The most depressing part about this story from my perspective is that I’m posting it while watching the end of the 2006 WCF game between the Spurs and Mavericks where Dirk dropped that dunk plus the harm to propel Dallas to the victory. During the game, the Mavs blew a huge lead and looked poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory throughout the 4th quarter, only to mount a ferocious effort and out-will the at-the-time World Champs. (NBA TV was showing the game this afternoon to hype us up for the Spurs/Mavs game tonight.)
Since that’s clearly irrelevent to you, however, the actual story is that Mav owner and Both Teams Played Hard spokesman Mark Cuban was none too happy about his players’ effort of late, particularly in Monday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since I never once changed the channel away from the Flash vs. LeBron Gala of Unrelenting Brilliance that was occurring on another channel that night, I have no idea whether Cubes’ displeasure is entirely warranted. But based upon the fact that Nenad Krstic had 26 points on 10/14 shooting, I doubt I would be all smiles and butterfly kisses either.
“If each player can’t take the personal initiative to make every game important and play like it, I don’t see them being here next season. The ball won’t always bounce the way we want it to, but every player can control their level of effort. If it’s not important enough to them to lay it out every game the rest of the season, they won’t be back.”
“I don’t care what their contract is. I would rather turn over the roster 100 percent than subject fans to another game like last night. This team has the talent to win in the playoffs. But that’s only going to happen if all 15 guys know and execute their assignments and play every possession like it’s important.”
Even though Cuban was undoubtedly the lever man behind the horrible, horrible Jason Kidd-for-Devin Harris deal that set back this franchise about five years (and I still like JKidd), you gotta feel for this team. They made a great run to the Finals in a year when Dirk had one of the better non-LeBron/Kobe individual seasons in recent memory and immediately fell into a tailspin from which they’ve been completely unable to recover.
In fact, watching Dallas play is so “meh” that I haven’t even bothered to spend all that much time monitoring my man Brandon Bass. If anyone has any thoughts on Senor Brolic’s play of late, leave em in the comments.
But in cheerier news, this photo: