Tag:Caron Butler
Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 5:21 pm

Video: Mavericks return home after winning title

Among the many reasons this NBA season and these NBA playoffs were incredible, the fact that the Mavericks -- who had never won a title -- won should be considered heavily as the favorite. This was no rote "just another title" to throw on a dynasty's pile, nor a coronation of a team expected to win. It was an organic title, the kind that everyone should pay more attention to in sports. From good team to great team to hot team in the playoffs and finally champion. 

And now we've got a nice video of what it was like after the Mavericks partied like a rock star on South Beach. Here's a video of them returning home to Dallas on the team flight. Highlights include:

  • Dirk working on the "We Are The Champions" rendition he did at the parade.
  • Caron Butler very excited despite his lack of playing time due to injury.
  • Jason Kidd with a simple "woo."
  • Rick Carlisle completely knocked out and sleeping the sleep of the victorious.
  • And a truly awesome "I'M THAT DUDE!"

But the best part of this video? This, right here:


That, friends, is priceless.

(HT: Earl Sneed on Twitter)
Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:26 pm

Mavericks take on Letterman Top 10 as champs

Posted by Matt Moore

The World Champion Dallas Mavericks took to the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday to give the Top Ten Good Things About Winning the NBA Championship. Check it out. 


I think my personal favorite is Tyson Chandler's. Because this? This is awesome. 

Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Heat partied with Mavericks after Game 6?

Posted by Matt Moore

See, when people question their will to win? This is what they're talking about.

Reports surfaced Monday on 790 The Ticket in Miami that some Heat players joined the Mavericks on Sunday night while the new NBA champs partied on South Beach (photos!) after their Game 6 win. One trusted member of Mavs media confirmed that Erick Dampier was one of the Miami members in attendance, along with unnamed others. 

Just so we're clear on this. The Mavs trash-talked you all series long, dashed your title hopes, put even more criticism on your squad, celebrated on your floor and then in your city, and you go party with them? Nice chemistry guys. A few assorted thoughts:

  • The Big Three reportedly were not part of the celebration, but would it surprise you in the slightest if they were? Would that shock you in any way? If LeBron James had gone down there to party with JET, it would have been just more delight for the millions of people that took abject glee in the fall of the Heat and James in particular. It's a good thing they didn't head down there as far as we knew.
  • On the flip side of this, I tried explaining to people how much of this entire process is theatrics. Do the Mavs and Heat organizations like each other? No. Do Dirk and Wade get along? Probably not. But it's not personal, and all of these players consider themselves part of a brotherhood of players. Once the buzzer sounds, most of them are friends with one another. We like to think of these as blood rivalries like the one that existed with the Celtics and Lakers of the 80's but things aren't like that. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant are buds, though they try and keep that one quiet for PR purposes. That said, KG would never celebrate with the team that defeated him.
  • How does one make that decision? "Well, I just lost the NBA Finals. What can I do? I guess I'll go out, since I live in Miami. Hmm. Maybe I should go drink and dance with the guys that just made me look like a group of slugs offensively and shut us down on our own floor. That sounds fun! Surely no one will see me!"
  • There likely won't be repercussions from this for Maimi, but there should be. Players that partake in that kind of behavior shouldn't be allowed to return to the team. Dampier is old enough to where he probably doesn't care, and after so many years in Dallas, you can understand him wanting to see his guys celebrate. But at the same time, one of the Heat's biggest issues this year was chemistry, and having guys who aren't fully committed to the organization is part of that. 
  • It's an insult to Chris Bosh, who was emotionally wrecked after the loss. Say what you want about Bosh, he played his face off in the postseason and wanted to win badly. He cared. 

(HT: BDL via PBT)
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:13 pm

Rick Carlisle and strategic believing

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- The word "believe" is one that pretty much passes through me these days. I mean, it couldn't get more cliche, could it? It's said so often in sports, it has the same impact as "points" or "effort." It's nothing more than an overused phrase that players and coaches use to deflect the conversation into the most bland terms. It doesn't actually mean anything. 


