Bloggers in the Locker Room. Its the Pros vs the Joes

Now that my ban on bloggers in the locker room has been lifted by the NBA , the “Joes” of the blogger world will have the same access as the “Pros”. Those that get paid. I can’t wait to see the results.

The people who have complained and dismissed the blogger ban the loudest are those that have the most to lose. They are the ones getting paid. If the unwashed blogging masses have some masters among them, who knows what could happen to the balance of power in the sports media world.

Of course, my preference had been to avoid having to make any qualitative decisions about which bloggers should be in or out of the locker room. Since that is no longer possible, I’m happy to share my feelings about the state of the sports blogosphere.

What sports blogging has become, in most cases, is the internet equivalent of Talk Soup or VH1’s “Best ….. ” series. On Talk Soup a host throws out witty comments about some TV show. On VH1, a series of guests throw out their comments about some video relevant to the show’s topic. If it is witty enough, the show draws an audience.

On the net, the most popular sports bloggers do the exact same thing. They troll the net looking for other people’s work and then throw out some witty comments or a simple rant to complement a link to that work.. Or they sit in front of the TV and throw out posts/comments about the game.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a market for this. There is. Just as there is a market for Talk Soup on E!, and all the Vh1 shows. It even takes talent to be able to be witty and hold an audience, whether its on TV or online. But, the talent and the success from that talent doesn’t require access to the locker room.

The people that complained the loudest about the ban, really didn’t have a good reason to be in the locker room. And from what I can tell, non of their readers complained that their blogs suffered in any way shape or form when they didnt have access to the locker room.

Rather, they did the smart thing and used the ban to promote themselves. Which is fine by me. I hope it drove them a ton of traffic.

So I invite any blogger to post samples of their work here as a comment. if its good, and I am the only judge, then you will get an email invite to get credentialed to cover a game in Dallas (its up to you to get there). I don’t care if you work for a major company, or are in 8th grade. All will be given equal access.

Just as I did with Ben Collns. I think I gave him his first shot to write for the Mavs website when he was 13. If you can write, you deserve the same opportunities to communicate about the Mavs as someone who works for ESPN, a major newspaper or network. In the blogging business, the Joes can be better than the Pros.

102 thoughts on “Bloggers in the Locker Room. Its the Pros vs the Joes

  1. Wow.

    *deep breath*

    Wow.

    Lots of people suddenly full of literary bravado, and suddenly interested in the Jason Kidd trade. It was like a post-bad-chicken-in-the-burrito, just-got-done-cradling-the-porcelain, up-watching-the-3AM-SportsCenter-through-the-nauseous-haze re-run.

    Either that or a lot of posters really, really, desperately wishing they could turn their comment in on nicely watermarked, off-white resume stock paper, and then sit back and watch the Cuban Express light up their cellphones with tracers of glory.

    Sadly, this is not a job interview. Neither with ESPN.com, nor with ANY of Mr. Cuban\’s assorted business ventures. Sorry, folks.

    Would I love to turn the gaze of a billionaire-NBA-owner my way? Of course. As a sports lover, one would have to be a fool not to. But, the numbers are stacked against me. Not quite PowerBall numbers, but, you get the point.

    However, even if noticed from on high, and granted the Willy Wonka-esque Golden Ticket to the nether regions of AAA; I might have to think twice before accepting. The reason?

    I\’m not sure if today\’s locker room would hold the same fascination as it did when I was seven years old, sitting at Rolando Blackman\’s feet at his summer basketball camp for Dallas kids. Seeing my favorite player (Sam Perkins) up close and personal, seeing my least favorite player (Mark Aguirre), and also the near-endless parade of stars: Dominique, Spud, MJ, Clyde, even Roy Tarpley; I\’m not sure how going forth with laptop in hand today would compare.

    Mark, I always understand and applaud your common sense. That, more than any other stroke of genius or technological innovation, keeps me captivated to what you will do next. This blog-hunt is proving to be no exception. Thanks!

    Comment by Jay Sparks -

  2. Hi Mark,

    I am from Pennsylvania and have admired your ownership methods. I heard that you may be interested in buying a baseball team. If you are, PLEASE purchase the Philadelphia Phillies. It is a team for a sound core of players that are relatively young but they need piching to make them solid contenders for many years to come. You are the type of owner that would get what is needed and not penny pinch as the current owners. There are many frustrated fans in this city that would welcome you as the owner. I truly wish you would make an attempt to purchase this team. Thanks.

    Comment by Rich Caroto -

  3. Defense:
    Ah, the side of the ball no one in Dallas was supposed to worry about. Stopping the Hornets comes down to two players. CP3 and Tyson Chandler. David West is nice and Peja is a dead eye shooter but the two players that pump up this team are CP3 and Chandler. Every time Chandler gets an offensive rebound and dunks or CP3 makes an alley-oop pass, the team starts feeling good about itself. So….

    Box out Chandler. Sounds simple and someone like Diop or even Mbenga would work wonders but my suggestion is to put Malik Allen on him. Juwan Howard and Dampier are too slow. Brandon Bass doesn\’t have the size. Every time we\’ve actually done a good job containing CP3 and highly contest a Peja or West shot, Chandler rolls in and gets an offensive rebound and possibly flushes it home. It\’s extremely deflating and the Hornets know it.

    Unlike everyone else, I don\’t think you should double or press CP3. He\’s going to beat anyone Dallas throws at him. The best thing Dallas can do is play him like opposing teams play Kidd. Play off him and dare him to make shots from outside. You can use the extra space to clog up Chandler or sag toward Peja. CP3 wants to pass the ball. He\’s more than capable of hitting the shot but eventually he\’ll press to get the ball to West, Peja or Chandler.

    There you go, those are my adjustments for Game Two.

    -These are comments before Tuesday\’s debacle.

    Comment by Jason Hse -

  4. Game 2 of Mavs vs Hornets is in the books.

    Chris Paul looks like the MVP. Avery Johnson doesn\’t look like he can coach. Dirk and Bass seemed like the only two Mavericks who cared they were getting thumped. And the Mavs defense got worse from Nelly\’s run and gun team.

    So, why did they get rid of Diop, Powell, Daniels, Mbenga and Harris? Take a long look at that list. What does every person on that list have in common. Each player brings quickness, speed and energy to their team. Now take a look at the current roster, Kidd, Terry, Stackhouse, Jo. Howard, Nowitzki, Dampier, Jones, Bass, George, Ju. Howard, Lue, Magloire, Wright & Barea. Besides, J Ho, Bass and Wright. This is what the team is missing, youth and energy.

    Does everyone have to be old and slow in order to get on the floor Avery? I\’m guessing it was you who escorted Diop, Powell, Daniels, Mbenga and Harris to the door.

    Regardless, going 2-10 in the last 12 playoff games is proof enough for me. Unless Avery learns how to coach, it\’s time to break this team apart and start over.

    http://wideopendallas.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Jason Hse -

  5. Mark – whilst I live in Japan, I would really, really like accreditation – as I hope to get to the US for a game or two next season.
    My website is – http://with-malice.com/

    An example (most recent daily wrap)…
    Twas inevitable I guess… Manu won the 6th Man Award. This, despite the fact that he averaged 31.06 minutes a game (top 3 for San Antonio)… and scored 19.5 points per game (top on the Spurs). Id argue that either/both of these should make Ginobli ineligible as a 6th Man, despite him starting off the bench.
    How can you average in the top few in your team in minutes played/points scored, and be thought of as the 6th man on your team?
    Truth be told, after Tim Duncan, Manus name is the first one coach Popovich thinks of when working his roster.
    Hell, post many games this season, Manu Ginobli might be at the forefront of Pops mind. Truth be told, Leandro Barbosa is far more deserving candidate than Ginobli.

    It would come down to a coin-toss as to who is more deserving of San Antonios MVP Award this year: Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobli. How can you award a guy the 6th Man Award when he might just be the best player on the team? Hes obviously not the 6th man on their team… whether Pop does it for effect/strategy or whatever, it should have no impact over whether he gets an award for coming off the bench and playing starter minutes.

    Anyway… other thoughts:

    * Finally, bye-bye Isiah. As a sign I saw said: End of an error
    * Could probably wave bye-bye to the Houston Rockets for this season too… as they lost today (at home) vs Utah, 91-84. Very unlikely they go into the house of the Jazz n beat em. Utah only lost 4 times at home this season, so a team that struggled to compete on their own court isnt going to do it to the Jazz in Salt Lake City. Get out your brooms.
    * Scott Skiles signed a 4 year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Its not going to take too much a stretch of the imagination for them to be a better team than the Chicago Bulls. Hell, wasnt much between the two this season.
    * In an interview, Kobe Bryant says he wants to remain a Laker – perhaps for his entire career. Given the Lakers finished top in the West, and that was sans Bynum… any surprises here? Certainly going to be a strong roster next season… in the interview he sings the praises of Mitch Kupchak, the team, Pau Gasol… and the city of LA.
    * So much for promises… or my tips! Washington failed to take one of the first two games in their series against Cleveland, getting absolutely WHOOPED today, 116-86. Going to have to do a lot more than that – even on their homecourt – to do anything in this series.

    Comment by Don (With Malice...) -

  6. Mark,

    I cover sports for a multi purpose blog called Big Diction based in Austin. Staying true to my roots, here\’s an article I wrote after my Horns were bounced out of the NCAA Tournament. If you like, check out the site to see some of my NBA content. Thanks.

    \”For any casual UT fan, watching Texas get thoroughly beat down Sunday by Memphis would have been understandably frustrating. As a matter of pride, no one likes seeing their team get blown out. For a general college basketball fan with no real rooting interest, the game would have been understandably frustrating to watch because no one wanted to see another blowout this late in March. But for those of us who have followed the 2007-08 Longhorn basketball team closely all season, the game was frustrating because it was clear for most of the second half that this was the last time we would get to see this team play together.

    Not since the 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks have I been so invested in a team. That was the first year my dad and I had season tickets and were at probably 35 of 41 home games. For those who have never experienced it, its hard to explain how attached you can get to a team watching them every night over the course of a season. Despite never getting within a hundred feet of any of the players, you start to feel like you know the team, which makes it personal when things go badly. And as time was running out on the Horns Sunday in Houston, it felt strangely similar to the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals.

    That year the Mavs road through the playoffs had been a roller coaster. A Game 7 against Portland in which Dirk hit that clutch 3 over Rasheed Wallace that will be on every starting lineup highlight reel for the rest of his career. A Game 2 against Sacramento in which the Mavs went off for 84 point IN THE FIRST HALF. And after losing Dirk to injury in Game 4 against the Spurs, Nick Van Exel had led to team to a win in Game 5 and a 12 point lead through three quarters in Game 6. The Spurs went on to own the fourth quarter though, and won going away, much like Memphis did Sunday. During the run the Mavs seemed helpless, much like Abrams did trying to guard Chris Douglas Roberts, or Augustin trying to break down the Tiger defense.

    All losses suck, but sometimes the loss carries with it some extra significance. In 2003, you knew Mark Cuban was going to trade away some key players and fan favorites. Next season it will be strange to see the Horns take the floor sans Augustin and Abrams.

    Not every team has the ability to win over fans like these two teams have me. Lots of teams lose in the NCAA Tournament. 64 in fact. But I daresay not all fans of those teams hate to see their teams lose as much as those of a select few. What was special to me about these two teams is how hard they played, both for themselves and for the fans. When Steve Nash was leaving the court after that game in 2003, he made his best effort to acknowledge and thank the fans. You knew that as much as he was upset about his own shortcomings on the floor, he didnt want to let us down. And fans appreciate that effort.

    That was how it was watching the Longhorns play this year. They played hard and, man, they hated to lose. In the effort category, Justin Mason was the Horns unequivocal leader all season. I wasnt sold on him early in the season, specifically I thought he was a shaky secondary ball handler to Augustin. As it turned out, I was entirely off base on that, but it was his tough play that made him one of my favorite players to watch. Examples like this abound on the team, which is why even though a lot of people will be frustrated by the way this season ended, eventually this team should be remembered fondly for its tough play and competitiveness.

    Fortunately, I have no reason to believe that next seasons squad wont have the same characteristics that made this team so much fun to watch. I wrote a few days ago that Rick Barnes ability to draw that sort of effort from his players is what made him one of the top coaches in college basketball. And one neednt look far into the books to see how Barnes has fared after losing top talent to the NBA.

    The future appears bright for UT Basketball with Atchley, James, Mason and lots of young talent returning. But in the meantime, the 2008 team deserves a lot of credit for the way it represented Texas on the national stage all season.\”

    Comment by Robert Stiller -

  7. hey mark.

    i really admire the new frontiers that you travel into year after year. from the beginning, you have sought new ways for the \”average joe\” to feel like a part of their favorite franchise.

    here\’s one of the blogs i\’ve posted recently on the injury to Dirk Nowitzki. i hope it\’s too your liking. keep up the great work. we are proud to have you as the owner of our mavericks.

    http://cintatips.blogspot.com
    Thanks
    Christian

    Comment by christian -

  8. As a female blogger, a men\’s locker room is a bit like the walled garden. I am not sure if the smells there would repulse me, or if the sights would arouse me. But, I sure would like a peek to try to satisfy my curiosity. LOL😉

    Comment by Hot MILF -

  9. Hi, Mark
    Here is an exert from my latest blog entry. I am currently a student at UNT majoring in RTVF. If I had this opportunity to get some experience I would greatly appreciate it. However, I do understand that you can not accommodate every request but you miss every shot you don\’t take right?

    Next up is the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks clinched a playoff spot with their win yesterday.They did it in most dramatic fashion, lead by none other than big German. The Mavs as usual jumped out to an early lead 42-30, before letting the Jazz creep back in it, before eventually taking the lead at 60-59. However, the Mavs never let the lead get past one possesion. The game was up and down in helter skelter fashion until the final minutes. Which concluded as follows: 9 seconds left, Jason Terry makes 2/2 free throw, Mavs up 94-91. Deron Williams banks in a three from way downtown to tie it up at 94 all. Kidd quickly inbounds to Eddie Jones who dribbles up the court and finds a wide open Dirk for a three… Nothing but the bottom of the net with .09 seconds remaining. Deron Williams had a shot to tie it but promptly shot an air ball with Dirk running at his face. That was fun to watch. Dirk has ice in his veins. He is as clutch a player as you can come by nowadays. He has single handedly put this team on his back and carried them into the post season. In true MVP form, not to get carried away but if Dirk hadn\’t won the MVP last year, shouldn\’t he be right up there in the discussion this year? One thing that shouldn\’t be overlooked is the prescence of mind for Eddie Jones to find the best player in the game and just get him the ball. I have no doubts that if Howard or Stackhouse had they would\’ve forced an awkward jumper. Go Mavs!

    Comment by Maurice -

  10. Nice post. Interesting. I like to think that the Joes who are good will become Pros, and the others will just fade away. There is so much competition on every front in sports, it is no surprise to find it among bloggers in the locker room. I always loved Mark Cuban, and hope to see the guys go all the way this year. Last year was a mindblower there at the end.

    Comment by Karl Burger -

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    Comment by essaouira hotel - essaouira kasbah - essaouira riad -

  12. The NBA is on top of its game, with an incredibly close Western Conference seeding battle in the last weeks of the regular season followed by guaranteed epic playoffs in both conferences. Yet something is wrong.

    David Stern is engineering a transfer of the Seattle franchise to Oklahoma, where the current Sonics owner, Clay Bennett, is based. While Bennett owns the Sonics, he\’s in a battle with the city of Seattle over the two remaining years on the Key Arena lease. Stern, who introduced Bennett last year in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, is clearly supporting Bennett on breaking the lease. Though he admits the Seattle fan base is strong, lawyer Stern should know better – or perhaps he does know better, and is willing to fight in court anyway.

    During a long stretch in the 90\’s the Sonics won more regular season games than any franchise. The local fans were supportive, and the gate figures show that.

    The attendance is down this year, partly because of rebuilding, partly because more astute fans deducted the team was gone once Mister Starbucks had a hissy fit and sold the team to Bennett. Howard Schultz thought he could translate coffee branding to the NBA, did not perform due diligence on the NBA nor his franchise, and had no coherent plan when he went hat in hand to the city of Seattle and the Washington legislature to negotiate Key Arena lease improvements. Instead of trying to sell to local owners, he sold to Bennett. While Bennett\’s initial intentions of keeping the team in Seattle are debatable, there is no doubt about the petty arrogant double-cross of the former owner.

    The median home price in Seattle and its suburbs is far more than DOUBLE that in Oklahoma City.

    Three of the twenty wealthiest Americans live in the Seattle area. Paul Allen already owns the Portland Trailblazers and can\’t own multiple NBA teams. Bill Gates likely has neither time nor inclination to own a sport team. But the point is, there\’s more money in Seattle than in Oklahoma.

    Bill Russell won college championships in California, and a whole lot of NBA championships in Boston. He chose to live his post-playing days on Mercer Island [as does Paul Allen who could afford to live anywhere], just across from Seattle. Maybe there\’s something about the quality of life that keeps drawing people to move to the Seattle area.

