Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban turns into a sniveling little girl when it comes to his MVP

Today was supposed to be Dirk Nowitzki’s big day as he received the franchise’s first ever MVP award from David Stern. But, then again, this was supposed to be happening during the pregame festivities of a playoff game and not from inside a conference room in Dallas. So, what should have been a celebration for the Mavericks organization felt an awful lot like a funeral. Here’s Mark Cuban delivering the eulogy.

Geez, Mark; guess it’s pretty tough to see your little boy all grown up, ain’t it? We haven’t seen a sadder owner since Roy Jackson had to put Barbaro down. And while the clip ends a bit prematurely, in typical Maverick style for the year, there was an incredibly awkward hug between the owner and his star after Cubes left the podium. In fact, Cuban looked like he was going to melt away into Dirk’s giant arms. We’re actually pretty surprised that Mark didn’t go for the double-underhook hug on his man crush. But wipe away those tears, baby boy, and turn that frown upside down; you’re starting to make Andrei Kirilenko, Dick Vermeil and Emmitt Smith feel a bit uncomfortable.

NBA General

Around the Rim: The Polls Are Open

Fishing All-Star?

1. All-Stars?
The nominations for the All-Star Game to be held in Las Vegas are available, and apparently the NBA officials decided to do some gambling of their own with the ballot. 120 players made the list. Do we really need a list of 120 players when everybody knows that there are really only about 40 to 45 that actually deserve consideration? The slogan for this ballot should have been, “What’s discussed in the league office, stays in the league office,” because some of these nominees are a joke. To name a few: Luol Deng, Hedo Turkoglu, Juan Dixon, Francisco Elson, Zaza Pachulia, Luke Ridnour, Speedy Claxton and Chris Mihm. Seriously, Chris Mihm? I know he’s done for the season but even if he wasn’t, who would seriously expect him to make it as the starting center for the western conference? Obviously, these players are in the NBA for a reason and that is because they have talent, but remember that fans only get to vote for the starters of the all-star game. So, it makes no sense to even waste ink on printing the names of guys like Primoz Brezec. But, hey, it’s your vote. If you want to see Chris Kaman and Nenad Krstic line up across from each other at tip-off, then, by all means, go perform your duty as a fan and make your voice heard.

2. Child’s Play released their current top-ten list for the MVP and there are some unexpected names on the list. Sure, you have a couple of past winners, Kevin Garnett at sixth and Tim Duncan at seventh, but so far it seems that this is a young man’s league. The list is topped by LeBron James, who is only 21 years old with three years of experience. Following James on the list is Carlos Boozer (24 with 4 years experience), Zach Randolph (25/5), Yao Ming (26/4) and Lamar Odom (27/7). Behind Garnett (30/11) and Duncan (30/9) are Chris Paul (21/1), Dwight Howard (20/2) and Joe Johnson (25/5). The average age of the players, not including past winners, is only 23.6 years old with 3.9 years of experience. Obviously, the league is not only getting younger but players no longer take years to become elite stars. If one of these young studs wins the award, they will certainly be one of the most inexperienced MVP’s in the history of the game.

3. Upset City
For a team that is 6-2, San Antonio sure isn’t playing like a dominant, championship caliber club. The Spurs had their 5 game winning streak snapped by the, now 2-6, Bobcats last night in overtime, 95-92. San Antonio allowed rookie Adam Morrison to light them up for a career high 27 and lost to Charlotte for the first time in Bobcat history. But it’s not just that, SA had to make a furious rally to beat Houston on Tuesday after falling behind by 19 in the third quarter. New York put together a late streak and almost stole one in the teams’ first match-up and then hung around again in the second game between the two. It took overtime to beat Phoenix and Cleveland gave the Spurs their first loss in San Antonio. The team might be 4-0 on the road for the first time in the team’s history but they have lost two out of four at home and they are ninth in the league in turnovers. While it’s good that San Antonio knows how to win the close games, it shows that the Spurs are not yet committed to playing strong for a full 48 minutes.

4. When Kobe Attacks
It is not uncommon for players in the NBA to throw elbows, but they are usually directed at other players, not fans. However, a Tennessee man claims that Kobe Bryant did just that during a Memphis home game in November 2005. Bill Geeslin is suing for more than $75,000 in damages resulting from Bryant’s elbow blow. According to the lawsuit, Bryant left the court, apparently after a loose ball, and landed on Geeslin who was sitting courtside. Without being provoked, Kobe, allegedly, violently struck the fan in the chest with his elbow. The settlement is supposedly intended to cover the costs of medical treatment for unspecified injuries from the “assault and battery.” Either that or he is just another greedy parasite trying to retire early on the dime of a wealthy celebrity.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Jason Kidd vs. Milwaukee 38 min, 25 pts (FG: 9-14, 3FG: 3-5, FT: 4-4), 8 reb, 11 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Chicago (3-4) @ Houston (5-3) Houston is 2-1 at home and looking for revenge after blowing a late lead against the Spurs on Tuesday. Yao Ming is the current Western Conference Player of the Week and is establishing himself as the most dominant center in the league, averaging 26.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. The Bulls are playing in their second game of a long, seven game road trip that includes all three Texas teams. Chicago is 1-3 away from home this year and need a road win badly, for confidence sake.