All series long, all  playoffs long, all season long,  Carlisle has preached the word "believe." When asked about their resiliency in coming back from fourth-quarter deficits time and time again, Carlisle would talk about how the team believed. When facing a 2-1 deficit going into Game 4 against the Heat, Carlisle said they needed to believe in themselves. And each time I rolled my eyes. They don't actually think this. It's about strategic adjustments, and about focus.


But then there's Shawn Marion, screaming his face off in a tiny visitor's locker room that reeks of sweat and stale champagne, running his mouth constantly but pausing to talk about Carlisle.

"Coach just told us to keep believing in ourselves," Marion said, "and that's what we did. We believed in this team." 

Then there's Ian Mahinmi, basking in the glow of finally contributing in a meaningful way on his way to a championship, just two years after he left the NBA D-League. I asked him what it was that gave Carlisle the ability to get all these role players, to get every single player to be ready to go full bore and make the right plays at a moment's notice. 

"He just kept telling us to believe in ourselves. Going into a game like this, there's so much pressure, you don't want to be the one to make a mistake, and he just kept telling me how much he believed in what I could do."

The tenth guy on the roster, and he's ready to go because Carlisle had him believing it. Carlisle was asked by a bombastic reporter to talk himself up after Game 4 and simply laughed the question off. He refused to take any credit, even after it was his strategic decisions that helped the Mavericks shut down the best talent in the league, even after it was his motivational work that got a team of players who are quite honestly old to be the first to the ball every time. Carlisle still wouldn't take his bow. 

Carlisle in his post-game comments credited "the collective toughness" of his team, Dirk Nowitkzi, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal, ownership, everyone but himself.  The man had just finished off one of the best postseasons of any coach since the turn of the century, and done it with an aging roster and using players like a 5-10 (if that) former D-League player and a throwaway from the Caron Butler trade (oh, yeah, and Butler was injured). And he still wouldn't take credit. 

Don't be mistaken, Carlisle's tactical adjustments were the key to this series. Starting J.J. Barea and providing that initial burst of speed allowing Stevenson to guard James late as a backup to Marion and putting together a pick and roll defense strategy against one of the best combinations of talent this league has ever seen, those are the strategic elements that brought the Mavs the title. They were always going to get an amazing performance from Dirk Nowitzki

There was a possession in the second quarter of Game 6. After Tyson Chandler beat his man once again to the offensive rebound and the possession reset, Jason Kidd went around a wing pick, and when the double came, immediately slung the ball to J.J. Barea. For the Heat, or most teams, really, this is either a contested three from Barea, a dribble probe, or some other individual effort with the clock winding down. Barea instantly slung a sidearm pass to a cutting Shawn Marion who went right to the basket, his defender back screened by Chandler. It was cohesive, it was flawless, it was the type of play you need veterans for. But more importantly, that play requires a coach to drill consistency and an understanding of teammates in. There was no improvisation, it was a practiced set that worked to perfection, performed by players that understand the sacrifice and devotion to the team concept that can lead to real success.

After the play, Carlisle merely nodded his head, acknowledging the good work, then turned his attention to the defensive end.

After so many years of good work in Indiana and Detroit, it finally came home for Carlisle Sunday night. He adds his second ring, his first as a coach, and even in the presser, he didn't bask in the warm glow of his greatness like so many coaches at the top of the Western Conference outside of Texas would. He just credited his players and sat back amazed at what this incredible group of players had accomplished, in his mind, for him. Hopefully somewhere he knows just how much of a hand he had in it. There's talk today of the Mavericks' future with aging players and what tomorrow brings. But with Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks will always know what they're getting, what they got this year that rewarded them with a championship: a winning coach that understands the way the game should be played.  

And a guy who made believers out of everyone.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:28 am

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- That championship feeling won't wear off for a couple months, but eventually, the Dallas Mavericks will have to lace 'em back up and get ready to defend their title. (Hopefully sooner than later. I'm talking to you, lockout.)

The Mavericks completed a fairly improbable championship run, overcoming a serious injury to a starter, playing with just one real star and winning completely as a team, top to bottom. You don't see that much any more not just in the NBA, but professional sports.

