Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:17 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 4:23 pm
Posted by Royce Young
They haven't got their rings quite yet, but the Mavericks can check off one more thing on their champions tour: They've shaken the hand of the president.
The Mavericks met President Barack Obama at the White House Monday to be honored and recognized for winning the 2010-11 NBA title.
"This was the Mavericks' first title, so I want to start by recognizing everyone that stuck with the team through good times and bad," Obama said to begin.
Obama also joked about the fact that because of the shortened season the Mavs weren't scheduled to play in Washington this season. Something owner Mark Cuban was very vocally upset with.
"It turns out that because of the lockout Dallas wasn't scheduled to play in Washington this season. That did not sit well with Mark," Obama said as Cuban laughed behind him.
Obama also got a pretty good zing in on the age of the Mavs.
"People said that Jason Kidd was too old. And I will say this is the first I've been with some world champions who are my contemporaries."
A few key players were missing from the meeting though as Tyson Chandler is now with the Knicks, J.J. Barea with the Wolves, Caron Butler is with the Clippers, DeShawn Stevenson with the Nets and Peja Stojakovic is retired.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
(Cuban is at the 11-minute mark)
David Stern has already tried to wipe the mess of the NBA owning the Hornets and trading Chris Paul clean. He's tried to blame the frenzy last week on irresponsible journalists and outraged fans. He's tried to say that everything was on the up and up.
But with the report out of Houston saying that Stern lied and the same coming from Los Angeles, it's obvious that this isn't going away. Especially since Mark Cuban piled on a bit when talking to TMZ.
Cuban already said that but just not in as strong a way last week. He talked about how star players have a system where if they stay in their current market, they can make the most money. And that was part of what the labor fight was over. He called the league hypocrites for given in so easily. Dan Gilbert sent an email to Stern and it's very likely that Cuban voiced his displeasure in the original trade as well. So he's not really upset about the veto, but more with the whole mess created by the NBA owning the Hornets.
“You would think the team owned by the NBA and run by the commissioner would be the first to stick it out, and they weren’t. And to me, it’s hypocritical, and they threw a lot of us under the bus.”Wouldn't expect anything less than strong words from Cuban. And while he's not necessarily talking about the failed three-team trade, he is talking about the way the whole thing got handled. It was a mess and remains so. The NBA needs to find a new owner quickly before more of this happens. Because Stern's got at least three perturbed owners in Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas that didn't like the way this all went down.
Posted on: December 16, 2011 3:17 pm
By Matt Moore
In this week's edition of the Friday 5, we go over the insanity of the week that was, the best value signing of free agency, and why you should be very, very scared of the Mavericks. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS.
1. So... that was a fun week. What surprised you the most over the past week?
KB: Undoubtedly, it was how involved Stern and the league office were in the Hornets' trade discussions. Ultimately, I believe the Hornets got a better deal as a result. But I was stunned by the role the league took on. It had been my impression that the league would advise on certain priorities for trading Chris Paul, but I never envisioned that the commissioner would be telling the Hornets' basketball people what to do -- or that Stu Jackson would be the architect of the eventual deal. All's well that ends well, I guess. But I definitely found that surprising.
2. What's next for the league with the Hornets? When are they going to start looking at buyers?
KB: Stern said there would be a new owner in place in the first half of 2012, so they're moving fast. Clearly, there must be a list of contenders, and they'll evidently begin narrowing it down after the New Year.
3. Give me your best value signing of free agency.
KB: It's hard not to like what the Pacers did, getting David West for $20 million over two years. Indy has a nice group with West, Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, Paul George and George Hill/Darren Collison.
4. So Dwight Howard's off the table. Let's indulge in fairy tales for a minute and ask the question, what could Orlando do between now and All-Star Weekend to convince him to stay?
KB: Well, the hope in Orlando is that a good start over the first two months of the season, with an expressed willingness to add another significant component to the roster, would appeal to the part of Dwight that, deep down, wants to stay. I'm not convinced that's going to work, simply because I'm not sold that the Magic have enough to be a title contender. (I'm puzzled by the Glen Davis addition, for example, but I'm told that's what Dwight wanted.) I suppose one thing they could do is just give the ball to Dwight every trip down the floor from Christmas Day until the All-Star break and hope everyone else is too tired and beat up from the compressed schedule to guard him. Having said all that, I do not expect Howard to finish the season in Orlando.
5. What in the name of everything holy is Dallas doing?
KB: That's easy. They're trying to get Deron Williams, Dwight Howard or BOTH. Getting both will be difficult, but the Mavs already are projected to be at least $18 million under the cap next summer, and if they bought out Lamar Odom ($2.4 million guaranteed) and amnestied Brendan Haywood, that's another $14 million. Scared? You should be. Just imagine how the Nets and Magic feel.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 4:05 pm
Posted by Royce Young
At first, Mark Cuban said the Mavericks were going to do something different than rings to commemorate their 2011 championship. The players wanted rings though, so there was a compromise -- the player would design their own.
So Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd started working on it and evidently came up with a ring so flashy that not even Mark Cuban could pay for it. But not because he didn't have the money, but because it's against the rules. Cuban explained to 105.3 The Fan in Dallas:
"I'm like, 'OK, you do know the NBA has a limit on how much we can spend, right?' And it's not 150 grand, trust me," Cuban said. "I'm not going to tell you the exact amount but it's nowhere near. The NBA, because they don't want salary cap violations, puts a limit on how much you can spend on any given ring for any player."How much were Dirk and friends' ring designs? Somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000... per player. Add all that up and it's around $3,000,000 for each player that was on the active roster last season for the championship. That's J.J. Barea's salary from last season. Or it could've been $3 million more to toss at Tyson Chandler.
Cuban's no stranger to the lavish NBA lifestyle though. He's famous for providing the best stuff money can buy for his Mavericks, whether that be training equipment, locker room furniture or whatever. So I can't help but wonder if the league didn't have the restrictions, if Cuban would actually go for it.
Lucky for Cuban, it's against NBA rules to go that crazy on a championship ring. So maybe he'll go back to his old idea and get something other than rings like a diamond covered goblet or something.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 3:00 pm
By Matt Moore
The Knicks have their man, and it's not CP3. Even after talks broke down in a deal that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, leaving open the possibility of the point guard joining the team he toasted in 2010, the Knicks have agreed to a deal with center Tyson Chandler. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday that the Knicks had moved to the front of the line for the 29-year-old veteran who was a key component in the Dallas Mavericks' championship run.
Chandler joined a Dallas radio station Friday to announce he would sign with New York and thank fans and the Mavericks organization. Dallas is clearly pushing to clear cap space in advance of 2012's free agency class, which seems to be narrowing every second, with both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard heavily involved in trade rumors that would put them on teams they would then re-sign with in July.
The New York Times reports his asking price was a four-year, $58 million deal, which puts him at an average of $14.5 million per year. Compared to the ridiculous amount the New Jersey Nets are reportedly offering Nene, that makes Chandler a steal. It's a big win for the Knicks, who need a better interior defender and legitimate center. There are injury concerns with Chandler along with his age, but in a league that's short on big men, and for a team so despereately in need of defense and rebounding, this was a spectacular fit.
Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony now make up arguably the best three-man frontcourt in the league. With Melo's perimeter range, Stoudemire's post and elbow offense, and Chandler's ability to clean up the offensive glass, the Knicks will be in a prime position to contend for the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least. To get this deal done, however, Chauncey Billups will be amnestied, something Billups is dead set against, and the Knicks will have to find some way to bring in a competent starting point guard. Toney Douglas hasn shown flashes but not enough overall, and rookie Iman Shumpert is an unknown at this point, playing under Mike D'Antoni who's not the rookie-friendliest coach in the league.
But Chandler does address immediate concerns, and helps out Stoudemire immensely. Stoudemire is a poor help defender, and Chander is excellent at that. Stoudemire lacks the length and size to play center, Chandler is a pure five. Stoudemire struggles with double-teams in traffic, Chandler can finish off dum-offs. And Stoudemire is an attrocious rebounder and Chandler is of high caliber.
The Knicks have a big man, a true 5. They may not get Chris Paul, but they're going to be a better team in 2011-2012.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 1:44 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Everyone is pretty much freaking over the Chris Paul trade. For good reasons. It's pretty much an unprecedented move that completely blew the doors off the league and everybody covering it.
After it happened, the common thinking was it was the owners that pressured David Stern. There was the Dan Gilbert email which is just sickening, but he was really the only one anyone could connect to it. Now Mark Cuban has come clean to the Ben and Skin show in Dallas:
"The message is we went through this lockout for a reason," Cuban said Friday. "Again, I'm not speaking for Stern. He's not telling me his thought process. I'm just telling you my perspective, having gone through all this. There's a reason that we went through this lockout, and one of the reasons is to give small-market teams the ability to keep their stars and the ability to compete."
Stern claimed it was vetoed for "basketball reasons" saying that he felt the team was better served with Paul in New Orleans. Everyone knows that's pretty much bogus because owners like Cuban don't mind saying they disagreed.
"We just had a lockout, and one of the goals of the lockout was to say that small-market teams now have a chance to keep their players, and the rules were designed to give them that opportunity," Cuban said. "So to all of a sudden have a league-owned team trade their best player, particularly after having gone out and sold a ton of tickets in that market, that's not the kind of signal you want to send.
"Then, part two of that is all the rules of what you can and can't do under the new CBA weren't finalized until yesterday, so how do you really make a strategic decision until you know all the rules?"