    Stern turns his back on the little girl in the 70\’s, who watched in awe as the 1979 team won a world championship, the little girl who went away to college, came back, and bought a pair of season tickets every season and was a lifelong fan until now. Stern turns his back on the retired people who supported the team during some bleak times. It got so bad, the maligned Danny Fortson was nearly deified because with him, the \”Softnics\” no long applied.

    What Seattle loses, Oklahoma gains. Does that help the NBA business? Stern knows.

    New Orleans wasn\’t successful before Katrina, yet Stern is riding his ego by \”doing all he can\” for the Hornets. Memphis is on the block. New Jersey didn\’t sell out games in the NBA Finals and is moving to Brooklyn. Is Seattle the problem?

    As Kevin Durant and the roster struggle through the remainder of a bleak season, as the Key Arena contract case winds through the courts, the NBA owners meet this month to consider relocating the Sonics to Oklahoma for the 2008/09 season. One NBA owner has said he\’ll not approve a relocation that does not make sense. Seattle Supersonics fans can only hope he can persuade enough of his fellow owners.

    Comment by redmond -

  13. Love your blog and love that you get involved with your fans (and haters). I\’m 18 and going into Indiana journalism school, and here\’s a piece I did for my school paper on the school\’s track coach who won Ohio coach of the year. (I blog as well, at the site that is linked to my name.)

    Orange track coach John Keller was the ridiculed by the coaches and officials at the 1993 CVC Championships, and almost disqualified, too, for actions that would initiate a feud between him and Solon coach Tom Iwan. So, how, fourteen years later, did Keller win the 2007 Fred Dafler state track coach of the year award?
    The award, presented by the Ohio Track and Cross Country Coaches Association, is traditionally given in recognition of a coachs career accomplishments. Keller retired following the 2006 season after 15 years in charge of Orange track.
    It might have something to do with his seven CVC championships, five district titles, and four regional runner-up finishes.
    One of those CVC championships was in 1993. The championship was supposed to be held at West Geauga, but because its track was being renovated, it took place at Orange. Oranges track at the time had only six lanes, and the top six placers in each event receive points. Well, Keller had an idea
    I had a very good half-miler, he recalled, so I put him in the quarter mile on the first day, the qualifying day, then put him in both events the next day. I told him to take it easy in the 400 and save himself for the half-mile. He was going to score a point no matter what. The gun went off, and he jogged. I mean it wasnt even close. And the Solon coach erupted. Everyone was looking at me, this young coach, completely outraged. They were like, You took one kids chance to compete in the finals so that you could score one point by jogging.
    This illustrates, not only Kellers thirst for victory, but some of the challenges he faced as a young coach.
    He was only 24 when he took over in 1991 after Dale Cramer retired. That was only Kellers fourth year of coaching and third at the high school level.
    There was a lot more responsibility, Keller said, especially for someone young like me taking over for a guy who had been head coach for 30 years and had a very established program.
    His inexperience showed again at the state championship in 1993.
    One Orange sprinter dropped the baton in the 4-by-100-meter race, effectively disqualifying the relay team, and Keller berated the kid right in public view. That was my biggest regret of my career, Keller said, He didnt practice very hard, and it was because of him that we lost, and I let him know about it, but it was already over. It was done. I should have taken him aside and said something to him privately.
    Kellers intimidation factor, present there and in interviews with athletes, was evident even to students who didnt run, but took his AP Gov class, where he tells the class on the first day, If you dont like politics, theres the door. Upon hearing his speech in 2005, Sandy Ginsburg told the cross-country team, Guys, I just realized that Keller sounds the same when hes coaching as when hes teaching.
    His ability to communicate with his runners was one of the keys to his success.
    He got into the heads of the kids, said Cramer, and he had very good control of them. They did exactly what he asked. He was very much in command at all times.

    He made you believe you could do well, said six-time state placer Nathan Blatt, I wouldnt have made it to states all three years without him.

    There are more than 50 other athletes just like Blatt who can thank Keller for state championship appearances.

    E.J. Martin and Jason McDonald were the best of them. Both went to the state championships all four years of high school, starting in 1992, in various hurdle events. They helped Orange finish third in Ohio in 1994 and second in 1995.

    They also competed in the National Indoor Track Championships their senior year. Keller drove them to the event, held in Syracuse, New York. Keller took many of his top runners to meets separate from the rest of the team.

    In his retirement, Keller has gone from his track family to his own family. With Jennifer, his wife of twelve years, and three young daughters at home, having more time with his family was the main reason he retired.

    After coming back from Duke for spring break, the first teacher that Nathan Blatt came to talk with was Keller. There was just something about him. When I was running in a race, Blatt said, everyone tells me they were yelling for me, but Keller was the only one I could hear.

    Along with blogging, I also write for a local magazine as a music critic. Through blogging and music writing, I have interviewed athletes and musicians like Donyell Marshall and Desmond Clark, or, in this example, Marcos Curiel of the band P.O.D.: http://juicedsportsblog.com/2008/03/marcos-curiel-interview.html

    Comment by Mitchell Blatt -

  14. WRITING SAMPLE FOR CREDENTIALS

    MARK CUBAN IS JOKING
    By Phil Maymin, phil@maymin.com

    An old Russian anecdote goes like this:

    A man notices his apartment is infested with ants. The local store has empty shelves where spray should be. He\’s trying swapping them with shoes but his shoes are full of holes and anyway more seem to be sprouting than he can kill. He visits an old magician. \”My house is full of ants,\” he tells him and asks what he can do. The magician looks deep into the man\’s eyes and tell him to go home, gather up all the ants in a meeting, and tell them, \”Ants, go away!\” Be firm, the magician warns, and most importantly, do not smile. Bewildered, the man thanks the magician and heads home. \”Do not smile!\” the magician reminds him. When the man gets home, he puts on a stone expression on his face and calls the ants. They quickly assemble. \”Ants,\” he tells them, \”go away!\” They look at him oddly, and cock their heads to one-side, but seeing that he is firm, start marching away! The man is so happy to see them poring out through the cracks and into the street and away from his home that he can\’t resist the smallest of grins. One of the last ants turns back one last time and sees the man smiling. \”Hey!\” the ant yells happily at his friends before him, calling them back home. \”He\’s joking! The master is joking!\”

    And so Mark Cuban is joking about his new sports hedge fund idea. The maverick owner of the Dallas basketball team wrote on his weblog at blogmaverick.com that he would like to start a hedge fund (a mainly unregulated investment vehicle for wealthy individuals and institutional investors) that invests not in bonds or stocks or currencies, but simply places wagers, such as on sporting events.

    Imagine the investor letter of such a fund. \”Dear Investors, we are pleased to report a profitable second quarter as the Celtics launched a meaningless three pointer at the end of regulation to beat both the Lakers and the spread. We anticipate continued profitability in the third quarter as several of our short positions have profited due to injuries unanticipated by the market.\”

    Just imagine what happens when the pension plan of one of the NBA\’s spouses invests in such a venture only to find out it would profit if her husband\’s team loses? Exactly how much chicken would she put in his chicken soup that night?

    The biggest obstacles to such a fund, however, are neither public relations nor legal nor even the potential wrath of David Stern and the league. All that can be handled if the resulting profits were large enough to spread around. The biggest obstacle is the resulting profits aren\’t big enough.

    Hedge funds can grow into the billions of dollars in assets. Just imagine how large a bet you can place on a single game. \”Vinnie, put me down for thirty million on Paul Pierce getting a triple-double tonight, would ya? I\’ll wire the money from our prime broker. Does Regulation T margining apply?\”

    And what to do when Vegas no longer takes your calls? If you were a money maker in the sports business world, wouldn\’t you allow yourself the ability to ban whoever you want from the action? You\’re never going to find someone to take the immense other side of the professionals at their size; and who would want to?

    No, Cuban used his blog not so much to actually push for this idea as to mock what he doesn\’t like about the stock market. He thinks a put option on a stock is as much gambling as a slot machine. He thinks more attention and analysis is paid to sports management than to company management. But he certainly doesn\’t think he can swing billions of dollars on one side of the sports betting market.

    The problem is he can\’t admit he was joking, or, at the very least, exaggerating for effect. Because then he and his idea would be dismissed. He needs to keep it alive if he wants to make his other points come across.

    Jokes tend to hit the air simultaneously, like a good idea. Within days of Cuban\’s post, the Onion was running a story claiming Bush had authorized a plan for people to wager their social security funds on their favorite sports teams.

    So Cuban was joking but can\’t admit it. If he weren\’t joking, he would have proposed something far more practical than a sports hedge fund, something that would make a lot more money and be even more powerful than a hedge fund. It would be…

    I can\’t tell you yet.

    It\’s a secret.

    Comment by Phil Maymin -

  15. Everyone, I don\’t think that Cuban ever intended to hand out credentials for amateur bloggers. I sifted through ALL 85 previous posts. Only one of the listed blogs (http://www.mavsmoneyball.com) claimed to have received credentials, however there\’s no posts about him in the locker room at all, suggesting that he didn\’t go.

    Don\’t waste your time. It\’s rigged.

    Comment by Blogger Schmogger -

  16. Hi Mark Cuban,

    My son and I are big fans of you. He\’s a 24 yr old entrepreneur and owns a music company. I call him Mark Cuban, Jr. He emailed your offer to me. I guess if you select me I will find a way to get to Dallas. I teach Special Education in an inner city LA high school.

    I\’ve been writing for sportingnews.com. since June. I do a light sports and comedy piece. If nothing else, it\’s entertaining.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/dougvantyle

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my work. I know you are busy.

    Sincerely,

    Doug Van Tuyl

    Comment by Doug Van Tuyl -

  17. Mark,

    As the proud owner of an autographed Jason Kidd jersey–not his #2 jersey, mind you–but his #5 jersey from his rookie season, I think I would be a great blogger to have in the locker room with the \”professionals\”. Not just because I waited outside the gym at SMU with my dad when I was a 15-year-old to get Kidd\’s (along with Loren Meyers\’ and Cherokee Parks\’–ugh) autographs, but because I am a kick-ass blogger.

    Did I mention that I am a lady-blogger? And that the blog me and a girlfriend of mine have started http://dallaseats.blogspot.com is about restaurants and dining in Dallas?

    I think our readers, along with the people of Dallas as a whole, deserve to know where the Mavs like to eat. Is Dirk into Chipotle? Does Stack love the enchiladas at Mi Cocina? It\’s all news? And if Damp\’s got an unbelievable chocolate chip cookie recipe, I think we\’d all be the better for having it.

    -Robin Brant

    Comment by Robin Brant -

  18. Comment by Rod -

  19. Hi Mark,

    I dont \”run a blog\” or anything, but am an avid Mavs fan. The extent of my work cant really be displayed here (with pics and links and all) but here is an entry that I posted for Mavsmoneyball.com a few weeks back about what some thought about the Mavs and what I thought about them! I have been blogging there for about a year now. Here is the text of the article, which got promoted to the main page (along with some other previews and game recaps by Wes Cox who runs the site) with the direct link to it up at the top. I\’d appreciate the credentials as I feel as though I would love to do Previews and Recaps for the games! Thanks!

    http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/story/2008/3/18/21924/1688

    By naughtytoddy
    Posted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:19:24 AM MDT

    So the questions being posted all over the internet these days are what will the final standings be in the West, who will match up with who, and who WANTS to see or PREFERS one over the other?

    Yahoo does an article here, citing a few blogs from around the West and what their opinions are on who they would like to see their respective teams match up against in the first round.

    * Rockets wanna see Utah and not Dallas or SA (because he cant handle ours or SA\’s fans? WTF, do I need to even say more about this? What a moron. Not only am I not taking him seriously, I am not taking this team and their stupid streak seriously either.)
    * Lakers wanna see Phx (revenge for past 3 yrs and to show that they can win without Shaq while playing AGAINST him) and not the Spurs.
    * Suns would like to see the Rockets, and not the Lakers (hmmm… perhaps Phil HAS gotten into the coach with 3 first names head after all… not so confident are we \”stache\”? Especially after you pulled this crap.)
    * Spurs would like to see GS (careful what you wish for… Matthew might be drinking too much of the \”Ugly Ass muddy water they call the Riverwalk\”) and he does not want to see the Lakers.
    * The Nuggets would like to see the Hornets first round, but know that IF they make the playoffs they wont make it to the second round cuz in reality, they are the team that everyone else WANTS to really play and aint making past any of the current 8 teams…

    I imagine Wes will have something for them in the second segment of this, as will the Jazz, Hornets and Warriors (yikes! I can only imagine who THEY will wanna see first round). Interesting thing here is, though TexSun from BrightSideoftheSun suggests the Suns would like too see the Rockets in the first round, he does a good job of breaking down what each match up would be like for the Suns against every team should they meet in the first round. What caught my eye though, was the discussion on their site seems to say that some of the crew over there would like too see us in the first round, because we would be the \”easiest\”. Sonicking gives an example…

    Dallas is not a threat because Kidd can\’t guard Nash. They don\’t have big bodies to guard Shaq anymore. They would be the easiest team.

    Really? Hmmm… Interesting. Maybe he forgot about this last time we met in the playoffs…

    I think to be fair though, TexSun sums up a potential match-up between our two teams the best…

    Best grudge-match: The Mavericks – Steve Nash vs. Mark Cuban Part 3 with a couple of new twists.

    Ironically enough, the Western teams who seem to have started streaking at this all important stretch in the season right now (at least that\’s what\’s said as being the factor in the Sterns championship seasons), are the Rockets, Suns and Mavs… Granted the later two have had fairly easy schedules to allow those \”mini\” streaks, but all three have big games coming up this week that will really tell us where these teams are at as we head into the playoffs.

    So from the Mavs perspective, who do we want to see in the first round of the playoffs? IMO, I say the Rockets, Hornets then the Jazz. Rockets haven\’t gotten out of the first round in forever, and no matter how many games they win, still no Yao and a breakable McGrady. Hornets are young still and yet could still pull a GS on us, but more than likely they will be legit after this year. The Jazz are about as bad as we are away from home, and assuming we stay ahead of them in the standings, we would have home court and I like our chances against them as long as we stay ahead of them in the regular season.

    Teams I don\’t wanna see in the first, second or third rounds… Lakers? Nope, Kobe would average 60 against us. Spurs? Maybe if Harris and Diop were still here, but with the new look team we have I am not sure any more. GS… err, hell no. Jackson still does work in Dirks sleep. PHX? Shaq or no Shaq, Marion or no Marion, the coach with 3 first names could play 2 vs 5 against us with Nash and Amare running the pick and roll all damn day and we still couldn\’t defend them.

    Unfortunately we are going to have to play 2, maybe 3 (start your praying rituals now for this NOT to happen) of the later teams in the playoffs, assuming we make it to the WCF… Then Boston or Detroit. I think our best shot at getting through these playoffs will be to play 2 of the 3 teams that I like our chances against… but this is all wishful thinking and it\’d still be VERY difficult with most if not all series going 6 or 7 games in the West no matter who is matched up with who…\”

    Comment by Todd -

  20. Mark,

    First and foremost, I applaud you for finally giving in to pressure and giving the blogosphere a shot at covering your team. I have been following this progress with a raised eyebrow because it hits relatively close to home.

    Like B.D. Gallof (a previous poster), I am also a Charter member of the New York Islanders Blog Box (http://islanders.nhl.com/blogbox/blog_box.htm). I can wholeheartedly understand and accept your views on the potential ramifications of mainstream media and bloggers intermingling, but I think the benefits outweigh any drawbacks.

    Look no further than the press conferences and media scrums at Nassau Coliseum to see these two types of \”media\” peacefully co-existing. As bloggers, we know our place, we respect boundaries and we have built some solid relationships and friendships along the way. Ask a variety of people in the room what they think of us and you may be surprised to see how much support there actually is. Bloggers provide a fresh perspective to a sometimes stale and bland approach many major news outlets have begun to take on sports.

    Digital media is the wave of the future and a blogger doesn\’t always have to be a traditional journalist in order to be successful.

    Thanks again,

    Michael Schuerlein
    http://www.islesblogger.com

    Comment by Michael Schuerlein -

  21. Mark should know, the same thing happened when the NBA let him buy the Mavericks; they let the Joe\’s in with the Pro\’s – just because he was a billionaire!

    Comment by thebigsix -

  22. Hi Mark! I don\’t write a sports blog, but I just wanted to tell you that I think this is great and I like what you\’re doing. Everyone deserves a chance and there are certainly quite a few joes who write excellent blogs while some of the pros disappoint.

    Comment by Shan -

  23. Hi Mark,

    I simply cannot help myself from entering this incredible lottery that you\’ve opened. Here\’s my ticket!

    While I would definitely have trouble getting the money together to get to Dallas — not to mention the time; my wife and I just had twins — how about an invite to a Raptor game?

    You can find my \”blog\”, although I prefer to think of it as a \”column\”, at http://www.sportingauthority.com.

    …Failing an invite to a game, I\’d love to get feedback from you or other readers.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Carpenter -

  24. I dont think you can appreciate a good blog post fully until you read the majority of these submissions. Its clear that all these people have the basic knowledge of how to write and sentence structure etc, but they just dont get it.

    Being able to write is one thing, but a real blog that people appreciate is another. You cant try and be funny, or clever, or smart, it just has to be there naturally. If you force humour its just painful to read.

    With the greatest respect possible to most of these dudes their posts are about as interesting as writing on the side of a cereal box. Go read any one of Lang Whittakers posts and you\’ll see what I mean. Or maybe you wont, but thats the point.

    When it comes to writing a blog that people actually want to read, you either got it or you aint.

    Comment by iain. -

  25. Good morning, you poor souls who have to sift through all these blog
    submissions. Let\’s hope you\’re working in shifts. Free visine for
    all.

    I feel for you, because Mr. Cuban has opened the flood gates for all
    \”bloggers\” (a loose term nowadays) to throw whatever unorganized
    thoughts they have at you. It doesn\’t take much to be a blogger.
    Internet access, basically, and an overzealous ego. So, it is up to
    you folks to recommend a blogger who is worthy of the golden ticket
    inside Mr. Cuban\’s chocolate factory…hopefully one who won\’t skitz
    out and kidnap Jason Terry.

    There are endless folks out there who think they understand the game,
    the life, and the nature of the NBA…folks who would be insulted if
    you were to imply otherwise. I am not one of those folks.

    I\’ve written my whole life, and most times can form a coherent
    sentence. I\’ve followed the NBA since my infancy (Lakers title game
    in \’82 baby!) and my blog is dedicated to the intricacies of the
    game. I find few who can rival my NBA stat-geek knowledge, and few
    who realize how much more there is to learn.

    And so, I submit my blog, as many others before me:
    http://the-second-coming.blogspot.com

    You may also check out my most popular post,
    http://the-second-coming.blogspot.com/2008/01/big-commute-buisness-and-life-of-nba.html

    Edicted by me, Kyle Slavin.

    I would be honored to follow the Dallas Mavericks, and honored to be
    the one who ends your admirable (and under-valued) search for a
    credentialed blogger. I will report with honesty and creativity, and
    will represent the Mavericks as they have represented themselves: as
    the model of a premier NBA franchise.

    Comment by Kyle Slavin -

  26. WORK SAMPLE SUBMISSION:
    From 1/28/04 by Phil Maymin

    THE REAL REASON JIM O\’BRIEN QUIT
    Boston Celtics head coach Jim O\’Brien tendered his resignation to President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge last night over philosophical differences in the team structure. What were those differences?

    First and foremost, the differences were not that O\’Brien was short-sighted and trying to win every particular game, while Ainge was far-sighted and trying to win the championship in a few years. That couldn\’t possibly be the reason, though it is the most widely cited one, because that reason applies to every coach and general manager pair in the league. If head coaches were to quit whenever they found they were more concerned about the next game than the general manager was, there would be no head coaches.

    Furthermore, despite speculations to the contrary, O\’Brien did not resign merely because of differences in opinion over playing time. O\’Brien always had final say over who to play, how long, how, and when. This was acknowledged by Danny Ainge earlier in the season. Even if Ainge were to try to influence the style of the game, or the defensive or offensive strategies, it would be virtually impossible for him to do anything about it. He could sit on the sidelines near the coaches and players all he wants to, and he has done that this year. He can even jump up off his seat and yell instructions to the players, a blatant discourtesy to his coach, but he has done that this year, too. Did it help? Of course not. The players obey the coach\’s order, by default, because they don\’t like sitting on the bench. Ainge was a head coach at Phoenix, and no doubt remembers that it is nearly impossible to dictate playing time unless the contract with the head coach allows it. And O\’Brien\’s contract, being an extension, almost certainly did not allow it; O\’Brien would not have agreed to give up such obvious and important coaching control.

    To be sure, there were differences in opinion over playing time. Danny Ainge likely didn\’t want to see Walter McCarty playing so many minutes, or Marcus Banks so few. But these are not philosophical differences. More importantly, they are not differences to quit over. Ainge gave his input, but the final decision on who to play is O\’Brien\’s. Conversely, Ainge may receive solicited or unsolicited advise from O\’Brien on possible trade scenarios, but the final decision on who to trade is Ainge\’s.

    Similarly, O\’Brien did not quit because of the old trades. No matter how disappointed he was in losing Antoine Walker (though at the time he said he sided with Ainge in the decision), or how hurt he was in losing Eric Williams and Tony Battie (he did not hide his emotions on that one), the time to quit because of those decisions was past. The trades are over and done with, and the roster is what the roster is. You could make a case that a head coach might quit if the general manager is continually making moves, never leaving the roster alone long enough for you to train them to play as a team, but that is clearly not what was happening here. The roster reshuffled, yes, but it did not signal a frenetic desire for trades for their own sake. Ainge had, and continues to have, a very clear and unwavering vision in mind, and he has shaped the roster to fit that image. He never hid what his vision was, and outlined it repeatedly both early on in the season and surrounding the particular trade decisions.

    So O\’Brien could not have quit over the old trades, or the disagreements over playing time. Could he have quit after learning of another trade that Ainge was about to pull?

    Suppose in their weekly morning meeting yesterday Ainge had informed O\’Brien that he was shipping out McCarty, Mark Blount, and Jumaine Jones for Orlando\’s Drew Gooden and Keith Bogans. Leave aside the discussion of whether Orlando would agree to such a deal: just suppose it did. Ainge would view this in a long-term approach of being a good decision for the long-run nature of the club. Could O\’Brien get furious at this move and quit on the spot? Can you imagine him standing up and saying, \”Trade Waltah? Absolutely not!\”

    It\’s ridiculous. Yes, O\’Brien could have disagreed with such a trade, and passionately so. He loves playing McCarty and Blount because they really understand his defensive system and they deny shots in the lane and actively front low-post players. They hustle and they play tough defense. But he wouldn\’t quit over that. In fact, such a trade, so disagreeable to him, would nevertheless and ironically enough make him want to stay! Such a trade would mean that there was not likely to be any more trades this season at all, because any further tinkering would force Ainge to admit mistakes in earlier trades. With Vin Baker gone, there would be no one left from last year\’s team except Paul Pierce. O\’Brien would have a virtual guarantee on having a stable roster.

    That would be the best possible thing for a head coach, because then he has all the leverage. If Ainge at that point doesn\’t like particular matchups or strategies or minutes allocated, what\’s he going to do? Keep trading players until he gets what he wants? As long as O\’Brien didn\’t do anything completely unreasonable, and certainly as long as he kept winning, Ainge\’s hands would be tied. He wouldn\’t even be able to bring himself to fire O\’Brien, no matter how much they disagreed, if his methods were working.

    So we know that O\’Brien did not quit because of differences of opinion in playing time. He did not quit because of lingering disagreements over past trades. And he did not quit because of immediate disagreements about pending trades. As an aside, if there were pending trades, they would probably be put on hold for now, both by the Celtics and whoever would be on the other side. If the above trade had any legs to it, Orlando would be wise to pull away from the table at least for a day or two to let the situation subside.

    Now we get to the crux of the matter. What were the philosophical differences? It was, in a word, their defense.

    Ainge came into the team saying he wanted to erase the things that had defined the Celtics for the past few years, namely, ridiculous quantities of three point shots at not very good percentages, and a slow, plodding style of play. He wanted to see some diversity in the action: some three pointers, of course, but mix it in with some low-post play, and some fast breaks.

    This year, the number of three pointers the Celtics take has gone down, and trading Antoine Walker away was a major reason for the decline. With Vin Baker healthy, he provided a wonderful low post option. But the Celtics never really ran. Sure, the occasional opportunities presented themselves, but as a whole, no matter how much they tried and how much they practiced, they simply could not make fast break basketball a fixture of their game. Why not?

    They couldn\’t run because they couldn\’t rebound. Watch the Denver Nuggets play and you will see what is currently the league\’s best fast breaking team, by far. They look to run every play. Everybody boxes out and once a rebound is snatched, everybody breaks and fills the lanes. Often the rebounder is already looking over his shoulder to see who to outlet the ball to while he is still in the air, sometimes even before he catches the ball. A made shot is snatched out of the net before it even completes the swish, and one-two steps later, the inbounds pass is thrown, and a fast break starts almost as fast as if it were off a missed shot.

    Why can\’t the Celtics do that? If it\’s so simple, and we know that Jim O\’Brien is a respected and excellent coach, why couldn\’t he run drills or whatever it took to get the Green Team to rebound, outlet, and run?

    The answer is subtle. The answer is defense.

    The Boston Celtics were unique in the league in running a defensive system that fronted the low post every single time, denying the entry pass. It\’s a very difficult system to get in place and ge
    t your players to learn, so of course O\’Brien was heated over the loss to Cleveland of some of his most experienced and best defensive players. And of course that is the reason he plays McCarty and Blount over Mihm and others: they know the system and will execute it correctly. If you see a low post player backing in against the Celtics, you will know that the defense has not worked. A substitution is likely forthcoming, as that is not a scenario O\’Brien liked to see.

    Part of what makes the fronting defense so difficult to execute is that the weak side defenders must actively help out in preventing lob passes over the fronting defender. When they move to help, all the other players must adjust to guard the open man.

    The first and most obvious offensive attack to such a system is to swing the ball around the perimeter. You can see this in the first Boston-Houston game, which the Celtics won. Yao Ming is fronted by McCarty, and as the ball swings around to the weak side to try to get it into the other low post player, suddenly Maurice Taylor is fronted by Chris Mihm. In that game, the Celtics dominated Houston, and the fronting defense was a large part of the reason. The second most obvious way to attack this defensive system is to have the low post player switch posts by walking, and in the process trying to use a screen to get himself clear of his defender and in position to receive a pass with his back to the basket. In these situations, you\’d see McCarty fronting Yao all the way across the lane, never for a moment letting Yao get in front of him.

    That\’s the essence of the system, and it is not only a unique but also an intriguing defensive system. It is almost a zone defense, though O\’Brien would not like it to be called that, because it forces opponents to take contested jump shots. It denies points in the paint and most passes come out of the post to open shooters, as the big men never even have an opportunity to get into good position.

    But this system has two fatal flaws. One is that it makes it virtually impossible to get a defensive rebound. Imagine McCarty fronting Yao, with Steve Francis, guarded by Mike James, trying to pass the ball inside. He can\’t, and the shot clock is winding down, so he does a little one-on-one move and launches a shot. James is there to contest it and make it a low percentage shot, but he can\’t stop Francis from shooting altogether. Once the shot is in the air, Yao is now in the funny position of having inside rebounding position. Yao is boxing out McCarty! The offensive man is suddenly in the best possible position to rebound.

    O\’Brien acknowledged this problem, saying in effect that they have come to terms with the fact that they will not be able to outrebound other teams. So, you might be thinking, this is a flaw of the system, but why is it necessarily fatal? The answer is because it kills any chance of a fast break. If you can\’t get good positioning, you can\’t get the rebound, and if you can\’t get the quick rebound, you can\’t get a fast break.

    That\’s a major philosophical difference, and one that they surely fought over.

    The second fatal flaw of such a system is that it is relatively easy to adapt to. As such, it would be horrendous in a playoff situation. Houston played Boston just a few days after losing to them, and easily beat them in the rematch. New Jersey prepared specifically against the fronting defense and beat them handily in what turned out to be O\’Brien\’s last game as head coach.

    In fact, New Jersey used a less obvious but more effective attack against the fronting defense. They swung the ball to the wing, ostensibly to feed the ball into the post. The low post player would get fronted, as required by the defense. Then, quickly, two things would happen. The low post player would rotate his body to face the basket and establish his position against the fronting defender, much as if he were boxing out. At the same time, the wingman would pass the ball back to the man at the top of the key, who immediately launches an alley-oop to the post player. The post player now has lots of time to either catch and dunk, or catch and land and wait for the foul and possible three point play. The Nets did that so often to the Celtics that it became routine.

    When this is the defense you play in games, it becomes also the defense you play in practice, because that is what takes the most effort and energy and requires the most repetition to play. So what happens when the players face a team that doesn\’t front them? They don\’t execute particularly well. When someone as naturally gifted in the post as Vin Baker is happens to be in the game, you can feed him the ball and let him go to work. Otherwise, what ends up happening is a lot of busywork and passing that results in a three point shot, because that\’s usually all that\’s available.

    It is this unique defensive system that is the source of all of the philosophical differences, from the playing time of certain players, to the poor rebounding, to the continued over-reliance on the three pointer, to the trades that Ainge is forced to do in an attempt to change the system.

    What do I think happened in this meeting yesterday morning? I think Ainge realized he has little wiggle room in trading players left. Surely he has some offers on the table, but even if he were to do the hypothetical Orlando deal above, it wouldn\’t necessarily change anything. O\’Brien could just take some time, teach his players how he wants them to play, and then Ainge would be stuck watching Drew Gooden fronting players like Kurt Thomas or Chris Bosh, rather than playing them straight up. And none of the problems would be solved.

    What I think happened is that Danny Ainge figured out a solution, a way out of this morass of fronting defense. He decided to fire Dick Harter.

    Who?

    Assistant coach Dick Harter. He is the defensive mastermind who crafted this unique fronting defense. Firing Harter, which is likely well within Ainge\’s control, would pull the plug on the entire system. It would be worse even than firing Tex Winter, inventor of the triangle offense, from the Lakers coaching staff, because at least Phil Jackson has had some experience running the triangle without having its inventor around. O\’Brien had never run Harter\’s defensive scheme alone, and probably didn\’t want to.

    What choices would O\’Brien have in such a situation? He could acquiesce, hope that Harter finds another position, and try to continue to run the same system. That would challenge O\’Brien\’s loyalty to his friend and colleague. It would diminish his respect from his players, much as what happened to Byron Scott after the departure of Eddie Jordan, who was widely viewed as being instrumental in the Nets\’ up-tempo style of play. It would make him unhappy to say the least.

    Another option would be to acquiesce, hope that Harter finds another position, and start running a different system. This would also challenge O\’Brien\’s loyalty to his friend and colleague. It would also make him feel highly unstable. For Ainge to fire one of the head coach\’s assistants without the agreement of the head coach is stepping too far. It would be like the CEO of a company replacing a middle manager\’s secretary. The manager would feel slighted for two reasons: one, he would have to retrain a new person, and two, there would be no sense of order. At any moment, a new employee could walk in the door.

    O\’Brien only had one choice left, and he took it, and that was to resign.

    I don\’t know if Ainge threatened to fire Harter, or was looking for O\’Brien\’s opinion on the matter, or if it never even came up at all. But I know one thing: after Jim O\’Brien quit, so did Dick Harter.

    There were two resignations yesterday, but reportedly only one person in the meeting with Danny Ainge. So we have to ask ourselves this question: why did Dick Harter resign? Was it to show his support for his friend? If so, why didn\’t the other assistant coaches, who also presumably feel a loyalty to O\’Bri
    en, resign as well? Or was it because he knew he was going to be fired, whether O\’Brien liked it or not?

    Most reports of O\’Brien\’s resignation make little mention of Harter\’s resignation as well. Some reports say that he didn\’t quit but was fired. But beyond a one-line statement of the fact, the significant of Harter leaving simultaneously is never questioned. In fact, as we have seen, it is the most important part of what took place, possibly even more important than O\’Brien quitting. If there were a way to retain O\’Brien and oust Harter, Ainge would have found it. He was almost certainly looking for it.

    Danny Ainge is now in a position where he can shape this team to his exact vision. Whether he starts to coach himself, or if he brings in highly capable former teammate Dennis Johnson (who, let\’s not forget, Larry Bird called the smartest player he ever played with), or someone else, it is clear we can expect to see a lot more running of the Celtics, and a lot less fronting defense.

    As for Jim O\’Brien, he will likely soon have another job. He is an immensely talented and dedicated and hard working coach who gets tremendous effort from his players. Before what has turned out to be his last game, O\’Brien was still reviewing old video with less than an hour before tipoff. He was writing stats all over the whiteboard from memory. He warned the team to watch out for such-and-such players from three-point range and from such-and-such players in terms of steals. Under Keys to the Game, he put not one but two exclamation marks on the rebounding effort, writing \”Glass – Focus!! All 5 get it done.\” The only part of the whiteboard where he had more exclamation marks was, fittingly enough, for defense, which he emphasized must be \”Aggressive!!!\” Aggressive it was, but effective in fulfilling Ainge\’s vision it was not.

    Ainge was correct in saying that it\’s neither his fault nor O\’Brien\’s fault that they parted ways. Ainge had no choice but to try to remove Harter\’s defense, and O\’Brien had no choice but to resign in protest.

    So ends a storied career for Jim O\’Brien as Boston\’s head coach. All of Boston wish him the best of luck in his future coaching career, in every single game he coaches, except of course when it\’s against the new, sleek and svelte, fast-paced Celtics.

    Comment by Phil Maymin -

  27. Hello, Mark. I\’d like to give you a preview of my blog. Here is an excerpt:

    \”The Dallas Mavericks eliminated the San Antonio Spurs from the playoffs. However, Mr. Cuban knows that the only way his beloved Mavs can beat the Spurs, is if he pays the referees to give Dirk 20 free throw attempts per game. Come on, it\’s blatantly obvious. Dirk is a jump shooter! He has NO game inside! Do you expect me to believe he deserved the amount of bogus free throws he was taking? But boy, Mr. Cuban was in for a rude awakening when he realized Pat Reilly had paid the referees an even larger sum of money! Thus in turn sending Dwayne Wade to the line 20 times per game in the finals. And there, ladies and gentleman, lies the true hilarity and karma of the 2006 playoffs… Mark Cuban crying when Wade is winning games at the free-throw line, when he knows that he should have never been there in the first place, because he knows in the back of his mind the Dallas Mavericks cannot beat the Spurs without Dirk going to the line virtually every single time, winning games with bogus calls in that series. Even then, the Mavs did not beat the Spurs. The Spurs beat themselves. If Manu doesn\’t make one of the 5 worst plays in NBA history, the Spurs advance in that game 7. Rest easy, SpursNation, because the following year, the Mavs are promptly eliminated as the Number One Seed in the West, with their \”MVP\” pulling one of the biggest choke jobs in recent memory(see previous statement of no inside game). Meanwhile, the Spurs take their rightful spot at the top of the NBA, once again. Once again, Duncan shows who the MVP award should be given to every single year come playoff time. The difference between Duncan and Dirk is simple, Timmy is Superman when it counts, and Dirk can never quite break the mold of Clark Kent, thus unable to elevate his game when it matters most.\”

    Hope you enjoyed it. Now, I demand access to your locker rooms immediately. I would also like first class airfare from Ohio and a limousine to pick me up when I arrive. I would like the limo to come fully equipped with 3-4 exotic, extravagant hookers and plenty of alcoholic beverages. When I arrive at the game, I expect there to be a red carpet waiting for me, along with front row tickets, center court. Upon my departure from the game I would like to have a stay in a 5 star hotel, after interviewing each player of the Mavericks for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can choose to ignore my demands, but in doing so you will forfeit an NBA championship for the rest of the Tim Duncan Era. Choose wisely.

    Comment by Ryan -

  28. Unparalleled and unrivaled,cuban

    Comment by ifengsi -

  29. If I read this correctly, between the lines that is. You are looking to credential enough people to expose the farcical nature of the NBA\’s decision to force you to admit bloggers. Thereby clogging up the system enough to say to the powers that be: \”Look, you get what you ask for. It will now become so difficult for anybody to report, including Mr. McMahon, that the NBA will look silly.\”
    So everybody with a keyboard is looking to get a shot at the big time. This will of course appeal to the masses and show why you are the \”Maverick\” owner (pun intended) that you are. But, I would like to float out an opinion that hasn\’t been stated yet. Is it possible that this is all a smoke screen to take focus off the team on the court?
    I know this sounds far fetched, but every good conspiracy theory needs a little reach, and here it is. So I present this scenario:
    Let\’s say that a team, fighting for the playoffs, see\’s its main competitors make substantial trades and feels the pressure to upgrade it\’s point guard. Possibly with someone who has trouble guarding quicker opponents. Then maybe the teams star goes down to injury and the team is in danger of falling out of the playoffs.
    What would an internet savy owner of this mythical franchise do to keep attention on his team, without having anyone actually look at what the team is doing on the court?

    Comment by Jake -

  30. BREAKING NEWS FROM MAVERICKSLOCKERROOM.BLOGSPOT.COM

    Mavs Announce Credentialed Bloggers
    DALLAS-Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban held a press conference today announcing which bloggers would be credentialed to cover Mavericks games.

    The controversy began after Dallas Morning News blogger, Tim McMahon, wrote a disparaging blog regarding Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson. Shortly thereafter, Cuban banned all bloggers from the locker room, citing a lack of space for the bloggers. The NBA responded by forcing Cuban to open up the locker room to bloggers.

    Cuban did exactly that and on Saturday announced, via blog, that he would open up the locker room to bloggers both professional and amateur alike. The caveat being that Cuban would choose the amateur bloggers himself.

    Cuban is proud to announce that the first credentialed blogger is none other than Cuban president Raul Castro. Surprisingly, Castro is a zealous Mavericks fan and amateur blogger.

    My brother, he love the baseball. Me? I love the basketball, responded Castro via satellite. I love the basketball long time, added Castro with a snicker.

    Interestingly, the brother of Fidel Castros passion for the sport developed during war. Castro explained, The year was 1961. Early on during the Bay of Pigs invasion, I was surrounded and out of ammunition. I took off my uniform and just started playing basketball. They surrounded me, guns drawn, and told me to surrender. I ignored them and kept shooting. They thought I wasnt a threat and eventually moved on. Basketball, she save my life.

    Although Castros basketball for passion cannot be disputed, his blogging skills are. In Cuba, we dont have no [sic] computers or internet. I usually just blog on a calculator. If you turn it up side down, sometimes you can make words. Hee hee 8008 says boob, explained Castro.

    Cuban defended his decision to allow such an amateur blogger and a communist into the Mavericks locker room. Cuban explained, A blogger is a blogger is a blogger. It doesnt matter if hes a communist or a revolutionist. Plus, Raul has done some great things. He has recently allowed Cubans to stay in resort hotels and have their own mobile phones. You dont know how difficult its been not having a mobile phone. The other billionaires would tease me. Finally, this Cuban is getting a mobile phone and when I do Ill be sure to publish the number and share it with everyone so that everyone can call me at any time!

    When explained that the ban was for Cuban citizens living in Cuba, not for people named Cuban, the irascible owner became irate. Shut up! Thats it; Im banning all people who talk. Theres no room in this locker room for people that talk. Get out! Get out right now! Now! Now! Now! Cuban yelled as he stomped his feet.

    The NBA has yet to comment on Cubans ban of talkers, but most NBA insiders dont expect it to last long. McMahon explained, Cubans a talker. If no talkers can go in the locker room, then I guess he cant go in there either.

    The Mavericks Locker Room blog emailed Cuban to respond to this paradox and only received a three-word response, my head hurts.

    Enjoy April 1, 2008 everyone!

    Comment by Blogger Schmogger -

  31. I salute your stand on blogging journalists. After all, blogs can be vetted for status/quality much as newspapers and radio stations- and many mainstream sportswriters (e.g. Bill Simmons, and the guys at yahoo!sports) also have what are essentially blogs.

    Comment by Lee Coles -

  32. Wait!
    I\’m just reading all of the great comments here about bloggers and the #69 comment just wants to advertise their business? Are you kidding me? No wonder people like Mark Cuban would get down on reading their e-mail and blogs for something like this?
    Even if you were trying to demonstrate your blogging skills Mr. #69, who the heck can read that stuff?
    Geezus, Mother Mary, and Joseph…..get with the program.

    Comment by LewP -

  33. Mark-

    As someone who\’s been both a Pro and a Joe, let me explain to you the difference:

    Bloggers get more editorial freedom than your average beat writer. Indeed they are allowed to read and comment in-between the lines. Some people are good at extracting tidbits that aren\’t considered newsworthy to the traditional daily paper, but still many fans may find these observations interesting. These takes may be more comical, existential or insightful, which indeed opens the door for some bullshit.

    Which brings us to your VH1 comparison, which is half-right. While it is true that witty bloggers will develop a readership while others flounder, the comparison doesn\’t take into account access–VH1 sets don\’t offer any, and locker rooms do. The up close look at players and coaches–how they react after wins, defeats, and with each other–provides insight into their heart, competitiveness and smarts that can\’t be gleaned any other way.

    I remember draft workouts here in Portland a few years back. There was a massive public campaign to draft Adam Morrison–\”draft the stache\” it was called. It seemed like a good idea. He was a fiery player who came from nearby.

    But after attending the workout and conducting interviews it became clear, to me at least, that Brandon Roy was one to pick… even though Morrison\’s jumper was sharp as a laser. The way he handled himself, the intellect, respect, humility and poise he showed all transfered to the court.

    The blog is a beautiful thing (I can\’t believe I just type those words, but it\’s true). Without deadlines, standards and editors, bloggers are allowed to muse on more interesting topics. On the other hand, the atrocious bloggers are often rebuked by the online community–it\’s mostly self-policing, and I guess that\’s what\’s beautiful about it.

    Comment by Andrew R Tonry -

  34. Hey Mark,

    My older sister, Haley, works for your company. My name is Luke, and I\’m a freshman at Butler University. I\’m actively seeking opportunities in the business side of professional sports. Anyways, here is a sample of my work, hope you enjoy (even though it\’s on the Pacers).

    http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/PacersRule07

    Have a good day!

    Comment by Luke Schultheis -

  35. A blog is just a medium to get a message to the world. Just like a newspaper, a TV show, a radio show, or a loud guy in a bar.

    Sure, anybody can set up a blog. It\’s also true that anybody can start a newspaper. Everybody\’s got access to computers and printers – that doesn\’t mean that you\’re going to ban all journalists because anybody can call themselves one.

    If you don\’t like the one guy, just ban him. But don\’t ban good blogs like truehoop or dallasbasketball – they genuinely give value that nobody else provides.

    And don\’t undervalue blogs just because they\’re easy to set up… recognize that in this information age, it\’s the quality of the information that\’s key, not the medium. You should know this better than anyone.

    Comment by krishna -

  36. By the way, if you want to see the picture of the ticket, or read more from me, my blog is at http://elise.blogs.com

    Comment by elise -

  37. Okay, so here\’s the deal. Rather than present a whole bunch of compelling evidence as to why you ought to pick me, or writing you a post full of name-dropping, specific game-referencing detail, I\’m just going to give you an excerpt of how I WRITE. Because as I\’m sure you know, Mr. Cuban, if you can write well, you can write about anything. And honestly, I\’d be THRILLED to cover the Mavs, even for a game.

    Let\’s talk about basketball for a moment, shall we?

    No, not because I want to brag about my NCAA tournament bracketeering skills. When it comes to Fantasy sports, I have to say that I excel so mightily at Fantasy Football that it would appear I\’ve sucked all sports knowledge available to me out of the atmosphere, leaving none for my hapless NCAA bracket. Judging by the looks of that thing, I\’m about as skilled at choosing winning basketball teams as Bennett Salvatore is at officiating for them.

    And goodness knows, that\’s nothing to brag about.

    Plus, even though I went to Texas Tech, and was there during the whole Bobby Knight arrival and subsequent Knight mania, I\’m just not that into college hoops. We all gathered in the Tech stadium for a while, hoping to see a chair thrown, or at least to hear someone get seriously cussed, but once we realized Mr. Knight\’s halfhearted fury, we kind of petered out. Some of us got our feelings hurt, too – it was like finally getting a date with the infamous but super hot star athlete, only to have him hand you a copy of He\’s Just Not That Into You. Kind of anticlimactic.

    So we\’re not gonna discuss the NCAA madness, or my days as a pseudo-basketball fan at Texas Tech. Instead, allow me to introduce you to my true love: the Dallas Mavericks. And before you get up on your high horse and accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, allow me to present you with this compelling piece of evidence:

    [Dscf0089]

    Yeah, that\’s a Mavericks vs. Spurs playoff ticket from 2001. When the Mavericks were still playing in Reunion Arena, that crappy stadium I still kind of love. I moved to Dallas when I was an 18 year-old freshman in college, straight out of high school in a little town. I had the whole city available to me, and as cute, young (but legal!) college girls, we pretty much did whatever we wanted. And what we wanted was to go to the Mavericks games.

    There\’s just something about the ambiance of the stadium – the smells, the sounds, the energy; it makes it impossible not to absolutely love being there. You feel like you\’re right in the middle of something big, and it honestly doesn\’t matter if the Mavericks are playing someone awesome or someone awful. Just being involved, you feel lucky. The best way to explain it is to use another Texas Tech example. Tech is in Lubbock, TX, for those of you who don\’t know. And Lubbock is slap in the middle of the Texas panhandle; the only mecca of civilization within a hundred miles in any direction. There are no hills, no trees, no refuge from the wind, and certainly no escape from the dirt the wind will blow all over you. And the result of such lovely living conditions is that everyone who lives in Lubbock REALLY wants to be there. Anyone else hightailed it out of there a long time ago. And it\’s funny, being somewhere that everyone surrounding you loves, it kind of creates this massive sense of loyalty and devotion to the thing. That\’s how a Dallas Mavericks game is. That\’s how a Dallas Mavericks fan is, and a game is just a huge arena full of people who would just about kill in their unfailing devotion for the team.

    So it should come as no surprise to you that in 1999, when we heard the Mavericks would be playing the Los Angeles Lakers at home, my college roommate and I decided that we honestly could not think of one thing that sounded better than getting dressed to the nines and trying to con our way into Mavericks floor seats, using our $18 nosebleed tickets as a starting point.

    We made it, by the way. And it only took us until the 3rd quarter to find ourselves sitting directly behind a very handsome Kobe Bryant, who was wearing a pinstripe suit and watching the game with his injured hand taped in what looked to be a very haphazard manner. HDTV\’s got nothing on that kind of detail.

    It should also come as no surprise to you that when I found myself on vacation in Orlando during the Mavericks 2006 playoff run, all I cared about was getting to the nearest sports bar so I could watch, in excruciating minutia, every heart-attack inducing second of the games. And it should come as no surprise to you that when the Mavericks lost that year, in the finals, I felt cheated. And I felt it, shall we say – STRONGLY.

    And it should come as no surprise to you that even though my dad (and he certainly isn\’t alone in this theory) contends that the NBA is rigged, that the players have no heart, that there is no authenticity to the game, I still continue to watch. Because it\’s impossible to watch Jason \”The Jet\” Terry hit a super clutch baseline jumper, to watch Avery Johnson scream until his voice goes out and then still find reserve energy to spur the team on, to watch Brandon Bass take the hardest hit you\’ve ever seen outside of the NFL and still come away with the rebound, to hear that Dirk is planning to play THIS THURSDAY, even after his \”lower leg injury\” was widely speculated to be season-ending – it\’s impossible to watch all of that and not feel that the Mavericks are more than authentic.

    Because they\’re a lot more than merely genuine. They\’re the reason the NBA is still going strong. You can feel the raw emotion in the air as soon as you enter the stadium. They\’re the team with all the heart, and you can\’t fake that.

    [image]

    Comment by elise -

  38. Hey Mark, Not a big Basketball fan here but I do watch certain individuals when I happen across them on tv. The reason bloggers and most media so called \”experts\” remind you of Talk Soup is because it IS. Nothing more then what sells, which is senseless gossip by neardowells and couch quarterbacks. Real news lost its integrity a long time ago. When corporations started buying networks, thier news was also censored and propagandized to their benefit when they purchased the networks. Ya say the wrong thing on the wrong network and as they say in baseball \”Yer Out!!!\” Thanks for the thoughts

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  39. Hi Mark,

    This is Steve Weinman, resident general NBA columnist at CelticsBlog.com. Though I write for a Celtics-oriented site, I cover the league at large and would be quite interested in gaining locker room access should the opportunity arise.

    Below, I\’ve posted my column in response to a discussion I had with Dallas Morning News writer and once-banned blogger Tim MacMahon, in which he asserted that he would take Dirk Nowitzki over Kevin Garnett. The column can also be found at the following link:

    http://www.celticsblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2649&Itemid=260

    Not only was Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News kind enough to join us for a Q&A session in the first portion of the Daily Babble, he also took the time to take a part of one of our questions and build it into a full-length post over at SportsDay. Asked what would happen if we put all the Mavs\’ and Celts\’ players into one pool and re-drafted two new teams (Tim qualified his answer by suggesting that it would be for a three-year window, as both teams are current championship contenders), Tim said Dirk Nowitzki would go ahead of Kevin Garnett and then followed it up with a post on Dirk\’s superiority to KG. So in the same day we welcome Tim to the CelticsBlog air, er, web waves with open arms — particularly for his endorsement of the Pugnacious Papoose Caboose — we feel compelled take some time to rebut his most controversial claim of the day…

    The majority of Tim MacMahon\’s case for Dirk Nowitzki over Kevin Garnett seems to be made with individual statistical evidence and team records. Right there is where it seems to me that Tim goes off the beaten path with regard to evaluating KG.

    Never mind that the individual numbers seem to show that Dirk has consistently been a few points better of a scorer than KG…and worse everywhere else.

    As far as the ultimate numbers — wins and losses, particularly in the playoffs — are concerned, undoubtedly, Dirk\’s been a part of more successful teams. He has also generally been on teams that had better coaching, better front office management and most importantly a better supporting cast (and thus higher standards) with quite a bit of regularity. Prior to this season, KG played on several immature and poorly coached Minnesota teams that were good enough to go to the playoffs but not succeed once there (see: Marbury, Stephon and Saunders, Flip) and one nearly elite-level team before getting sucked into a storm of rebuilding in Minny. Garnett led that elite-level team to the Western Conference Finals, where it happened to have the misfortune of running into the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers, an ultra-talented team with four future Hall of Famers in its starting lineup (and a date with destiny that went horribly wrong against the Pistons, but that\’s another story for another time).