But there will be a next season -- I think -- and the Mavs obviously are going to try and do it all over again. Winning once is great and validates a lot and redefines legacies all over the place, but it's not like they're all pulling a George Costanza and throwing their hands up to say, "That's it! I'm outta here!"

So what kind of offseason things will the Mavs be dealing with? Five questions for the champs.

1. What to do with Tyson Chandler?
Clearly, the Mavs want him back. Problem is, he may have played a little too good. No doubt Dirk was the Finals MVP, but if you told me to pick someone other than him I wouldn't have gone with Jason Terry. I would've said Chandler. Nobody impacted the series more than him in those six games, Dirk included.

The Hornets dealt with this exact same issues as Chandler put together some great numbers playing with Chris Paul, but Chandler's contract came back to bite them because it was too long and for too much. He made $12.6 million this past year and at just 28, he should have some good years left.

But he has been prone to injury and at 7 feet, that's not good. He has played 10 seasons already and 662 games. It would be a pretty scary endeavor for Dallas to extend him long-term for a big amount. But he earned a new paycheck and it's impossible to deny how important he was to the Mavs winning a trophy. Dallas wants him back, but it's about whether or not the numbers line up.

2. What to do with Caron Butler?

Remember him? The Mavs' No. 2 scorer and second or third best player? How many other teams could have survived losing their second or third option and still won an NBA title? We'll go with "not many."

Butler worked his butt off to try and get back to play in the postseason, but after having major knee surgery in January, that was just impossible. But he'll be 100 percent again next year and despite concern over the knee, he'll likely return to form. Question is, does Dallas want him back?

He's expiring this summer and is a $10 million a year player. The free agent market this summer is a bit thin but if the Mavs have visions of Dwight Howard, Deron Williams or maybe Chris Paul in 2012, locking up Butler and/or Chandler for multiple years will have major consequences in getting a big deal done like that in the future.

3. Do they need to get a little younger?
Everyone knows the Mavs are old. Jason Kidd is 58. Dirk is something like 52. Ballpark figures, of course (38 for Kidd and 33 on June 19 for Dirk are the actual numbers). They only have a couple of young players (Roddy Beaubois, J.J. Barea, Dominique Jones, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal -- just making sure you were listening on that last one). Pretty much every key player on the roster is in their late 20s or 30s.

But this isn't a franchise that operates on a long-term sustainability mindset anymore. They've already had their long-term sustainability and it finally paid off. They've won at least 50 games for 10 straight seasons and now have a championship. At some point the Mavs will have to start over, but not now. They have a few good years left with Dirk, Jason Terry can still play and Rick Carlisle is a wonderful coach. Cuban will spend big when he has to, but for now, they can stay as old as they want because it didn't hurt them a bit this year.

4. Where can they improve?
It's always a funny thing to ask after a team wins a title because if this roster was good enough to win it all once, why can't they do it again? But the reality is 29 other teams will spend a summer trying to get better -- or 28, depending on your view of the Timberwolves -- so Dallas can't stand pat and hope Dirk is unreal again next year.

The Mavs need to lock up J.J. Barea and keep him as part of the core. But they could get better at shooting guard for sure. Jason Terry sees the bulk of those minutes and DeShawn Stevenson played his role well, but the vision is Beaubois in that spot. Either he gets it together, or the Mavs find a replacement.

Shawn Marion was wonderful in the postseason, but that may have been a last hurrah. A little more depth behind him at small forward is definitely something the Mavs should look at.

5. Can they repeat?
Can they? Absolutely. When you have a Nowitzki, you are a threat in every single situation.

But let's face it -- a lot went right for the Mavs in these playoffs. They got hot at the right times, got huge unexpected efforts from Peja Stojakovic, Shawn Marion, J.J. Barea and even Ian Mahinmi at one point. Brendan Hawyood hit free throws. They had games where they hit 75 3s (again, slight exaggeration -- that would be a record of some note).

