After the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA Championship, they were classy. Collected. Cool.
Mark Cuban, he of the tight, tiny tees and loud, exclamatory outbursts was almost subdued. Smiling sweetly, deferring in spotlight to others while he celebrated with his team. Dirk Nowitzki was Dirk, thorough, thoughtful and thankful. Jason Terry was joyous and Shawn Marion wore a knowing smile. Winning on the road, they were on top of the world and they managed to accept their prize with the poise of team that had been there before and a grace that many would comment on.
When DeShawn’s on your squad, he will flip that script so fast your head will spin. Stevenson posed giddily for photos wearing a T-shirt that was everything the Mavs themselves were careful to not be.
“Tell me how my Dirk taste.”
OK, then. A throwback to Shaquille O’Neal’s “Tell me how my ass tastes,” Stevenson reminds us all of his crazy with this one. Yes, he’s got the crack on his forehead to serve as a reminder that he won’t crack (because that makes total sense), he’s got Abe Lincoln on his neck and he’ll engage LeBron James in trash talk without thinking twice, but this? Wow, DeShawn.
If we’re being honest, there’s nothing surprising about this. It’s classic Stevenson. It’s also such a juxtaposition from the image the rest of his team had put forth throughout the playoffs. He gets some points from me for not adding the ever-increasingly-present “pause” after his statement, and also for reminding us that even without an active Shaquille O’Neal in the NBA, the mark he’s made on the league will remain everlasting.
And, really? I can’t hate on him. After coming out on the losing end of battles with LeBron James and the Cavaliers when he was with the Wizards, after having Jay-Z rip him in a verse, he has a ring before James and, most importantly here, he was there for his team when they needed him. From the shove against Udonis Haslem to up the intensity, to the three-pointers and the defense, there wasn’t any shrinking going on from Stevenson.
For that, he’s allowed to choose how he wanted to shine in his moment. Even if he chooses to substitute class for crass.