Jason Terry Would Come Back To Dallas

He’s one of the more popular players in recent Dallas history. His self appointed nickname, his fan friendly attitude, his ability to be the perfect complementary player for Dirk, all of it puts him near the top of the list of my favorite players of all time.

And now he’s saying he’d come back to Dallas.

That’s right, Jason Terry has said he’d suit up in a Mavericks uniform again, if Dallas wants him to. Earlier today, Terry was on the Elf and Slater show, on 105.3 the Fan, and here’s what he had to say according to Armen Williams:

 

 

JET also had something to say about the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.

I, for one, would love to see Jason Terry play for the Mavericks again.. This past season, playing for the Boston Celtics, Terry averaged 10.1 points per game in just over 26 minutes. He’d have to come back at the right price though, and through a trade (Terry has two years left on his Celtics deal, valued at $10.675 million). With several high-value free agents on the market this offseason, it’s unlikely the Mavericks would have the means to get Terry back. There are already rumors swirling around Shawn Marion and the Mavs’ 13th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. So, if he’s willing to take a lower salary (2-years, $9 million or so) it’s a possibility to see him back in Big D this fall.

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Dirk Nowitzki: The World’s Worst Flopper

Dirk has been open about his feelings on flopping, and the NBA’s approach to combating it.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to do a little acting of his own. Here’s a video of Dirk making the most magical, yet terrible, flop of all time in a charity soccer match in Wurzburg, Germany.

I’ve also created a gif of this, for your sharing enjoyment.

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Go, share this with the world.

Tony Mitchell brings questions to the draft

(Photo Credit: James Coreas/North Texas Daily)

With the NBA draft closing in, a player worth mentioning is University of North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell.

Mitchell is worth mentioning because he is the lone player from a Texas college with a first round grade, could be a possible pick for the Dallas Mavericks if they were to trade the 13th pick and most important of all he is the definition of a high risk-high reward player.

I had the opportunity to cover Mitchell’s freshmen season in its entirety and spent time on and off the UNT men’s basketball beat during his sophomore season.

While watching Mitchell, I witnessed two different players in his time with the Mean Green.

The first year, Mitchell looked like a player that was determined to be recognized and make a name for himself. If he didn’t miss the first nine games of the season due to academic issues he would have been the unanimous Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and the SBC Player of the Year.

The season ended with a last second loss in the Sun Belt tournament finals and fuelled his decision to return for his second season.

During the offseason, the Mean Green underwent a coaching change has Johnny Jones headed to LSU to coach for his alma mater.

Afterwards, Mitchell could not live up to the expectations he set for himself after his first year as the coaching change highly effected Mitchell’s play and the team’s performance.

Mitchell showed that he is not as a sure thing NBA prospect that everyone makes him out to be.

When I look at Mitchell is see a raw prospect that has the athleticism to take the Sports Center highlight reel away from Blake Griffin. His talent right now is good enough to provide a spark in short time off the bench and would likely stay this way into his third, maybe fourth year as a pro before he gets a spot in a team’s starting lineup.

While I say that drafting Mitchell will be a work in progress and even a potential bust, I understand the serious appeal of this draftee.

A 6’8” forward with a 7’3” wingspan, a near 40-inch vertical and the ability to shoot from beyond the arch equals a future star. A simple formula for finding viable prospects but like baseball there is a “sabermetrics” side of this.

Mitchell saw a dip in his field goal percentage, percentage from three-point range, points per game and even his rebounding production took a hit during his sophomore season.

Not to mention, while watching his games he did not appear to be mentally involved especially during times of turmoil where the team was struggling to get going.

To me, this means that Mitchell will go the way the rest of his team goes, not exactly the way a player with his potential should respond when faced with adversity.

He showed that he’s not someone to put a team on his shoulders and as the team’s star was unable to help dig the team out of its hole.

Four years from now, I could be proven wrong and quite honestly wish I will be, but that is why Mitchell is a high risk-high reward player. His athleticism is beyond many of the players currently in the NBA but after a season where he and his team were shut down by the rest of the Sun Belt Conference I find it hard seeing success for Mitchell in the NBA.

This doesn’t mean SBC players don’t make a name for themselves in the professional world. Jeremy Evans and Courtney Lee are the most recent players to come out of the Sun Belt to impact the league.

Derrick Fisher is the biggest name to come out of the SBC, but since Fisher entered the NBA in 1996, nine players from that conference have made it to the pros with Raja Bell being the only other recognizable player in the league today.

Seeing Mitchell’s name next to those mentioned above would certainly be nice an achievement all on its own.

Mitchell will also be the first UNT basketball player to make it on a professional roster since Joe Hamilton who played in the ABA from 1970-1976 for several teams.

As far as the Mavericks and the possibility of taking Mitchell, I would prefer them not to. A forward is not what Dallas needs. Dallas needs someone who can hit the hardwood running and impact the team from the get go from the point. In addition, the only way Dallas could grab Mitchell is if they were to trade their 13th pick to a team looking to move up in the draft.

What Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavericks front office plans to do on draft day is always unpredictable making my guess as good as anyone else’s.

Mitchell is a player with swingman athleticism, a post players size and the potential of Greg Oden before his plague of injuries.

He needs to fine tune his entire game outside of standing underneath the basket waiting for the ball and find a position where he can be the most effective.

Regardless, Mitchell is a very appealing prospect that could make even the most agile big men in the league look like Erick Dampier and if he falls as far as people predict then he will make a playoff caliber team very happy.

In the ESPN Experts Mock Draft, they have Mitchell going 28th overall to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that will suit him nicely and allow this young baller to mature under the watchful wings of one of the greatest big men of all time Tim Duncan.

Although Tony Mitchell is not a marquee player in this draft, he is certainly a name to remember regardless of his future becoming a success story or not.

Josh Hamilton is the Angels’ Lamar Odom

(Photo Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

I know what you’re thinking: Jamie, why the heck are you writing about two guys we absolutely hate around here?

Because something just dawned on me. Sports redemption is happening right in front of our faces. We’re getting our good karma for suffering through a terrible season of give-up from one of the worst players to ever don a Mavericks jersey.

Josh Hamilton’s 2013 season with the L.A. Angels of Anaheim is a reincarnation of Lamar Odom’s 2012 season with the Dallas Mavericks. Both seasons are (or were) record breaking in a negative way for each player.

In 2012 (50 games played), Odom set career lows for the following:

  • Minutes per game (20.5)
  • Field goal percentage (35.2%)
  • Free throw percentage (59.2%)
  • Rebounds per game (4.2)
  • Assists per game (1.7)
  • Points per game (6.6)

Odom has since re-set career lows in points/game (4), free throw shooting percentage (47.6) and minutes per game (19.7) this past season.

In 2013 (70 games played), Josh Hamilton is on pace to set career lows in:

  • batting average (currently: .210/on pace for: .210/career average .296)
  • on base percentage (.266/.266/.355)
  • slugging percentage (.384/.384/.535)
  • OPS (.650/.650/.890)
  • strikeouts* (75/169/99.3)

*strikeouts would, obviously, be a new career-high, which is a low, obviously.

There are also a few categories where he’s on pace to set career lows in seasons where he has played at least 120 games (which excludes 2007 and 2009, during which he played 90 and 89 games, respectively):

  • hits (currently: 57/on pace for: 128)
  • home runs (10/23)
  • RBI (24/54)
  • doubles (13/29)

Josh Hamilton, by his own account, is trying. He’s just not getting anywhere. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he swings on the same plane regardless of where the ball is going. He’s been pretty snippy with the media as of late, which means that he’s sincerely frustrated with the way he’s playing.

SIDENOTE: For those of you that think he’s faking it and really doesn’t care, I disagree. He’s not the kind of guy to fake emotion. He never has been. In fact, I don’t think he has the mental fortitude to keep up a ruse like that for very long.

In the case of Lamar Odom, he was so full of give up that Mark Cuban publicly ripped him in the middle of a game in Memphis (a game which I happened to attend, oddly enough). He was benched for the second half of that game against the Grizzlies, and never saw the court again. In fact, he was so pathetic that Cuban basically cut ties with him all-together, but kept him on the payroll so he couldn’t bolt elsewhere (specifically, back to the Lakers).

In every post-game interview, even in his press conference right after his signing, he seemed morose. Like he didn’t want to be here. Odom, like Hamilton, also lacked mental fortitude, but for a different reason. He couldn’t even bring himself to try for the guy that was writing his checks. I even wrote about it midway through that season, imploring people to stop booing Odom because he couldn’t handle it mentally.