    But again, all of this is beside the point.

    The point is that the individual numbers don\’t — and likely never will — really do KG justice. That is a pretty crazy thought to ponder when one considers that we\’re talking about a guy with nine consecutive seasons of averaging a 20-10 (in some cases, significantly more than that) and four consecutive rebounding titles.

    But, really, it\’s true. The individual numbers don\’t do the trick. Because they don\’t adequately reflect defense — the stuff of championships — leadership, energy or his effect on his teammates.

    Prior to this season, the Celtics hadn\’t cracked the league\’s top ten in defensive efficiency since 2002-03, which also coincided with their last extended playoff run (they finished seventh in defensive efficiency that year). This year, they have yet to vacate the league\’s top spot. Undoubtedly, a portion of that can be attributed to the addition of stalwart assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, but the single biggest factor in the team\’s one-year jump from 16th to first has no doubt been the additon of a man topped only by Tim Duncan in his ability to do just about everything right on defense just about all the time.

    On Tuesday night in Houston, the Rockets attempted to pick-and-roll the Celtics to death. But they didn\’t do much screening with Luis Scola. That\’s because, as Doug Collins noted on TNT, the Rockets were terrified of bringing KG into the play to disrupt their offensive sets. This is just the most recent example of many related to his personal impact on this team\’s defense all season. He shuts his man down. He is a great help defender. He rotates perfectly. He has the quickness to hedge and recover with ease. His long arms lead to a few blocks, steals and deflections per game to boot. That the C\’s are five points better per 100 possessions defensively with KG on the floor than they are without him should come as a shock to no one. The primary reason the Celtics are being touted as a championship contender is because of their stifling defense. The primary reason their defense is stifling is thanks to Kevin Garnett continuing to do exactly the sort of work he has been doing for his entire career at that end of the floor.

    I can\’t put together two paragraphs on Dirk Nowitzki\’s body of work defensively. That would be because he doesn\’t have one that merits it. Dirk is a big man who often insists on playing like anything but what he is, and it has resulted in his largely deserved reputation as a soft defender, particularly on the interior. He can\’t do the job that KG does in man-to-man, and he certainly doesn\’t have the impact that KG has on a team\’s defense.

    All that thus far is solely in regard to the difference KG can make with his own physical efforts on the floor. Part of what makes this guy so special is that that\’s just the half of it, particularly on the defensive end.

    Kevin Garnett is a leader, both through his words and by example. When he came to town, he immediately started pushing those around him and inspiring them to make themselves into better players. For any non-fans who were wise enough not to watch the Celts with much regularity over the last couple of lean years, it\’s worth noting that Paul Pierce spent a long time as an absolutely putrid defender, particularly over the past few seasons. The national announcers who keep raving over Pierce\’s increased effort defensively? They\’re right. Pierce didn\’t become an all-world defender by any stretch, but he is no longer losing his man for open looks and lay-ups several times each night, and he is consistently busting his gut to pressure the ball and fight for loose balls in scrums. Ray Allen, another scorer with a history as a notoriously poor defender, has picked up his intensity on that end as well. The Infuriated Infant managed to keep Tim Duncan from murdering the Celtics in a victory over the Spurs during Garnett\’s absence earlier in the year thanks to study sessions with KG on how to guard the Big Fundamental.

    All of those occurrences are direct results of Kevin Garnett\’s arrival and his leadership. Oddly enough, those are all also the type of things that help make the worth of a team as a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.

    As for Dirk\’s leadership, well, it seems like the most effective way to assess that would be to refer you to Tim\’s commentary in response to a question of mine earlier this week:

    SW: Brutal honesty: Does Dirk Nowitzki have what it takes to be the best player on a championship team? Why?

    TM: Best player? Yes. Leader? Probably not after what happened in the Mavs\’ last two playoff series. That\’s one of the primary reasons why I thought the Kidd deal was a wise move.

    Not the world\’s greatest endorsement, indeed, and this from someone who watches Dirk on a day-to-day basis.

    Sadly, the commentary in this piece will come across as particularly harsh against Nowitzki, and it really isn\’t meant that way. Dirk is an excellent
    player who has established himself as one of the premier performers in this game. The stats Tim cites in his piece back that up, and the fact that Dirk has been the best player on teams that have gone deep into the playoffs does, too. He is a great scorer and seems like a decent guy to boot. It should go without saying that I would take this guy on my team any day of the week.

    But when all is said and done, even as he nears the completion of a full decade in the Association, of the many questions surrounding the Mavs, whether or not Dirk Nowitzki can be the leader of a championship team, and whether or not he has the heart, grit, toughness, intensity and mental stamina of an ultimate winner remain key among them. That the general leaning seems to be toward the \”or not\” end of the spectrum isn\’t all that encouraging, either.

    In contrast, of all the questions about the Celtics heading into this post-season, none are about their on-court leadership or intensity, and very few are about their defense, which has long been considered to be the biggest asset of championship teams. Those lack of questions are direct results of the presence of one Kevin Garnett.

    I think I can live without the extra couple of points per game.

    Comment by Steve Weinman -

  40. Stay in school or go pro?

    It\’s March. You are tearing up the NCAA Tournament. Everyone is on your bandwagon and has you as the next greatest thing. For the Michael Beasleys and Kevin Durants of the world, you get this year round. What about the Stephen Currys?

    Stephen Curry wasn\’t a national name coming into this NCAA Tournament. Most people had heard about him here and there. Some might have watched him against Maryland last year. The only ones who truly knew how dangerous this kid is was Davidson fans, a few good analysts, and maybe a few fans that took notice last year and paid attention to the box scores this year. I\’m proud to say I was one of those people but I will also say that I guarantee there is a hidden gem out there that I know nothing about.

    Curry went on to light up Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. Mainly in the second half. Where do you think he is drafted if he declares for the NBA draft? First round. Where do you think he is drafted if he doesnt catch fire against Gonzaga and Davidson gets beat in the first round? I\’ll take it a step further. He wasn\’t playing well against Georgetown at all in the first half. He had two fouls. What if Georgetown continues to blow them out and he struggles with his shot and staying out of foul trouble? His draft stock would be no where near where it is now and he wouldn\’t be the star of this NCAA tournament. Stephen Curry has announced that he is staying in school. This brings me to ask.. is this the right decision?

    Don\’t get me wrong.. I know why Curry is staying in school and I\’m glad he is as a college basketball fan. He may or may not work out in the pros. Some feel he needs to be a point guard to be able to contribute to a team. He will be taking on that position next year for the Davidson Wildcats. To be honest.. thats what scares me. This isn\’t a guy playing for Duke who is going to have the national stage every night. He\’s playing for Davidson. What happens if he doesnt adjust well to the point guard position? What happens if the team struggles without Senior PG Jason Richards? What happens if they dont make the NCAA Tournament? If they get upset in their conference tournament they could be in trouble as an at large team.

    Anyone remember Harold \”The Show\” Arceneaux? He had one of the most memorable performances in NCAA history when #14 seed Weber State knocked off the #3 North Carolina Tar Heels. He lit them up for 36 points and lit up Florida for 32 in the next round before going down in overtime. His stock was high. Everybody was talking about him. He was going to be a lottery pick. He withdrew from the draft and came back for his senior year. I have never forgotten this because I have been looking for him on NBA rosters ever since. Weber State didnt make it back to the NCAA tournament. \”The Show\” never made it to the big stage. He went undrafted in the next years draft. Do you think he regrets his decision?

    Joakim Noah was for sure the number 1 pick in the NBA draft when he won a championship his junior year. Everyone was on his bandwagon. He stayed in school and dropped a little in the draft. Luckily for him he still went lottery.. but he cost himself millions. Personally I don\’t think he will be a very good pro and I think he cost himself millions by making that decision.

    Matt Leinart. Sure bet number 1 overall NFL draft pick. He wanted to stay in school. He slipped to #10 and cost himself millions. I havent been impressed with him so far. The offense picked up dramatically when he got hurt and Kurt Warner stepped in. What if hes a bust? He cost himself MILLIONS by not being the sure bet #1 pick he would have been had he come out his junior year.

    Professional drafts are almost based on hype more then they are actual ability. It\’s amazing how many times a team will blow a #1 pick because they buy into all the hype off a recent game or tournament. It\’s also sad that players need to make decisions like this to strike while they are hot. Harold Arceneaux cost himself millions and a dream by going back to a mid major school. Leinart and Noah still got drafted in a good spot because they were on a national stage but Harold Arceneaux was forgotten at little Weber State. Stephen Curry is the same player now that he was entering the tournament. The only difference is the world got to see it against the elite teams. What if he goes back to his mid major school and never makes it back to the big stage? Where will he go then?

    Stephen Curry… you just tore up the NCAA tournament.. everyone is on your bandwagon as the next greatest thing. You have been on every major sports show and talked about all over TV. You are a sure NBA first round pick. You are staying in school for another year. I\’m glad that you are and everyone will tell you that you are making the right decision. I just hope that next season they are still telling you that and that Davidson is making another run through the NCAA tournament. If you struggle at all or if your team struggles your stock is going to drop dramatically. If you fall off the map and the NBA forgets how good you really are.. it will be a shame. I hate the way a players \”stock\” can drop so quickly. It\’s just the way it is. You are this years NCAA Tournament story and it may have been the time to head for the Pros.

    I sincerely hope thats not the case and you have another magical season at Davidson. A lot can happen between now and then and as a fan I hope for nothing but the best for you. Your decision is huge for college basketball and I applaud that. I just hope it works out for YOU in the long run.

    Comment by Dustin Tinney -

  41. Hi, Mark I was thinking it\’d be pretty cool to cover the Mav\’s. Here\’s a link to my blog:

    http://www.alot2learn.com

    Sure the content sucks now, BUT toss Mav\’s coverage in there and I could be averaging over 30 page hits a day. No biggie.

    Comment by rick -

  42. I really believe all of this should really be a non-issue. It is for 29 other NBA teams and all of MLB NFL NHL teams. Mark, it\’s obvious that you have run this once promising team into the ground and are looking for other ways to redirect the immense frustration and anger you feel towards yourself.

    Comment by noah -

  43. Reading these comments, I am more convinced that allowing just any blogger media access is a horrendous mistake.
    I wonder why 80% of these posters are now suddenly writing about the MavericksHow strange that their initial coverage coincides with the NBAs statement on allowing locker room access for bloggers.
    Id imagine these bloggers would use such access not for the betterment of their blog, but instead as a cool experience to get to hang around the locker roomeven asking for autographs. We might as well call this a Media Fantasy Camp, because that is just exactly what allowing any ole blogger media access is the equivalent of.
    So let me ask, what is the purpose for your desire to have locker room access anyways?
    I have covered college sports since 2001…[in person, for major magazines and newspapersi.e. legit media. See bio here: http://www.big12hoops.com/about-the-author/ ].
    You have your gamers and you have your sidebars and features.
    But there is no need for bloggers to write gamers. So I assume the purpose of a blogger getting credentialed would be to write a feature.
    Theres no doubt that we are in uncharted waters here with the decline of the newspaper. Hell, most people read their newspaper online instead of in print anyway.
    You could say that this era is similar to the newspaper boom, back when major cities had five or 10 dailies. Of course, they were credentialed although the popularity of covering professional sports was more on par with covering the Hooters Tour or the US Indoor Soccer League as opposed to MLB, NBA, NFL, etc.
    Also, you also have to consider that those who were credentialed as a writer for one of many daily newspapers were professionals. That was their JOB. That was their source of income. It wasnt a hobby.
    Just from looking around at about 10 of these blogs that have been posted, I did not see a single website that would qualify as a professional blog. [See TrueHoop, Deadspin, Hashmarks]
    Some just copy and paste the AP gamer and embed the ESPN video highlights.
    Whats the purpose? What are you offering that is different from what The DMN or FWST offer?
    What is your background? How long have you been a writeror a blogger? Or both?
    Have you ever even covered a game before? What do you plan on using your media access for?
    I suspect that 95% of the answers to the former would be noand just as many to the latter, if they are truly being honest, would have nothing to do with their blog but would be about the individual experienceas a FAN.
    That is not workits not professional. How would you feel if I wanted to come in and do your job, requesting the same hard-earned benefits you receive? ; Something that you have a degree in with years of experience climbing that ladder, improving and gaining respect in your profession? And here I come on in and ask for the same rights as you even though I have zero professional experience and zero training.
    So I would like to propose a compromise.
    Lets use discretion and allow a limited number of professional bloggers not Joe Blogger as someone said but those that deliver unique, insightful content on a daily basis to get the same media access that a beat writer would get. And when I say limited, Im thinking in the ballpark of 2 or 3 blogs total.
    For the rest, add them to the media relations email list. Keep them in the loop and if they are faithful in covering [in this case] the Mavericks on a consistent basis with content not provided by the mainstream news outlets, then they should be considered down the line for some form of limited credential.
    Then, if they remain consistent in using their limited access for the purpose of providing original and insightful content to their blog, at that point consider giving them full media access.
    It has to be earned. There are no drive-by attorneys. There are no drive-by accountants. The same should apply with writing. EARN the access you are seeking. Lets see your blog in a year. I wonder how many of these blogs will still be around a year from now and even more specifically how many will be covering the Mavs.
    This will weed out those that are just fans and allow those that are professional in what they provide to get similar opportunities and access that mainstream blogs like Hashmarks or TrueHoop receive.

    Comment by m peterson -

  44. Stephen Curry has finally solidified the notion that he is of prepubescent age by the decision he made this week. He has decided to come back for his junior season at Davidson. We (Actually me…The fact that I actually do talk and debate with myself is becoming more and more evident with every blog) here at Basketball Genius have one question for Stephen…FOR WHAT!? Here are a few points to defend my case…

    1. Your team was the Cinderella of this year\’s dance and made a deep run…When a team is the Cinderella of the dance, their star player\’s draft stock skyrockets (e.g. Joakim Noah in 2006, Bryce Drew of Valparaiso in 1998). This is the time to act on the \”he is full of potential\” moniker that so many NBA GM\’s throw at underclassmen. Players that pass this up, end up under a deep microscope their following season. NBA scouts and executives try to find every reason why NOT to draft you when the season prior they were willing to give up a few players in their starting lineup to trade up and get you.

    2. Undersized guards easily become distant memories in the NBA scouting world…My perfectly placed and never overused Indianapolis high school basketball reference is going be placed RIGHT…HERE…to help Stephen see the light. Jason Gardner from Arizona was the national college player of the year as a freshman. He beat out Jason/Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy Jr., his backcourt mate Gilbert Arenas and Carlos Boozer (Notice that I have them listed in their draft order from the 2001 and 2002 drafts…Hindsight is 20/20). Gardner was easily a late first round pick his freshman year and could have been a second rounder with Arenas his sophomore year. Yet, he chose to stay to win that ever so \”IMPORTANT\” NCAA championship. When he never won a title, he saw 5 of his teammates (all of whom were groomsmen in his wedding by the way) fulfill their NBA dream (Arenas, Luke Walton, Loren Woods, Richard Jefferson and Andre Igoudala).

    3. Davidson is not winning an NCAA Title!…With this tournament proving this now more than ever, number one seeds win titles. Yes, there are some upsets every year and I know not every champion is the top seed in their respective region but look at the history. Since 1995, 9 of the last 13 champions have been number one seeds. The other four champs were seeded no lower than a number 4. With Davidson being a mid-major, the likelihood of them being seeded higher than a 5 is slim (especially with fifth seeded Drake getting knocked by the shot of the tournament from the first round this year) and the competition a mid-major plays does not prepare them to win a NCAA title.

    Stephen, I know your dad played 16 seasons in the NBA and your mom is still hot as all hell, but let\’s not be dumb here. You are a first round lock this year and could move into the lottery with a few good workouts. Tell Davidson to kick rocks.

    ***************** ******************** ******************** **********

    I hate…dislike (My mother always told me to never say hate) when fellow IU alums make dumb decisions in life that embarrasses us all. Especially in the sports world. Like when Mark Cuban said Dirk was untradeable, that was dumb. Or when Steve Alford left Southwest Missouri State, a rising mid-major, to coach Iowa who consistently stays in the slums of the Big Ten, that was dumb but I see the financial motivation. But when Isiah Thomas said that \”Dan Dakich did a wonderful job this season\”, that wasn\’t dumb, it was just ignorant.

    Anyone who watched the Hoosiers play after Sampson was let go knows they were a different team. You can factor in the emotional attachment to Sampson that many of the players have and all the negative publicity that was coming from the media, but you don\’t almost lose to Northwestern. NORTHWESTERN! This is a school that has NEVER been to an NCAA tournament. They are terrible year in and year out. And we almost lost to them because Dakich could not put together a good defensive scheme to stop whatever that dorky kid\’s name was who was open all night. Northwestern is the red-headed stepchild of the \”Big Ten\”. Every time someone says \”Big Ten\”, it is an insult to Northwestern because they are the 11th. They are an Ivy League school who wanted to be cool and say we are in a competitive conference. They are like taking Karrine \”Superhead\” Steffans to prom, it\’s a guaranteed victory! No arguing! No debating! No thinking of clever things to say! At the end of the night, both parties know what the result is going to be. You don\’t discuss the post-prom plans with Superhead and you damn sure don\’t barely beat Northwestern.

