-is-my-temple plan, well, it's working.
Or maybe it is working too well. I always figured Kevin Durant wishes he was built like LeBron, and not the other way around.
DONUT 3: Mavs as No. 7?! …
David Aldridge, a respected NBA.com voice, has ranked each of the NBA teams' offseasons, 1 through 30. And the Mavs' successful offseason puts them in ... seventh place.
Opinions are like noses. We all have them and they all smell. (See how I cleaned that up?) But at the risk of exposing my bias ...
For David's analysis to be spot-on, the signings of Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, Greg Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu along with the acquisition of Tyson Chandler would have to be inferior to ...
*No. 5 Denver: G Arron Afflalo (acquired from Orlando); C Jusuf Nurkic (Draft rights acquired from Chicago); G Gary Harris (Draft rights acquired from Chicago); G Erick Green (three years, $2.3 million)
*No. 6 Toronto: F Bruno Caboclo (first round, 20th pick overall); F James Johnson (two years, $5 million); G Lou Williams (acquired from Atlanta); C Lucas Nogiera (acquired from Atlanta)
Jusuf Nurkic? Bruno Caboclo? Or Dirk at $8M?
David loses me when he cites Don Kalkstein, Mavericks Director of Sports Psychology, as "the key man'' and "the center of the team's efforts.'' I have a great respect for Don. But to list him as being more "key'' than, say, Dirk or Carlisle makes the entire list look like an attempt to be more "different'' than accurate.
DONUT 4: No Junior ...
Old pal Delonte West -- often frankly concerned about all the wrong things that envelope him -- has done it again. Charlee Redz says he didn't name kid "Delonte Jr." because he figured the poor little lad would be haunted by that name due to Dad's infamous connection with Bron's mom.
So a false rumor has caused the lawn today to be ashamed of his own name? Sad.
DONUT 5: Chucking defense ...
Charles Barkley is generously giving advice to James Harden regarding how to be a superstar.
I assume the two chums never quite got around to bothering to discuss "playing defense'' as a path to excellence.
DONUT 6: Paul's wheels ...
Paul George has experienced a difficult last few days, no question about that. He snapped his leg in hideous fashion while dissipating with Team USA ... and so all of America finds itself on his side.
What all of America cannot do for him, however, is something like, oh, buy him a new Ferrari 458 as a get-well card.
So Paul went ahead and did that for himself.
DONUT 7: Music to my ears …
True story and music to my financial ears: One of my sons is saving up a little bit of money and he sits me down to ask me what he should do with it. Then he says, "I guess I should call Bill and Woody."
I am raising a couple of smart boys over here and Bill and Woody at LS Wealth Strategies -- Mavs season-ticket holders and friends of DB.com -- are making them smarter. Thanks fellas!
DONUT 8: Welcome aboard! …
As has been the case for 14 seasons around here, we've got Mavs coverage coming all day and night with DallasBasketball.com. Stay tuned, and hang out on DB.com Boards as well for all the goods from inside the games, the practices and the front office ... through the upcoming training camp and beyond!
DONUT 9: Why no Marion here? ...
IF Shawn Marion is going to flirt with the idea of minimum wage in Cleveland or wherever, why didn't he just get together with the Mavs and make it happen here? Asked and answered.
DONUT 10: Rooting interest ...
A smart take from our friend Jared T. on the idea of Marion going to Cleveland: "I would enjoy seeing Marion in Cleveland. I'm excited about being allowed to enjoy LeBron again, and I would like to see Marion on that team."
In other words, Dallas loves Shawn Marion and always should. And Dallas hates Dwayne Wade. And always should.
DONUT 11: Felton for 4 ...
Newly-acquired Dallas Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton has been suspended without pay by the NBA for the first four games of the 2014-15 season, the result of pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm in New York.
"I demonstrated poor judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions," Felton said in a statement released by the Mavs. "Moving forward, I’m eager to get to Dallas, to start fresh and make a positive impact in the Dallas metropolitan area.”
Felton will be one of three veteran point guards in competition for playing time at that position, along with Devin Harris and Jameer Nelson. Felton was involved in this incident last February while a member of the Knicks, The team that recently traded him to Dallas along with Tyson Chandler.
Said Mavs owner Mark Cuban in a statement: “Today we were made aware of Raymond Felton’s suspension. We also learned that Raymond will be permitted to complete his community service outside the state of New York. The Mavericks are working with Raymond and the court to develop a community service program that will have a positive and lasting impact on North Texas.”
DONUT 12: The Final Word …
Kevin Durant is leaving Team USA because he doesn't want to get too exhausted or whatever, and I can see why. Eventually carrying all that UnderArmour money all the way from OKC to D.C. is going to be quite a burden for "Mr. Unreliable.''