However, one thing I know is true. I enjoy watching Hamilton struggle as much as I despised Odom’s lack of effort. It makes me feel vindicated, in some weird, twisted way. Like my suffering through Odom wasn’t for naught. My reward is Josh Hamilton helping sink the Angels.

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Dallas Mavericks Contingency Plans: Tony Allen and Andrew Bynum

(Photo Credit: Nikki Boertman / Commercial Appeal)

For basketball fans, the summer is time for fresh starts, rebuilding process’s and the beginning of anticipation for the next season.

For Dallas Mavericks fans however, the summer is a dreaded and stressful time. It’s been years since the Mavs landed the big name in the free agency market or even pulled production out of the draft since Josh Howard in 2003.

The Mavs missed grabbing the Big Diesel, Shaq, when he left the Lakers, they weren’t able to grab one of Boston’s current big three during the free agency scramble of 2007 and last off season came up empty on the possibility of bringing in Dallas native Deron Williams.

Therefore, if the past truly does repeat itself, it will be okay to assume that this summer the Mavs will be unable to bring in either Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. Meaning Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban will need to work on one of the ever-evident Dallas contingency plans.

One of the plans include making a run at the defensive specialist Tony Allen and a big man that has branded a brute and thuggish image in all Maverick fans after the 2011 postseason.

If there was anything bad about Dallas’s championship run a couple years ago, it was the image of point guard J.J. Barea’s body falling violently to the hardwood after receiving an elbow to the ribcage from Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

Before I touch Andrew Bynum, I have to talk about Allen.

The best way to describe Tony Allen is to compare him to one of the greatest defenders of all time, Bruce Bowen. Regardless of the results in grabbing Howard or Paul, Allen is a player Dallas can’t miss out on.

With now nine years under his belt he is not the spry, high flying swing man he once was with Boston, but as a member of the Memphis Girzzlies he has become a perennial all-defensive team member. Allen received a first team all-defense in 2013 and 2012 and in his first year with Memphis a second team all-defense in 2011.

Having Allen gives the team that second perimeter defender that the Mavs missed since losing Jason Kidd and DeShawn Stevenson to free agency the last two years.

Although his offensive production has never been there, the Mavericks wouldn’t need him to score any more than eight points a game. With Dirk steadily putting up 20-25 points a game, and Mayo, Carter and Marion each posing around double digits themselves, the scoring production will be there. All Allen would need to do is what he does best and that’s playing approximately 25 minutes of stout, hard nose, bulldog defense that has given him the reputation as one of the toughest defenders in the game.

Imagine the line up if they would be able to grab at least one of the big names and Tony Allen. Starting from the PG to C there would be Darren Collison, Tony Allen, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard. That to me sounds better than having just Deron Williams last year.

This now brings me to Mr. Bynum.

Andrew Bynum is a career double-double player and a force in the paint. With a seven-foot frame and pushing 300 pounds, he will be the biggest center in franchise history if Dallas were to bring him in, but where there is a plus side to Bynum the negatives far outweigh the positives.

The Dallas front office has never shied away from bringing in egos and if there is a coach that can set a player straight, I believe Rick Carlisle is that coach. Andrew Bynum however, is where I draw the line.

Talent wise, he is exactly what the Mavs need. There is no denying it, but bringing in someone that has only played one full season without missing a game due to injuries and knee problems that would give Greg Oden a run for his money is a gamble that would have Vegas licking their chops.

When I mentioned that the front office doesn’t shy away from the egos, they do shy away from risk filled moves that would not pay off in the long run. So, if signing Howard and Paul does not happen, don’t expect Mark Cuban to make a run for LA’s former big man.

Other options are out there. As far as talent and immediate impact at the center position behind Howard and Bynum, the options are slim.

Now remember, in the summer of 2010, Dallas was trying to fill some roster spots and they landed Tyson Chandler. If I recall correctly, grabbing Chandler worked out quite well. Maybe Cuban and that front office can create some of that last minute panic magic once again.

If they don’t land Howard, look for them to chase after a Robin Lopez or Zaza Pachulia. Cuban and Nelson seem have a big soft spot for European players.

At worst, they can always dip back into the power forward market and grab an Al Harrington, J.J. Hickson or David West. You can never complain about finding a nice backup for Dirk.

In a nutshell, take what you know will be there from the start. Not something that would be riding the bench for half a season and when he finally gets in a game becomes a ticking time bomb.