    But what do you expect from the man who took the CBA under, lost with the same Pacers team that Larry Bird (who is another idiot GM, luckily he transferred from IU after his freshman year) won with and has mastered year in and year out how to spend more of Jim Dolan\’s money, yet make continually make the Knicks worse. IU…Idiot University (If you put that on a T-shirt Purdue fans, I am suing the hell out of you!)

    ***************** ******************** ******************** *************

    Comment by Alton D. Clark -

  45. I\’ve got to hand it to you Mark. You\’re either hacked because of the blogger ruling or, just for fun, you want to see what people are willing to go through for the opportunity to find themselves in the locker room and they have lined up here for the chance. Brilliant.

    I don\’t blog. No one cares about my opinion about anything, except for my grown boys who think I am the wisest person they know, especially if they are short on cash. However, I do read blogs to find out the state of education in these United States and especially here in Texas. What I have read here would make most grammar teachers weep. I really have to wonder about people who claim to be college students and then write as if they are in middle school. Does anyone pay any attention to proper punctuation? My 10 year old granddaughter has better writing skills than what I have read here. I would have talked her into writing a nice blog, but the fact is she hates basketball (loves Dirk though; thinks he is really cute).

    I love the game. I shout at the television. I tell Mark Followill to shut up a bunch because he can annoy the hell out of me at times. I pray Bob Ortegal gets back to doing the television announcing because the radio delay doesn\’t work with the action on the tube. Brad Davis is probably one hell of a nice guy, but he bores me. Perhaps it is this season making me hyper-sensitive to the television annoyances. Who knows for sure. I do know this. I love this team. The Kidd trade was a good trade, I only wish it had happened last summer so that this team could have gotten a real chance to get all the kinks worked out long before mid season. I still believe in Avery Johnson as a coach. I still believe it is all about the \”D\”. And I believe unhoned talent graces the bench, waiting for the moment to shine. Do I believe in fairy tales? Yep, sometimes I do. If it isn\’t meant to be this year, I will eagerly await next fall.

    At any rate Mark, good luck. And good luck to all the would be bloggers who think that no education is a good thing and why waste all that time when any idiot can write like Randy Galloway.

    PS – The 8th grader\’s stuff kind of intrigued me.

    Comment by Elizabeth Greene -

  46. MR. CUBAN,

    I was a Maverick\’s ball-boy for three years in the late 90\’s. I was there for your mid-court speech after you purchased from Perot Jr. I sat under the goal preparing to sweep up Pat Ewing\’s sweat while getting the evil eye from Jim Guy. I rebounded for the Dream, I witnessed Chris Anstey\’s St. Patty\’s day barrage and the likes of Martin Murrsepp and Sasha Danilovic.

    I went to the Six Flags employee appreciation day and shook hands with you all, even Bruno Sundov\’s.

    I\’m a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Check out my website when you get the chance. I\’m also in the process of writing a book – \”Ode to Victory.\”

    I often write rhymes and poems that are sports related. I would love to chronicle the Mavs.

    Also you need to sign our framed picture with the \”Cliffhanger\” hangin in the backdrop.

    Best,

    Nick

    Comment by Nicholas Williams -

  47. Mark, great idea about the bloggers.
    I\’d just like to put my blog up for consideration.
    This is just a sample, my latest sports posting:

    Futbol, Beckham, and the MLS
    So… in this month of March I became a proud FC Dallas season ticket holder. The first game I attended (an exhibition match to be fair) recorded an attendance of just under 6,000 people at Pizza Hut Park with a capacity of over 20,000. For a point of reference, consider that last October, the exhibition match between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Center recorded an attendance of just over 19,000.

    Now, to keep the numbers as fair as possible, I\’ll include the fact that yesterday the FC Dallas home opener scored a recorded attendance of 17,000 which was to me quite surprising, considering that this season home opener for the Dallas Mavericks scored an attendance of 20,000, last season\’s home opener for the Texas Rangers had 51,000 attendees, the Dallas Stars sold at least 18,000 tickets for theirs, the Dallas Cowboys 1-upped them all (no surprise really) at 63,000 faithful, while the Dallas Desperados scored only 12,000.

    So what does this tell you? That soccer in this market, as perhaps part for the whole of the country, is somewhere more popular than arena football, surprisingly not too far behind the NBA, and just about tied with hockey (and with the decline of the NHL there\’s no real surprise here either) for 4th place.

    Now, as a side note, I\’m not defending my numbers here, I got them off the web. Also, I concede that there are other things to consider like average attendance over the course of a season, merchandise and television revenue… ect… But I also concede that I neither have the time nor desire to do that kind of extensive research.

    But it really doesn\’t matter because, as I sat in my season-held seats, I pondered one question. Was the LA Galaxy\’s acquisition of David Beckham worth it? Did it increase the popularity of the MLS thereby increasing attendance and revenue? Simply put, do more Americans like soccer now than they did when David Beckham still played across the pond?

    Well, despite what many of my favorite analysts will say (Jim Rome, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, and the ATH boys to name a few…) that the Beckham project is as much of a bust as the Jason Kidd for the entire present and future of the Dallas Mavericks trade, I might beg to differ just a bit.

    First of all, there\’s the \’ol adage that any publicity is good publicity, which isn\’t bad for the MLS since until the David Beckham acquisition the MLS basically had no publicity at all. Sure there were players we remembered we knew once every four years like Landon Donovan, but no real marketable stars that would bring the MLS into the American consciousness. So then began the circus. Will Beckham play? Will he not play? Will he have a reality TV show? And what\’s in Posh\’s closet?

    Say what you want about Beckham and whether or not he will save the MLS. Say what you want about trying to promote the world\’s most beloved sport in a country where the NFL crushes all like bugs. But it seems that whatever you say, if you care anything about having an informed opinion, it seems you can only say that Beckham has been great for the MLS and American soccer in general. Like I said any news is good news.

    But the fact that Beckham has been great for the MLS leaves me wondering and wanting to ask those powers that be–those millionaires who have invested millions of dollars in making money off of the MLS. Why did you wait till now to throw stupid money at an international soccer star? But more than that, why isn\’t anyone throwing stupid money at Christiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, Andy Rooney, ect.?

    I think my point is, sure Beckham is great and all, and every time he visits a city, you can all but guarantee a record turn out, but he doesn\’t improve the overall quality of the product the MLS is peddling. What I suspect is that for more than any other reason the popularity of soccer in America suffers from exactly that–a poor product. Anyone that knows anything about soccer can very quickly tell the qualitative difference between a game between Manchester Utd. and Arsenal, and a game between FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo. It\’s why nobody cares about the playoff race in the Eastern Conference in the NBA, why nobody cares about the NIT when the NCAA is going on, and why nobody watches golf tournaments when Tiger Woods isn\’t teeing off.

    There\’s one thing about us Americans, we are consumers and we demand the best or we\’re not going to buy it. It\’s the real reason that the XFL was an experiment in futility. You see, I\’m interested in seeing the LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas game because I\’m a soccer fan, and I\’d like to see Beckham much in the same way people would roll out to see a Dallas Mavericks game in the 90\’s… if they happened to be playing Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on that given night. So sure, I\’ll take the Beckham circus, because it reminds everyone that soccer does in fact exist in this country, despite the best attempts of the last US National Team at the last World Cup to destroy it. I\’ll take it but I want more. I want a league where Beckham and Ronaldo go head to head this week and Zidane and Ronaldinho go at it next week. Can you imagine the MLS marketing not only that caliber of stars but also that caliber of competition? Can you imagine that kind of league? In this country?

    And you might ask, but why would they leave Europe to play here? To which I would say, why would Beckham leave Europe to play here? FOR THE MONEY! For the stupid money that the LA Galaxy owner was willing to throw at Beckham. And if you ask me, Christiano Ronaldo is aging, and should be prime target A for any MLS team wanting to increase both the quality of their product and their revenue by dramatic fashion.

    Why do I want to say, \”If you build it, they will come?\”

    Comment by Jeremiah -

  48. If you can write, you can write. Different perspectives coalaescing into a more complete, more whole, more encompassing experience. Gimmee more!:)

    Comment by dmtmark -

  49. First off your invitation: \”you will get an email invite to get credentialed to cover a game in Dallas (its up to you to get there)\” is insincere at its worst but ultimatly ibertarian at its best. If you were really searching for the best available \”Joe\” out there you wouldn\’t have included that in your post. Many \”average Joes\” don\’t have the resources to fly off to the home of JR unless it were for a legitmate shot at a job that pays real money, not web site hits. On the other hand placing a sense of burden upon the hopeful Joes
    is a nice way to scare off some of the riff-raff.

    For the first go round, I think your team would be better served to have your winner cover the locker room during some sort of \”make a wish\” event. It is bad enough for your guys that they have to have professional reporters invading their space, but I can only imagine how thrilled they are going to be having some shmuck off the street, in their space, trying to get a photo they can sell to a tabloid. However if you were to have the blogger cover this once in a lifetime experience for some sick kid, it would probably leave a much better impression on everyone involved. Not only would it give the blogger specific direction, it would also take the focus of the players away from the blogger.(the best thing would be if your winner was from the \”make a wish foundation\”….you can make that happen….right?) After that, the edge will be
    off and it won\’t seem like such a big deal to have that annoying fan hanging around taking pictures.

    In the end what needs to be remembered is that this is about the fans. Without them any professional team is nothing. Your winner needs to be a fan. Having season tickets, murals of the Mavs, or license plate that says MAVFAN1 is not what I mean. I\’m talking about the guy/gal that bleeds Mavs basketball. Having a true fan around once in a while can rarely be a bad thing for your team. Your guys need to remember, that their true fans agonize every loss as much as they do, if not more. These people can be anyone from any background. They could be people who normally wouldn\’t give each other the time of day, but once they realize thier common bond can talk for hours. That is what blogging and open forums do. They allow people who otherwise would never associate a place to come together, if not in person, and complain about Matt Millen or coach Avery.

    You have come up with a great opportunity, that you\’ve created, as a tool for strengthening and increasing your fan base, not just some publicity stunt. The closer that your fans feel to the players, the more loyal and willing to spend money they will become. And don\’t worry, dealing away a player fans feel close to will not change this. The Pistons dealt away Big Ben at the height of his popularity with non-existant damage to ticket or merchandise sales.

    \”Until the Federal Government ruins net nuetrality we retain the opportunity to spew out whatever nonsense we can pour onto the screen with the potential of millions of people to view and believe it.\”

    We may as well enjoy it while it lasts.

    BigC

    also, what do you think about the plan to \”restructure\” the Fed.?

    Comment by Clint A. Schaefer -

  50. Mark, thank you for your blog. My question is how can the NBA lift the ban from a locker room in a building that you own? I understand that there is some kind of agreement with the networks and radio/TV folks, but does there authority include all things involving the Mavericks?

    Comment by Leonard -

  51. The Second Unit
    March 31st, 2008
    I feel as if everyones coming to terms with Sams principle of keeping the well-playing guys in the game. It just would have seemed wrong if they had reinserted Bosh or Parker, even if it would have given them a better chance to win the game. And I dont think anyones feelings get hurt now, primarily because of the positive non-reaction by Bosh to sitting out the entire fourth earlier in the season when K-Hump was having a terrific game. Not a bad coach, this one.

    Also, this three-way tie for the seventh seed in the west is insane. Each team has an All-NBA point guard, too, which means that we wont be seeing any heroics from one of them come May. On the plus side, we do get to see Mike Bibby get schooled by Rajon Rondo and Sam Cassell. So, theres that.

    Comment by Pardis Parker -

  52. HERE IS A SAMPLE OF MY WORK. I\’m 20 years old and in college. I write for enjoyment and may pursue it further one day.

    March 25, 2008

    As most of you know, Mavericks star power forward and former MVP Dirk Nowitzki is going to miss at least two weeks with what is being characterized as a mild high ankle and knee sprain. If you did not see the injury, it is a pleasant surprise that he only sustained sprains to the ankle and knee. (You can see a video of the injury here http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3308109) The Mavericks lost Sunday to the Spurs dropping them to four games out of first and a mere half game ahead of the eighth seed Golden State Warriors in the ultra competitive Western Conference. Here is the Mavericks\’ remaining schedule:

    Tue, Mar 25 LA Clippers 8:30 PM EST
    Thu, Mar 27 @ Denver 8:00 PM EST
    Sun, Mar 30 @ Golden State 9:00 PM EST
    Mon, Mar 31 @ LA Clippers 10:30 PM EST
    Wed, Apr 2 Golden State 9:30 PM EST
    Fri, Apr 4 @ LA Lakers 10:30 PM EST
    Sun, Apr 6 @ Phoenix 3:30 PM EST
    Tue, Apr 8 Seattle 8:30 PM EST
    Thu, Apr 10 Utah 8:30 PM EST
    Sat, Apr 12 @ Portland 10:00 PM EST
    Sun, Apr 13 @ Seattle 9:00 PM EST
    Wed, Apr 16 New Orleans 8:30 PM EST

    It looks like he may return when the Mavericks host the Sonics April 8. If that is the case, the Mavs will be Dirk-less for a few games that could make or break their chances for a playoff berth. The two games against Golden State and the TNT primetime game at Denver will probably determine their playoff fate.

    The Mavericks do have talent outside of Dirk, but Dirk\’s points must be covered by committee. I have not heard officially, but I expect the starting lineup sans Dirk to be this: PG Jason Kidd, SG Jerry Stackhouse, SF Josh Howard, PF Brandon Bass and C Erick Dampier. This lineup is far from sub-par, but it does significantly change the Mavericks\’ rotations. Bass has been very productive as Dirk\’s backup, but his size, or lack thereof, will create some defensive mismatches. Malik Allen will have to backup Dampier in Dirk\’s absence. Howard, who has played Robin to Dirk\’s Batman, will have to play up to last year\’s All-Star campaign. Howard is a unique talent that has the ability to catch fire from the field, drive to the basket and get to the free throw at will. He must play up to his ability during this stretch. Stackhouse and veteran sixth man Jason Terry will need to step up and provide the leadership and scoring ability that each possess. A few points from Kidd wouldn\’t hurt either.

    Bottom line, making the playoffs is not going to be easy. The West is stacked and is not a cake walk like the NBA\’s illegitimate child otherwise known as the Eastern Conference. My hope is that this injury will bring the team together. The Mavericks still have enough talent without Dirk to make a run at the playoffs, but do they have the chemistry? Only time will tell.

    – Chris Stuckey

    Comment by Chris Stuckey -

  53. Mark,
    I\’ve commented several times on your blog. I think you are spot on with this.

    Here\’s my blog:
    http://www.smithmediafusion.com/blog/?cat=6

    Love the blog. Keep it up.

    Dan
    (Jazz fan)

    Comment by Dan -

  54. Howdy Mark,

    I am part of the hockey blogging community. The NY Islanders started a blog \”box\” program last season that gave us access to both the media room and eventually, the locker room. There was an article about us in Sports Illustrated by Richard Dietsch.

    Link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/richard_deitsch/10/08/islanders.bloggers/index.html

    We were attacked, almost right out the gate by the previous blogging establishment. As the Isles picked wristers, bloggers and/or fans based on our writing skills, we somehow infringed upon their own perches.

    Their criticism:
    http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/10/09/the-islanders-blog-box-fails-the-new-media-test/

    I think my response might capture some of your points made in the last few weeks. I have followed the blogging flap with great interest.

    My Blogged Response: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?user_id=567&post_id=2810

    Regards,
    BD

    Comment by B.D. Gallof -

  55. You should auction off the right to be a locker room blogger on Ebay. It\’d be worth trying once as a publicity stunt.

    I wrote about this on my blog.

    http://fskrealityguide.blogspot.com/2008/04/dallas-mavericks-and-bloggers.html

    Comment by FSK -

  56. Mark,

    Here\’s my personal blog. I will gladly bring my video camera to AAC and video, then blog any shenanigans I can get into having been allowed access into the Mavs locker room.

    http://www.grantgannon.com/2008/03/26/what-did-you-do-on-st-pattys/

    Comment by Grant -

  57. I really don\’t have much of an argument for inviting me to cover the game. I love basketball but, I read this blog for alot of other reasons. Don\’t comment much but do use the thoughts that your posts provoke to write and discuss within our office.

    Covering the Mavs for a day would be incredible, I would rather be the completely insignificant blogger than got to cover a day in the life of Mark Cuban, the business/lifestyle side of this blog is really more the reason I read than the splash of NBA that gets tossed in.

    Anyhow, I love the game, Dallas is a great town, Your business history and philosophy are inspiring and I would be a dumbass not to throw my name in the hat.