They were the best team, no doubt, but it would be a lot to ask to have another perfect postseason next year. The Mavs will be very good again next year because they always are. Are they contenders? For sure. But I wouldn't put them as a favorite or anything. Which is probably just how they like it.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 2:45 pm

Governor Kasich: Mavericks are 'Honorary Ohioans'

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, declared the Dallas Mavericks "Honorary Ohioans" after their 2011 NBA title. Posted by Ben Golliver. john-kasich

Revenge for "The Decision" now bears an executive seal.

John Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, took the unusual step of honoring a team with no geographical ties to his jurisdiction. On Monday, one day after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Kasich's office released a press release noting that the governor had issued a resolution that declared that the Mavericks, their friends, family and fans are now officially "Honorary Ohioans."

Why would he do this? Retribution, of course.

The Heat were led by Ohio native former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who opted to take his talents to South Beach last summer rather than return to play for the Cavaliers. In return, fans in Ohio booed him mercilessly during his two return visits to Cleveland and openly rooted for the Heat to get bounced from the playoffs.

The resolution specifically praises Dallas' "loyalty, integrity and teamwork" and specifically praises Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki for choosing to re-sign with the Mavericks last summer. Kasich's resolution bears the official seal of Ohio, bestows upon the Mavericks "all privileges and honors" that goes with the title "Honorary Ohioans" and is signed at the bottom.

You know who definitely finds this hilarious and awesome? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who issued his own decree on Sunday night. 

Below is a small version of the official resolution. Click here to read the whole thing.

Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:44 pm

DeShawn's shirt: 'LeBron, How's my Dirk taste?'

DeShawn Stevenson wears a shirt that says, "Hey LeBron! How's my dirk taste?" Posted by Ben Golliver. stevenson-shirt-small

After poking and prodding Miami Heat forward LeBron James throughout the 2011 NBA Finals, Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson got in one final shot following Dallas' NBA title. 

The Mavericks closed out the series on Sunday night with a 105-95 win in Game 6 before taking to South Beach club LIV to celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy.  

On Monday, the Mavericks flew home to Dallas, where Stevenson was spotted wearing a Mavericks blue and white t-shirt with lettering that read: "Hey LeBron! How's my Dirk taste?"

That slogan is an obvious reference to a Shaquille O'Neal freestyle rap. O'Neal used the line, "Hey Kobe, tell me how my a** taste" to mock his former teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

To add a play on teammate Dirk Nowitzki's name here is incredibly inspired work from Stevenson, who may well have created a legacy for himself as "The Guy Who Got Into LeBron's Head Completely" in these 2011 NBA Finals.

The most underrated part of this shirt is that it bears the sponsorship of HDNet, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's television station. It's almost like Cuban is personally endorsing the joke.

Picture via BallinWithBryan on YFrog.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 12:42 pm

Miami Herald runs ad congratulating the Heat

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- Nothing like a little "Dewey defeats Truman!" situation to wrap up this NBA season.

The Miami Herald screwed the pooch on an ad in Monday's edition of the paper. Here, let the Miami New Times explain:
As if reading the Sports section didn't suck enough for Heat fans this morning, Miami Herald readers opened their paper to find a nearly full-page ad reading "Congratulations Miami!" next to photos of Heat championship T-shirts and hats from Macy's. ("Raise Another Banner" -- ughhhhh.)

Maybe Mark Cuban took this out as a extra special Monday morning foot-to-the-balls for Heat fans? He's devious. We won't put it past him.

Just for extra effect, the ad runs directly under a banner headline about how badly the Heat's point guard's sucked and an all-caps header proclaiming: DALLAS WINS BEST OF 7 SERIES 4-2.

Thanks, Miami Herald. You are the fourth-quarter LeBron James of local sports coverage.
What's really odd to me about that is the Heat weren't even the ones that had a chance to win the title last night. It was just Game 6 and they still had to win two more. That's a pretty incredible whoopsy right there.

But man does it ever fit the story of this season's Heat. Celebrating before a title was actually won. Even the DJ last night was yelling in the arena before the game, "Let's get ready to celebrate tonight!" I guess forcing a Game 7 would've been great because it's better than the alternative, but the Heat weren't set up to raise a banner Sunday night.

Also: Nice dig there at the end, Miami New Times.
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