By the sound of Cuban there, it seems like maybe this could be revisited after the league is officially up and running again. Maybe, maybe not.
Would it be different if this were the Mavs getting Paul though? Would Cuban have a different opinion if his team were acquiring a great player like him?
"I mean, obviously, I wouldn't have been happy, but I would have understood because it was a conversation a lot of owners had long before the Laker deal was consummated," Cuban said. "It was like, 'Look, sure, I'd love him. Give him to me in a heartbeat.' But the whole idea of the lockout was to prevent stuff like that.
"Players will always have the right to choose what they want to do as a free agent, but the players agreed to rules that said, 'You know what? Let's give the home team, the incumbent team an extra advantage.' And that's how the rules were designed. I think they're going to work."
David Stern released a statement about the trade to try and explain what happened here. Trust me, it's not good enough and I'm sure this isn't the last word on the matter.
"Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner’s Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling. All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.”Free of influence, eh? Obviously that's not true. Your owners ratted you out already Stern.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:18 am
By Matt Moore
As much as everyone outside of the state of Florida may have wanted to enjoy watching the Heat as the Mavericks get their championship rings, it's not to be. Those interested in schadenfreude will have to settle for the Miami 3 watching the Mavericks' first championship banner be raised.
WFAA in Dallas reports that Mark Cuban has informed them the Christmas Day season opener against the Heat will not be ring ceremony night for the Mavericks. It's customary for the first home game of the season to be ring ceremony night, but Cuban says that due to so many people likely having made other plans for Christmas in light of the ongoing lockout, he didn't want to leave them out.
However, the banner will be raised to the rafters so fans can celebrate their championship team on their home floor for the first time. The Heat of course lost to the Mavericks in six games in last season's Finals.
The story should be about the Mavericks, but it will, as always, be about the Heat. How will they react watching the banner they were two wins away from obtaining be raised in front of them? Does it spell an omen or serve as motivation? Will it affect how they approach their first game of the season? A loss would leave the Heat 0-2 in season openers under the new Triad after last year's loss to the Celtics in Boston.
Either way, it's going to be a fairly brutal process for the Heat to sit and watch the title they nearly won be celebrated on their opponents' home floor. Great drama, just the thing to kick off the season with to start moving past the lockout.
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 6:14 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Least shocking news of the day: It took less than 72 hours since the NBA's "tentative" labor deal was struck for perpetually petulant guard Rudy Fernandez to find his name in reports stating his unhappiness with the league and his preference for continuing to play in his homeland of Spain.
Spanish website ElConfidencial.com reported that Fernandez planned to travel to Dallas next week to meet with the Mavericks in an effort to arrange his immediate departure from the NBA's defending champions, potentially by buying out of his contract.
HoopsHype.com, quoting "a reliable source," quickly reported that the original report was erroneous.
“Rudy Fernandez’s plan is to join the Mavericks next week and play with them this year,” the source said. “Asking for a buyout is not an option at this moment at all. He wants to play with Dallas and do a good job there.”Fernandez was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Mavericks on the night of the 2011 NBA Draft and has one year remaining on his rookie scale contract. Fernandez butted heads often with Blazers coach Nate McMillan as he desired a more consistent, meaningful role in Portland's rotation. Prior to the 2010-2011 season, he threatened not to show up to camp in an effort to get himself traded before relenting. He averaged 8.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game for the Blazers last season and was virtually invisible during Portland's first round playoff series, shooting just 4-for-18 over six games.
Back in August, Fernandez inked a multi-year contract with Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid, where he played during the lockout. He is averaging 16.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for Real Madrid in Spanish league play, according to DraftExpress.com. Fernandez, 26, won a gold medal for Spain at the 2011 EuroBasket tournament; his heart is clearly in Spain and it's possible that his long-term financial best interests are there, too.
This goes without saying, but the Mavericks will never, ever, ever use their amnesty clause on Fernandez, who is owed a paltry $2.1 million in 2011-2012. The Amnesty Clause can be used on any player currently on the roster at any time during the recently negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's an extremely valuable cap management tool that can help mitigate against disastrous injury or overpaying for unproductive play. With Brendan Haywood on the books for more than $45 million guaranteed through 2015-2016, there's no way Dallas owner Mark Cuban burns his Amnesty card just to make Fernandez happy. It's a pipe dream.
As for agreeing to release Fernandez, the Mavericks have no real motivation for doing so. He's an affordable, serviceable -- if somewhat emotionally erratic and unreliable -- reserve guard who adds depth to their backcourt. Dallas might need to let J.J. Barea and/or DeShawn Stevenson go during free agency, meaning there is the potential for Fernandez to get some real run. Showing up and honoring his contract is the right thing to do, even if it might not be Fernandez's first choice. No matter what, he's free to return to Real Madrid in July 2012.