    Thanks…

    Cody

    Comment by Cody Heitschmidt -

  58. Here are a few excerpts from my posts

    From.. Zen and the Art of Dunking..\”It would be a safe bet that in the annals of organized basketball no one had ever safely completed, nor lived to tell about what the French media later referred to as Le Dunk de la Mort or the dreaded Dunk of Death. Vince immediately sized up the situation, took two last steps, crouched down and shot up into the warm Australian air leaping spread eagle ala the Nike Air Jordan insignia, up, up and over a stunned and horrified Weis. Vince leaning in towards the basket with the ball cradled in his right hand and with his left giving Weis the ultimate comb-over and using his noodle like a pommel horse to complete his now this is happening moment. Carter finally touched down behind Weis and his royal flush stunned the French so much that they immediately surrendered to the US and to Australia. The French can keep their fries, their toast, and their unsanitary kissing but we will keep The Dunk\”.

    From.. A Cross-over star..\”My rewind button on my DVR is almost shot and I still cant fathom how he is pulling it off. I have seen it live, watched it over and over on ESPN, and replayed it many times on the Internet and it still happens at hyper-speed. I have tried breaking it down frame by frame, as if I am scanning the grassy knoll on the Zapruder film and Im still left shaking my head in amazement\”

    From Sympathy for Tim DonaghyTo the tune of Sympathy for the Devil.
    ..\”So, games I tanked
    holding a senior officials rank,
    When the playoffs raged
    And the calls? They stank!..

    Pleased to meet you
    hope you guess my name….

    Just as every ref isnt a criminal
    and all mobsters saints
    The Gambino family
    just calls me Donaghy
    when they need a ref on the take\”

    From… Calling Dr. Freud..\”In the far outer reaches of my right hemisphere, I dig deep trying to dredge up anything from my Psychology 101 class of many years ago. I find nothing but dusty stats from the 72 Dolphins and, for some bizarre reason, the license plate number from the girl I loved (stalked) in the fourth grade (FHJ111). I have Googled everything from anxiety disorders and multiple personalities to schizophrenia and restless legs syndrome and still have absolutely no clue as to what has happened to the Utah Jazz\”

    From. A Festivus for the Rest of us
    \”I was fresh off the rebound from my first love, Farrah Fawcett and you were coming off a breakup and was just looking for someone to care. You were new in town and seemed unsure of yourself. So unwanted! So vulnerable! You walked into my life, the aroma of Cajun jambalaya still thick in the air, a lone string of Mardi Gras beads hung haphazardly around your neck. Yet, you looked so incredibly HOT in that wacky getup! What was it? PURPLE, GREEN, and GOLD? Elvis Presley himself couldnt have pulled that off! But somehow you did. Utah Jazz, you had me at Hello!\”

    From Captain Underpants revealed.\”Michael Jordan is still hovering high above the Delta Center floor. Hes above a bruised and broken Byron Russell; above everyone else on the court. The ball has just left Jordans hand and is in mid-arc right below the shot-clock, where 6.6 is forever emblazoned; 6.6, a new number of the beast. 6.6 could have represented how many fouls he got away with\”

    http://galunga.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Alan Hinckley -

  59. Bloggers should be banned from the locker rooms along with reporters. As a former athelete, I never liked anybody in the locker before or after a game in any sport. That was my time to focus, reflect, shower or to get ready. Leave the players alone and have a press conference after the game.

    Comment by Homebizseo.com -

  60. Here\’s my full credentials request:
    http://cruisermom.blogspot.com/2008/03/dear-mark-cuban.html

    And here\’s my writing sample:
    \”So what could my blogging do for the Mavericks? In a literal sense, nothing. I have never been able to tell a pick-and-roll from a zone defense, though God knows I have tried to make sense of it all. I cant brown-nose you, because I know very few important people, except my husband and my kids. I dont know anyone you know, unless your wife happens to be from the Paris area. Hey – it could happen. Troy Aikmans wife grew up around here. I dont know your brother, havent met anyone at the Indy Convention Center, and I dont have a business plan to present to you that is sure to be the Next Big Thing since broadcast.com.

    What I do have is a genuine interest in the Mavericks, and you, and other people who pursue professional sports as a way of life, whether as players, or owners, or in some other kind of a support role. Not in a wow, how awesome you are! kind of a way, but in how you conduct your lives, and how you interact with people who can ultimately do nothing for you.\”

    Comment by cruisermom -

  61. Baseball has really blown the whole steroids issue. So far, the NBA has avoided the issue by refusing to talk about it. But it\’s looming. Someday the accusations will come. Congressional hearings may follow.

    Wouldn\’t it be cool to hear what Mavs players think of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco? What would they do if they found out a teamate was hittin\’ the juice? How would they feel about a former teamate who published a tell-all book? This blogger would like to know.

    Comment by jonathan bridges -

  62. By the way Mark, I forgot to give you the web link to my blog. Here it is: http://ponyexpressblog.blogspot.com/

    Thanks

    Comment by LewP -

  63. My three best basketball articles, in my opinion:

    http://antwonomous.blogspot.com/2007/11/go-back-to-book-shaq.html
    http://antwonomous.blogspot.com/2008/03/talented-mr-beasley.html
    http://antwonomous.blogspot.com/2008/03/chris-webber-star-crossed-and-now.html

    Comment by Anthony Wilson -

  64. Equal opportunity blogging eh, really like your cool idea Mark!

    Comment by Marsello -

  65. Some sports selections from my blog:

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/03/pacman-jones-and-dallas-cowboys.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/03/startling-statistic.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/03/chalk-it-up-to-traditionalist-in-me.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/03/mavs-are-better-but.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/03/random-thoughts-while-watching-mavs.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/02/stuffing-is-back-in-turkey.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/02/suns-also-rise-while-mavericks-fortunes.html

    http://petesdallasplace.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-happened-to-cowboys.html

    Comment by Pete Oppel -

  66. Mark,

    Sorry, I just noticed a few typos in the last sentence of my first paragraph. Ironically, the sentence that probably is going to effect you the most out of the entire blog…It is supposed to read

    -(\”I\” was tired from last night\’s debate about how the Dallas Mavericks will never win a championship with Dirk Nowitzki as their leader).

    I apologize for the carelessness.

    Alton

    Comment by Alton D. Clark -

  67. Mark,

    I just started a blog last week on my ESPN.com fan profile. My profile name is \”aldclark\”. Here is my first entry entitled \”My First Blog (Not my ideal topic)-Chris Webber…Hall of Fame?\”

    This is my first time writing my thoughts on the game that I am obsessed with in a public forum. I got tired of talking to myself/my TV (I claim the TV for sanity purposes) about dumb decisions made on all levels of basketball and decided that my voice should be heard. The final straw was when I was debating with myself about why Chris Webber should AND shouldn\’t be in the hall of fame. I\’m not sure who won the debate, Me or Myself. (\”I\” was tired from last nights debate about how the Dallas Mavericks with never when a championship with Dirk Nowitzki as their leader).

    Today, Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III announced that he was FINALLY retiring from the NBA. For us who follow the game closely, this was not a surprise at all. I thought that he should have stayed retired when he did not win a championship with Detroit but obviously C-Webb felt otherwise. As for most household names in the NBA who have had their own signature Nike Shoe, dated supermodels (Tyra Banks for the curious minds) and been the \”leader\” of a championship contender at one point in their career, the subjective Hall of Fame debate is warranted. Webber has the stats, 17,000+ points, 9,000+ rebounds and career averages of 20+ ppg and 9+ rpg. He has the history, (1991 McDonalds All-American game MVP, #1 overall player in his HS class, two Final Fours, #1 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year). He has the street cred, (Made long shorts an urban fashion must, showed people that black socks were not just for church, indirectly convinced shoe companies that black shoes were marketable and solidified the notion that bald is indeed beautiful). Yet, when you reflect on Chris Webber\’s career, what comes to mind? Injuries? No championships? Taking money from a booster at Michigan? No. These are secondary thoughts to the one word that has defined Chris Webber\’s career…timeout.

    No matter how successful he was going to be in the NBA, basketball fans (especially in Chapel Hill) were going to remember how Chris Webber cost his Fab Five team a national championship in the 1993 National Championship game. First of all, Webber CLEARLY got away with a travelling violation. Then he called a timeout when UMich did not have any. This major mistake tainted Webber\’s career before he even entered the NBA. As he became a seasoned veteran in the NBA and a perennial all-star, we all were waiting on him to take a team to the next level. Webber had his opportunity in the 2001-02 season. But when the pressure was on in Game 7 versus the HAPPY Kobe/Shaq Lakers, Webber was no where to be found. Mike Bibby laid his heart on the line, while Webber was still psychologically scarred from clutch basketball situations because of the…timeout.

    Webber also has missed over 300 games to injury which is close to missing four full seasons in the NBA. The Basketball Hall of Fame has some sympathy for injured players (MJ missed his entire second season, Larry Bird was in and out his last few years and Sam Bowie suffered from…lol. Corny, I know.) But we all know that C-Webb will not receive the same sympathy as the aforementioned players. Actually, the only player who has missed over 400 games in his career and I feel will seriously be considered for HOF will be Grant Hill (if you disagree, look back a few seasons ago where he came back from 78 ankle surgeries to make the all-star team). One thing that Grant Hill did do in his Final Fours was win a championship and not call a…timeout (Ok, the first two were somewhat dramatic and this last one sucked, no more\”…timeouts\”).

    So when you factor in the Michigan Scandal, no NBA Finals appearance, the injuries and the…mistake in the 1993 National Championship Game, Chris Webber will go down as one of the most popular NBA players to not be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Comment by Alton D. Clark -

  68. I would love the opportunity to cover a game for the Mavericks. I think this is a great idea and would only enhance the quality of material available to the public. So I\’ll share my thoughts on the Kidd deal.

    I find it comical how Avery and yourself have so vehemently defended the Mav\’s as \”title\” worthy for the past couple of years but then made what I feel is a huge \”panic\” move for a 35 year old guard who is definitely not what he once was. Without getting into the debate as to whether or not this trade will work long term…which it won\’t…or which team got the short end of the stick…which Dallas did…I want to point out the message it sends to your team. It tells them that you and Avery have lied to them. It tells your fan base that you have lied to them. Have you and Avery not said time and time again that, \’you like your team\’, and that \’you have all the components you need to win\’, and that \’you don\’t want to change anything\’? If I am wrong then let me know but this move says to your team that they aren\’t good enough to win the championship as is and that they still need something else to put them over the top. If that wasn\’t how you truly felt about your squad, this trade would have never happened. It\’s not a bad thing that the Mavericks are still not good enough and thus the organization wants to make improvements…it\’s just got to be deflating to your players. You try to build their confidence and belief in themselves as a contender and then signal to them that something must be very wrong by making this huge move for a player that does not have much gas left in the tank. Why do you now feel such a sense of urgency to fix your team when before you acted like they were so good that the only reason they could ever lose is because the league is rigged? I like Kidd but he\’s surely not the long term solution for Dallas\’ leadership woes…he is not even the answer for this year. I know you are aware of the stats but knowing that you are \”O\”fer against teams over .500 since the trade doesn\’t bode well for their chances in such a competitive Western conference. I am not so sure that they will miss the post season but it would not surprise me one bit if they did. Would it surprise you? The fact is even with Mrs. Nowitzki healthy your team has holes in it and has very little chance to come out of the West this year. As I write this San Antonio is up 16 on Houston looking for their seventh straight win. Finley is going nuts. I\’m glad he got his ring…I guess he\’s not completely done…huh? Last year\’s theme for the Mavericks was \’Finish\’ referencing how poorly they faired in the Heat series after being up basically 2.75 games. All the haters had a great laugh last year during the Golden State series and how Nellie and an inferior team handled your boys and now that you have sounded the alarm that the team is in fact NOT good enough to win it all I think this year\’s theme should be \’Finished\’. Finished with the charade that Dirk is the franchise player you need. Finished with blaming ref\’s, the commissioner, and planetary orbits for not getting it done in big games. Finished with the current way of doing things in hopes of getting a ring. As much as I like Avery you might need to be finished with him if you fall to the 9th seed and miss the playoffs. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think you are a great owner but I wonder…how insane are you? It\’s time to do things a different way. This team is not going to get it done. I\’m sure you won\’t admit to that, but I know you can see it at this point. You should have dealt Dirk for Kobe before the season if that was even a remote possibility. I won\’t tell you how to fix your team cause if I knew that answer I would have a different job. But I can tell you as an observer that what you are doing isn\’t working. You are a no nonsense kind of guy. I like that about you. Don\’t hang onto your current lineup because of emotional ties. Take care of business. Drop the act that the Mav\’s have arrived…start rebuilding…and find something that works. Your team is a pretender and that fact should be plain to see after the last two years. Sure you have played some great seasons but when it comes to crunch time there IS something missing. Again I ask you…am I wrong? You missed your boat in 06 and now it is time to stop lying to your players and turn the thing upside down, put together a new regime, and bring about the change necessary to bring home the only success that matters to your franchise…a championship. The sooner the Mavericks move in that direction the sooner they can be a legit title threat. It\’s very possible that you might have some extra time to think about those possibilities in about 4 weeks.

    Obviously I am not a Mavericks fan but I think my blogging skills at least show potential. I would love to hear some feedback as well as a rebuttal to some of my comments. Keep in mind that you\’re not the only team saying that you aren\’t good enough…the Suns trade will not work out either. Anyhow I am a Spurs fan and I hope you can pull it together so we can play you 1 vs. 8 in the first round for an easy sweep. That way we can save our energy for the Lakers.

    Thanks for reading this.

    -dUb

    Comment by Warren Davis -

  69. Awesome attitude! I wish I could take you up on your offer, but my blogging niche has nothing to do with sports or basketball at all. Those 13-year old writers always steal the spotlight away from my 17 and 18 year old writing, alas!

    Comment by Sam Jackson -

  70. I have written a couple of columns regarding recent trades in the Dallas sports market. I have expressed an interest in covering the April 2nd game against Golden State and faxed the necessary information to your office. My website is:

    http://thecarr.blogspot.com

    A direct link to two of the Mavericks articles:

    http://thecarr.blogspot.com/2008/02/worst-trades-in-history.html
    http://thecarr.blogspot.com/2008/02/mavericks-trades.html

    Thank you and I look forward to possibly hearing from you

    Bill Carr

    Comment by Bill Carr -

  71. Honestly, I have never been a blog writer, but I do enjoy reading a few blogs here and there. Being from Texas, I am partial so sometimes I do get annoyed with some of the negativity. I cannot understand why we get disrespected time after time; I mean I watch the games and we get jobbed on calls night in, night out. People talk about the Suns being a contender. Please, they have never been farther than us in the playoffs, and from what I can recall we are the last team to beat the Spurs. They label us a \”soft\” team give me a break TNT has C-Webb in studio and he is spouting off that we have always been looked at as being \”soft\”. Did the Kings ever make the Finals, you win MVP, and finally where is your credibility? Oh, TIMEOUT! DAMN! Sorry, forgot I did not have one! I can handle credible criticism, but it seems many individuals put a suit and mic on and definitely enjoy hearing themselves talk. I understand we will always be judged on precedent, but the season is not over and I do not see any hearses.
    I enjoy the blog work of Matt Mosley; he was the original curator of the Boys\’ blog (DMN) and Hashmarks (ESPN). I enjoy most all sports and try to support my local teams. Sometimes I get agitated with the constant patrolling done by respective league execs. I have watched sports most of my human existence and I do not enjoy having the good natured fun taken out of the games. It ranges from touchdowm celebrations, off court dress codes, to some physical play that is within the confines of the game(the Kirilenko foul). Oh yeah, can I get a favor? BUY THE RANGERS!!!!I AM TIRED OF CALLING THEM THE STRANGERS….

    BIO: I will finally be graduating in May with a degree in business mgmt. I am twenty five years old , and I am a quality control inspector for an aerospace wholesale distributor. My residence is here in the DFW area. My favorite teams are The Boys\’ and The Maverickos, not a typo. I know we have had some disappointments here recently, but I know we will get back on track. I know we have some vets who have too much heart to bow down.

    Comment by Keith M. Lomas -

  72. Thank you Mr. Cuban for this opportunity to earn a chance to cover your team for a night. I currently live in Seattle, WA and I work Guest Relations for the Seattle Supersonics. I used to live in Texas, and will be returning to finish undergrad May 25th in Lubbock,TX. Go Red Raiders!

    gr,
    hybride hypotheek

    Comment by hybride hypotheek -

  73. Hey Mark,
    How do you feel about the sponsorship that The UPS Stores do at your games? Most of it centers around T4T\’s campaigns, but I don\’t see much about it.
    Thanks,
    Lisa

    Comment by OutToLuch -

  74. Mark,

    I\’d love credentials.

    Here is an article that I wrote for my Mavelo.us site back after the Golden State series. I now write for the mavsmoneyball.com site.

    Its been over two weeks since the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from the 2007 NBA playoffs, and the question remains: How the heck did a number eight seed defeat a number one seed in an NBA playoff series? Most pundits see this as a Dallas collapse, pure and simple. Dirk didnt play like an MVP, and the rest of the team choked. Meanwhile, coach Avery Johnson was sucked into playing Golden States style in game one, which was a major mistake. But is this the case? Could we have witnessed something that was more like a perfect storm of events that combined to make this unprecedented eighth seed victory happen? Lets take a look.