Cuban and Nelson are smart and have shown that they really do know what they’re doing. Perhaps they’ll make the right choice.

Dwight Howard Won’t Be A Dallas Maverick Next Year

Dwight Howard will not be a Maverick next season. First of all, its is in his best interest not to come to Dallas as there are better options out there to suit his needs. Secondly, the Mavericks will realize he isn’t worth his asking price.

Now,  can we be honest with ourselves for a minute? If you thought you were the best center in the NBA and had the luxury of being a free agent, would you seriously consider being a Maverick?

If Dwight Howard was to come to Dallas, he would be doing so because Mark Cuban promised that he would bring in players to support the 27 year-old center. Dallas is coming off a .500 season, most of its younger and more promising prospects aren’t under long term contracts, and that’s if they are under contract at all. A move to Dallas is a move of uncertainty- why make a move if it is a lateral one?

The best choice for Howard is Houston. Jeremy Lin and James Harden are the Rockets best players and neither is older than 24. The Mavericks best players are Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion. Both players will be 35 by the end of June. Even if you wanted to make the argument that Marion isn’t number two, who would be? Vince Carter? That’s not any better, he is 36. The Mavericks offer the promise of a supporting cast headlined by aging super stars in the twilight of their careers.

Houston offers two of the best young guards in league at the dawn of their careers and the money to make everyone happy. Most of Houston’s pieces are set and they wont need to add anything else after Howard. In fact, they are trying to get rid of players. The Rockets have made it clear that they will trade, current forward Thomas Robinson to anyone willing to soak up his contract.

Robinson leaving would mean more cap space and more money for Howard. Dallas only has five players under contract (three at the end of their careers and two rookies). If they spend all of their money on Howard…how are they going to acquire those supporting players?

Hopefully, the Mavericks get wise and realize that Howard isn’t the answer. He brings a lot to the table that the Mavericks have never had at the center position. However, everyone saw what happened in LA, and everyone should be well aware that he is as unstable as they come and at 27 he is already having back and shoulder issues. This guy is damaged goods with a loser’s mentality.

When the Lakers were struggling and he was turning the ball over left and right, he was calling for more touches. He is like the Terrell Owens of the NBA. Instead of trying to do more with his possessions, he was crying for more touches. It was like he was asking to be the number one offensive option over Kobe Bryant, and over Pau Gasol.

He seemed to forget that he has no post game and can’t hit a free-throw to save his life. As a number one you are going to touch the ball more and are going to get fouled. As a big, if you aren’t an offensive powerhouse, you sacrifice the “glory” of offense and direct your efforts towards defense.

If he couldn’t do that with the Lakers why would he do it with the Mavericks? Do Maverick fans really want another Lamar Odom; another unhappy big name player trying to turn things around in Dallas? Odom was a loser, and Howard is a loser that wants to be leader. Whatever team he goes to, it has to be his team or he will throw a fit. We saw his selfishness in LA, and we would see it in Dallas.

I have faith in Mark Cuban. He seems to be pretty good at sniffing out losers on ABC’s Shark Tank, so he should able to do it in the NBA too. The Mavericks need a center, but Howard is not the answer. When the time comes for his decision, Howard will be taking his talents and his loser mentality to Houston.

Jason Kidd Announces Retirement

10-time All Star, and NBA Champion Jason Kidd has announced his retirement, according to the New York Knicks.

Kidd, 40, played 19 seasons in the NBA, most recently with the New York Knicks. Kidd also spend two stints with the Dallas Mavericks, who drafted the guard out of Cal in 1994, and with whom he won an NBA Championship in 2011. Kidd spent three years with the Phoenix Suns after being traded from Dallas, and he also led the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals in 2002.

Kidd amassed a ridiculous 12, 091 assists (13,354 assists if you count the playoffs) over the span of his career, good for second All-Time behind John Stockton.

He also finishes his career ranked second All-Time in total steals (2,684) and third All-Time in three-pointers made (1,988).

The Cal graduate saw his college number (#5) retired in 2004, and will likely see his jersey retired by both the Mavericks and the Nets.

