I want to be friends with the Mavericks’ video team.
(via Joe Mason)
I want to be friends with the Mavericks’ video team.
(via Joe Mason)
We all know that the Dallas Mavericks (21-28) are in the midst of their worst season since 1999-2000, which wouldn’t be so bad if this season didn’t immediately follow their previous worst season since 1999-2000. So basically, after winning their first title, the Mavericks have turned in the two worst campaigns of the Mark Cuban era. Pretty discouraging, I’m sure, if you’re a Mavericks fan.
But don’t give up hope yet, Dallasers. The team has a plan to turn things around and I’m pretty sure it’s going to work. From ESPN’s Tim MacMahon:
Get used to Dirk with a beard. He’s one of several Mavs who have vowed not to shave until they get back to .500.
It’s like I always say — when in doubt, grow it out. It’s a time-tested theory for making your team in to a winner. Just look at the NHL. When is the last time a team won a Stanley Cup without a team full of beards? Exactly.
Not to mention, the Mavs have a bunch of solid beard guys already. Dudes like O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter and Chris Kaman have all looked really great in beards in the past, except for Kaman who was only included to make this in to a list of three. I’m not saying every Maverick that commits to bearding things up is going to look as great as O.J. and Vince but at least the other guys have facial hair role models they can look up to.
Really though, I’m just hoping that the Mavericks continue to be an average team and that it takes them a while to get back to even, mostly because I want to see Dirk with a giant beard. This might not be the best Mavericks season in recent memory, but it certainly could end up the most hirsute.
Several hundred blog years ago, back in ye olden days of 2007, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks lost a first round series to the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors. You might have heard something about this when the Mavericks were winning their 2011 title. I think it might have been mentioned.
As you might imagine, Dirk was pretty upset about this since it was embarrassing and meant he’d be accepting his MVP award after already being eliminated from the playoffs. So he broke some stuff at the Oracle Arena, which tends to happen when competitive people are upset. No bigs.
But that’s not the good part. The good part is that Dirk Nowitzki took his broken wall and made it awesome, just by being Dirk Nowitzki. From NBA.com’s David Aldridge:
3) I knew that Dirk Diggler had thrown a chair into a wall near the visitors’ locker room at Golden State after the Mavs were upset by the Warriors in that classic first-round series in 2007, which produced a basketball-sized hole in the drywall. But I didn’t know that he had been good-natured enough to sign his artwork until I took a good look underneath the hole last week.
Let’s file this one away in the “Dirk Nowitzki is Awesome” binder. It’s getting pretty full, but I think you can squeeze it in between “The Way He Holds a Microphone at Press Conferences” and “Those Few Times He’s Worn a Headband.” It’s a pretty great binder, just like Dirk’s a pretty great Dadaist. Art is confusing but this is awesome.
Good gravy, this is the perfect synthesis of everything that is Vince Carter’s NBA career. He fakes an injury and then gets a dunk. On the same play. Those are the two things Vince Carter is known for. Why didn’t he think of this before? Would have changed everything.
In space, no one can hear your team miss the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
Jonathan Abrams alert, everybody. Grantland’s superb NBA features writer just dropped another excellent word bomb, this time on the very long careers of Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace. As is the custom, it is recommended that you read the entire thing immediately after enjoying this first delicious taste.
That first Dallas season also featured the defining Jerry Stackhouse, Tough Guy story. It happened after Utah rookie Kirk Snyder took a cheap shot at him under the basket during a game. Stackhouse retaliated with one of his own. Both men thought they were even. Nope. They bumped into each other a few plays later and … well, Stackhouse can explain the rest.
“Boom, he punched me in the stomach with an open fist,” Stackhouse said, incredulously. “I was like, ‘OK, I can go crazy right now and get suspended for two or three games and lose this money.’ The smart side of me said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that. But I’m going to get this boy.’ You don’t put your hands on me. I can deal with a lot of verbal stuff and wolfing and all that, but you put your hands on me, no. And I thought I had cleaned it up, but obviously I hadn’t.”
When the game ended, Stackhouse recalls asking the training staff for a warm-up suit, then waiting on the docks where Utah’s bus would depart. “I ain’t even shower,” Stackhouse recalls. “I put on some sweats, some sneakers, and I went and stood in the tunnel. As soon as [Snyder] came out, I fired on him. I got in a couple. That was it. I don’t know where all these security people came from. It probably lasted 20 seconds. Everybody pulled me off and that was it.”
And that’s how an NBA urban legend is born. Only, in this case, it actually happened: the time Jerry Stackhouse saved a few bucks by beating up Kirk Snyder after a Mavs-Jazz game. They ran into each other again the following year, after Snyder had been traded to New Orleans. Again, he approached Stackhouse in the tunnel. “He started walking to me,” Stackhouse remembers. “I closed my fists, wondering what’s this fool up to, thinking we’re about to go in. He just came in and opened his hand out to me and said, ‘Man, I really needed that.’” Snyder told Stackhouse that he had been struggling to get onto the court and wanted to impress his coach, Jerry Sloan. “I was just like, ‘Damn, next time just get my number. You want to talk to somebody, we can do that without me having to pay a $1,000 fine. But it was the weirdest thing I had ever witnessed. You get into some knuckles with someone and they come back and tell you, ‘I needed that.’”
And that, my friends, is why Jerry Stackhouse topped Tom Ziller’s list of the NBA’s most terrifying men and has beaten up so many people that he has his own top five list. Because he’ll save some money by beating you up after the game, then go out and sing the national anthem. If that happened today, it’d be a 30-game suspension.
Go read this whole thing, for stories like this, Rasheed Wallace warming up in a football helmet and Darvin Ham describing Sheed’s D-League coaching advice as “mental jewels.” It’s pretty much the best, just like having both of these guys in the league. So good.