Here’s a list of all of Jason Kidd’s accomplishments over his illustrious career:

  • NBA champion (2011)
  • 10× NBA All-Star (1996, 1998, 2000–2004, 2007–2008, 2010)
  • NBA co-Rookie of the Year (1995)
  • 5× All-NBA First Team (1999–2002, 2004)
  • All-NBA Second Team (2003)
  • 4× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999, 2001–2002, 2006)
  • 5× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2000, 2003–2005, 2007)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1995)
  • 5× NBA assists leader (1999–2001, 2003–2004)
  • NBA Skills Challenge Champion (2003)
  • 2× NBA Sportsmanship Award (2012–2013)
  • Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1992)
  • Pac-10 Player of the Year (1994)
  • NCAA All-American (1994)
  • #5 retired by University of California

Kidd also spent time on Team USA, winning the Gold Medal in the Sydney (2000) and Beijing (2008) Olympics.

He’s easily one of the best to ever play the game, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up coaching somewhere.

Texas Legends Looking to Add Allen Iverson

Once again, the Dallas Mavericks D-League team, the Texas Legends, is making news. Last week, we wrote about the addition of Delonte West to the Legends, but now, they’ve outdone themselves.

According to reports from ESPN, the Legends are now making a push for long time 76ers point guard, and NBA bad boy Allen Iverson.

That’s right. Allen Iverson might be the newest Texas Legend.

The same Allen Iverson who hates practice, and currently plays in China. Or Turkey. Somewhere like that..

For those that struggle to put two and two together, that means the Legends backcourt would be Delonte West and Allen Iverson, making it the most polarizing backcourt ever for a D-League team.

Now, with the signing of Mike James for the remainder of the season expected to be coming down later today (EDIT 11:44 am: The Mavs have officially announced James’ signing through the end of the year), it seems that Iverson would not become a Dallas Maverick any time soon (same goes for West, by the way). However, I guarantee you I’d get myself up to Allen to watch those guys play.

One other interesting thing of note, Dirk Nowitzki just passed Iverson this Sunday on the all time scoring list, moving into 18th all time.

I’m not sure why this is happening, but I like it.

Go Mavs.

Delonte West is back…sort of

(Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Earlier Friday, ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon reported that the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League team, acquired Delonte West off of waivers, just days after the maligned point guard made himself available.

Now, this doesn’t mean he’ll be with the Mavericks any time soon. The organization seems to be pretty fond of Mike James, and the rumor is that the Mavs will sign James for the rest of the season when his second 10-day contract expires.

One can hold out hope though, that West will be back on the team soon.

If you recall though, West didn’t exactly leave the team on great terms before the season, reportedly getting into a huge fight with Rick Carlisle, leading to a one-day indefinite suspension. Despite the short nature of his suspension, West was released from the team several days later, and it was thought he was off his medications.

He tweeted otherwise at the time, and included a quip about him sitting across from the AAC with tears in his eyes.

West has had quite the rollercoaster ride in the NBA, but it seemed like he had finally found a match with the Mavericks. Concerns about his influence on younger players was also reportedly an issue, and could be the reason in the long run that keeps West from ever being a Maverick again.

 

Healthy Mavericks Proving They Can Still Play

(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)

With Dirk fully back from his knee injury, and Elton Brand looking rejuvenated, we’ve been graced with some Mavericks basketball of old over the past three games.

Not to mention, Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo, two of the streakiest players in the NBA, have been tearing it up.

My only question, as the Mavericks creep closer back to the .500 mark, is can they sustain?

During this three game winning streak they’ve beaten Sacramento (14-24), Memphis the night after an overtime win against San Antonio, where half of the Grizzlies starters didn’t play in the second half, and Minnesota (16-19) without Kevin Love.

I’m not doing this to discount what Dallas has done the last few games, because they’ve been dominant, starting with the second half against the Kings. They’re moving the ball well, shots are falling, and generally the morale of the team seems to be high.

Now, Cuban has come out and said he’s ready to wheel and deal, to relieve other teams of their cap woes and add some stronger pieces to the roster.

Of course, with the way guys are playing currently, things look pretty strong.

There’s definitely still a need for a rebounding big man. As much as I like Chris Kaman and Elton Brand, they cannot rebound to save their lives. Both of them are right around six rebounds a game, putting them both two rebounds per game behind Shawn Marion.

The Mavericks have proven they can score, and they’ve proven they can play strong defense. The name of the game now is consistency. If they can start playing at a consistently high level, we may not have to talk lottery as soon as I thought.

Here’s to hoping they keep proving me wrong.

Go Mavs.