    Better than an eighth seed

    The first indication that the storm of an upset was coming would be the nature of Golden States chaotic season, which made the team enter the post-season as an eighth seed when they were playing much stronger than that. For Golden State, it isnt the story of team playing like a borderline lottery team all year long, it was almost like a tale of three seasons, with them getting stronger at each stage.

    The first stage was the first half of the season, where the team did play like a lottery team. But then they pulled off a major trade mid-season, which made their poor performance at the beginning of the season relatively worthless in assessing their strength heading into the playoffs. Secondly, after the trade they immediately were hit with two key injuriesJason Richardson and Baron Davisthat left them shy of a full complement of players for a good part of the second half of the season. The key stage was the third, when the full team was finally together. When that happened, they played extremely well, pulling off a very strong stretch run, including victories over strong teams like Phoenix, Utah, Houston, and Dallas. So the first indication that an upset was possible was that Golden State entered the playoffs as an eight seed, while they were playing more like a four or a five seed.

    Golden State had the Mavs number

    Perhaps the biggest indication that an upset was possible was simply the fact that Golden State has had remarkable success against Dallas in the past two years. You often hear the phrase that one team has another teams number, and nowhere has that been more true than with Golden State and Dallas.The results are simply astounding: Over the past two seasons where Dallas has won over 120 games in the regular season, they have gone 1-6 against Golden State.

    In the case of Dallas and Golden State, it is clear there appears to be something there, but what is it? Its hard to blame it on individual match-ups or coaching since last season Dallas went 1-3 against a Golden State with a very different team and a different coach than this year, where they have gone 0-3. That said, while the players have changed, the overall type of players hasnt changed that much. Golden State has a team of large guards and shooters without an impact center, which has been mostly conistent from last year. So perhaps it is the match-ups.

    Match-ups

    If the top two things dont collectively indicate the possibility of an upset, adding the player match-ups in the series certainly does. As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons Golden State appears to have Dallas number is the make-up of their team, which is comprised of big guards who can shoot and an undersize but quick front line. It is distinctly possible that this is the absolute worst defensive matchup for the Mavericks. Lets look at the details. Golden State has very strong and long guards, which causes major problems for Dallas small back court of Jason Terry and Devin Harris. And with no real center on the court for Golden State, Dallas was constantly in danger of having Diop or Dampier beaten on the perimeter. It turns out that Dampier didnt play at all, and while Diop did well, he was often overwhelmed by the guards penetrating or posting up from all angles.

    On the other side of the ball, the small line-up from Golden State was difficult for Dallas to take advantage of. Golden States small ball line-up was actually bigger than Dallas on the guard side. The only way to take advantage of this was by feeding Dirk to shoot over the smaller defender or to hit Diop inside. Well get to Dirk later, but while Diop did well in the series, he is far from the kind of center who will abuse a small defense on the offensive end.

    A strong team like Dallas expects to impose its will on weaker opponents, but it has never been able to do that with Golden Statethey are just too athletic and shoot too well at key positions where Dallas is weak, and, with the exception of Dirk, Dallas doesnt have the offensive system and weapons to abuse Golden States match-up problems on the defensive side. With a line-up perfectly designed to wreak havoc on Dallas, another indication that an upset in the first round was added to the mix.

    Defense on Dirk

    Much has been made of Dirks performance in the series. While people like John Hollinger have pointed out that his play really wasnt that bad, the reality is that it was quite a bit worse than his season average, andmore to the pointagainst a smaller team like Golden State, he really should have significantly abused the defense. But that didnt happen. Some of the fault has to be laid at the feet of Dirk, but we are doing a disservice to Don Nelson and the Warriors by simply stating that Dirk collapsed under the pressure of the series.To put it bluntly, Ive never seen Dirk better defended, and this includes the job the Heat did on him in the finals last year. Dirk was fronted constantly, making it very difficult to get him the ball in his sweet spot at the elbow. When he did get the ball near his sweet spot, the double teams came at him at the perfect angles to cut off his attempts to post up the smaller defenders.

    This is what would often happen: Rather than get the ball directly at the elbow via a pass, Dirk would hold out his left hand from behind the fronting defender, and the guards would toss the ball just beyond the defenders reach. Dirk would then move out to grab it, landing him about five feet further from the basket than he normally would be. With the double team coming to stop his penetration, Dirk had two optionslook for an open man to pass the ball to or shoot a contested shot from five feet beyond his normal comfort zone. Take a loot at this shot chart from the critical game 6. With the entire season on the line, only one, possibly two, shots were made from his preferred spot at one of the elbows:

    [flash http://community.mavelo.us/kickapps/flash/media_drop_photo.swf?b=1&widgetHost=community.mavelo.us&mediaType=PHOTO&mediaId=61486&as=4294 o={align=left hspace=5 w=325}]Dirk received a lot of criticism for passing when he did get the ball, and it is a legitimate complaint. Someone with Dirks shooting ability and height should be able to be a weapon further away from the hoop. At the same time, Dirks passing has improved to the point where he is good at finding the open man. The trouble was that these players werent converting. Another option for beating this defense is for Dirk to rush the basket for an over-the-top pass with a finish at the rim. This would be difficult to make work against Miami, as they had Mourning and Shaq patrolling the paint, but Dirk towering over the Warrior defense, it could have been a nasty weapon. The trouble was that this play was either not in Johnsons offensive system or adjustments or the point guards were unwilling or too afraid to make the pass, which requires excellent judgement and timing.

    So another element leading to the impending upset was due to Don Nelsons knowledge of Dirks tendencies, and his
    excellent plan for making Dirk uncomfortable. What Nellie couldnt predict was what happened: Dirk didnt raise his game to overcome it.

    Shots fell for them, but not for us

    The final piece of the high pressure system that led to the upset is simple yet completely unpredictable, and such are how perfect storms are created. This piece was that the Warriors shot much better than expected, and the Mavericks shot much worse. Mike on the APBRmetrics board at Sonics Central did the analysis, and it was interesting but not unexpected: The Mavericks entire team, with the exception of Josh Howard, shot worse than would have been expected, much worse in some cases. The Warriors shot better than expected as a team.

    Mike implies via an open-ended question that this couldnt be due to defense, since it would be practically impossible to shut every player on a team down over a six game series, especially with Dirk often being doubled and passing well. Over a six game series, the odds of a team of players with one mere exception shooting worse than expected has to be astoundingly low. Conversely, the Warriors made shots from all over the floor, off balance, half court, and all points in between. They shot much better than expected over six games, and against a strong defensive team like Dallas in the playoffs, this is also rare.

    The perfect storm

    So we have the rare convergence of one team shooting poorly over six full games and another team shooting well over six full games. When combined with all the other elements above, you have that perfect storm of defeat that swirled around Dallas in the first round. I dont mean to imply that there is nothing Dallas could have done to win the series, but the impact of all of the above made for a challenging series, certainly a dramatically more challenging series that you would expect from an eighth seed.

    It was, for all intents and purposes, the ideal set-up for an upset, a perfect storm if you will. The good news for the Mavericks is that perfect storms come about rarely. The other good news is that some of the key elements of the storm are temporary (shooting poorly) or fixable (Dirks approach to a fronted/quick double team defense). The final bit of good news is that the Mavericks have a lot of time to work on improving, but that is small consolation to Mavs fans.

    Comment by Jake Kerr -

  75. Hi Mark.
    Give a blogger a chance.
    Chris Webber was always under appreciated.
    http://thebiglead.com/?p=5147
    Derrick Coleman, the collected works.
    http://thebiglead.com/?p=5135

    We also have a few years of \”pros\” journalism experience (a few in newspapers, a couple in magazines, and freelance work, too!), although I\’m still unsure if this makes me any more qualified to be in a locker room than a Mavericks blogger who has watched every Dallas game over the last three seasons.

    And while we\’re at it, can I have a plus 1? My 10th grade cousin is a huge Jason Terry fan. It would mean the world to him. No need to open up the media buffet to him – kid eats like a bird.

    If you grow tired of being a \”pro\” and become a \”joe\” … does that help or hurt your chances of making the cut?

    Comment by The Big Lead -

  76. These sad examples are why full post blogging is falling out of style and tublelogs are the new trend. 99% of all blog posts are either poorly written or pointless. You get traffic because you actually have something to say and are in a position to offer some your unique perspective.

    Sorry to hear they ended your ban, Mr. Cuban.

    Comment by Steve -

  77. I\’d like to throw my hat in the blogger ring: http://blog.crisatunity.com/2008/03/on-becoming-mavs-fan.html

    I have enough imagination, writing skill and chutzpah to creatively blog frequently about th Mavs. With locker room access, I could present a unique and entertaining aspect of Mavs through unique media attention.

    I respectfully submit my blog article today as my request for locker room credentials.

    In case you don\’t want to follow the link, here is the article content:

    On Becoming a Mavs Fan

    In the pre-Cuban days of the late 90s, when the Mavs stunk beyond belief and Nellie (no not him, him) was brought in to turn it around I became an instant, but tepid, follower of the team. After all, I was a Milwaukee-transplant to the Dallas metroplex and Nellie was the only NBA coach I\’d ever known growing up. He was just the sort of drunken genius anyone can get behind.

    Then Cuban bought the team and what seemed like overnight, the Mavs starting winning like crazy. They frenetically went from love-able losers, to over-achieving underdogs to bonafide contenders. There simply was nothing not to like. The pinnacle of my Mavs fan engorgement was in 2006 when the mighty Spurs were vanquished in seven in the single best NBA playoff series I\’ve ever witnessed.

    Truth be told, I always suspected I was just being a bandwagon homer living in the \’burbs. It was a introspective shame that I carefully hid.

    Despite the shallow underpinnings of my Mavs fandom, I weathered the Finals collapse. The incredible we-are-the-Globetrotters regular season of 2006-07 was my vindication for keeping the faith. Of course that regular season\’s greatness evaporated the first game of the first round of the playoffs against the lowly Warriors. Despite that and perhaps through my soft spot for good ol\’ Nellie and his Miller Lite hijinks, my hope still sprang eternal for 2007-08.

    This regular season has been a bizarre dozen or so right turns to try to find the destination of greatness again. Each turn has lead directly back to mediocrity. The last turn I watched was on Thursday in Denver. It become obvious that the season, perhaps the current franchise\’s constitution was diseased with mediocrity. There would be no playoffs, no greatness, nothing.

    There was a dark curtain dropping on the neck of my fair-weather fanaticism like a guillotine. Free of my poisoned beliefs of hoping for what won\’t be, I discovered with complete surprise . . . I loved the Mavs anyway. I started imagining next season, the draft, what could be – how my Mavs would make it right someday. And, that I would be there all along the way. There with open arms when my little Mavs finally do make it.

    Comment by Michael O\'Shaughnessy -

  78. This is strange to me. Blogging isn\’t about picking a fight or witty comments. It\’s about a story and having a conversation with some readers. Unfortunately it seems that in sports, the conversation is about arm chair quarter backing.

    Don\’t you get tired of people telling you what\’s wrong with you and your team? That must get old.

    I\’d be more interested in blogging about the tech business you are involved in. For instance, how is video changing the internet and what do you see will happen in the next decade with high definition video on the net?

    Comment by oyun -

  79. This is strange to me. Blogging isn\’t about picking a fight or witty comments. It\’s about a story and having a conversation with some readers. Unfortunately it seems that in sports, the conversation is about arm chair quarter backing.

    Don\’t you get tired of people telling you what\’s wrong with you and your team? That must get old.

    I\’d be more interested in blogging about the tech business you are involved in. For instance, how is video changing the internet and what do you see will happen in the next decade with high definition video on the net?

    Comment by oyun -

  80. Mark, I don\’t actually ave a blog. I do write good old fashioned letters to my friends detailing my observations about sports. I write them long hand and mail them with stamps. I guess what I am asking is: Are you having some kind of ban on the long handed sports letter writers of the world? Why can\’t we get equal representation? Since I am asking, my niece sends out sports text messages can she come as well? I also have a friend who does sports cave drawings. Is there some way he can get access too? My uncle that does Origami Diorama\’s only does football so if you can get him tickets to a Cowboys game he would appreciate that.

    Comment by Bill Ross -

  81. Thank you for posting!! It\’s great to hear it!!

    Comment by truckersservices -

  82. Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    The Holiday That is The NFL Draft
    Current mood: Clumsy
    Category: Sports

    This Saturday and Sunday is the NFL\’s annual player selection meeting, otherwise knows as The Draft. It is always a fun weekend to couch camp, drink beer, and be my own version of Mel Kiper Jr. for awhile. The NFL draft is unlike any other in sports. Baseball\’s is way too long, not highly publicized, and you wont see any of the guys drafted on a MLB team for at least 3-5 years. I know nothing of NHL or MLS drafts. The NBA\’s is good and is always fun to watch but the NFL draft is different.

    One thing is it is a good halfway point from the end of the season to the start of training camp. It gives football junkies their spring fix. Secondly, there is alot of hype that surrounds the draft, in particular the combine. Guys can increase their potential salary by millions on how fast they run 40 yards.

    Plus its always fun to watch and see if teams fill their needs or draft the so called \”sleeper\” or bust. I still remember being at Lavaca St. Bar a few drafts back. It was the last pick of day one. Denver selected Maurice Clarrett. I flipped out b/c I could not believe anyone would select him so high (last pick of the 3rd rd isnt all that high either). It instantly brought up good drunk bar debates.

    So if you need me this weekend you can find me on the couch in front of the tv, wasting away with junk food and beer watching the draft, and the Mav\’s games.

    Comment by Nick -

  83. Sample of a post (from Thursday\’s 1st half against the Nuggets):

    \” The Mavs are shooting lights out right now. This is the best that J-Kidd has played all season. He is shooting the ball without hesitating, and one can see his confidence growing with every shot. J-Ho is being aggressive tonight, slashing to the bucket and playing with the tenacity the Mavs need durig this Dirk-less transition. As long as these two players continue to play the way they have been playing, it will be a great night for the Mavs tonight.\”

    Comment by Jarrod Hood -

  84. omg omg I\’m in the 8th grade, ready Mark? Can you feel the power of pre-high school blogging power? Here we go baby!

    Sample:

    \”aaaaaaaaaaa, that was the buzzer sound heard around the world after the Mavs destroyed the Spurs…can anyone say \”UP-SET\” because I can\’t, wasn\’t it expected?

    Mark Cuban looked awfully handsome in his goatee, he was also wearing a special shirt that read \”Duncan\’t\” – insinuating that despite your last name, nothing is off limits in terms of a witty joke.\”

    Thank you

    Comment by 8thGradeBlogger -

  85. Mark,
    Why doesn\’t HD Net do a Best Week Ever/The Soup show on the world of sports? It seems like this is the easiest uncontested layup of an idea for inexpensive programming out there. All you have to do is hire a host who can deliver a joke and a couple of writers (or better yet, have your viewers submit their funniest jokes on the world of sports/pop culture). The show would feature very little game highlights, if any. It would be very heavy with clips of stuff like Dirk hijacking the play-by-play from Mark Followill or a clip of unintentional comedy from The Ultimate Fighter. So much sports programming is out there now, shouldn\’t there be a weekly 30 minute show making fun of it? HD Net should do this. Email me.

    Comment by MikeMc -

  86. Mark,

    I understand the need for you to monitor and control the comments on your blog, however, I would ask that you issue me an explanation for your deletion of my earlier comment concerning this \”blog controversy\” and the possible negative impacts on your team, surprisingly struggling to find the playoffs. My comment was not attacking in any fashion and simply posed a question to you. It is my opinion that the media circus cannot be helping your team at this point.

    In any case, if you plan to once again delete my (this) post, then I would respect a simple explanation. Good luck in advance for the Mavericks making the post-season, and thank you for being so open with the general public; it is a refreshing stance from a person of your stature.

    ~ Jeremy G.

    Comment by Jeremy -

  87. Hi,

    Here\’s a sample of my work, this is when Josh Howard got suspended for a game for hitting Brad miller.

    Josh Howard, small forward for the DALLAS MAVERICKS has been suspended 2 regular season games by the NBA for pushing Brad Miller, center for the SACRAMENTO KINGS.

    This started when Miller push Devin Harris to the floor, Harris sprung back up into Millers face and confronted him, Josh Howard ran to devins aid and forearmed Miller in the neck area. Howard Said,\”I had to do what I had to do to protect my teammate,\” he said. \”I knew something was going to happen. I was prepared to take what was given to me\”, and if I had to do it all over again I would have done the exact samething.\”

    As for Harris, he is just happy and knows that if it ever happens again Howard has his back, \”You got to protect yourself on the court as well as your teammates,\” Harris said. \”And Josh always has my back. If there\’s any evidence of anything ever happening, I know he\’s got my back. That\’s not even a worry.\”

    As for Brad Miller he didnt even get a fine, I my opinion thats just another way of the NBA doing the Mavericks wrong!!! But I do know this the Mavs wont be labeled as \”SOFT\” ever again!!!

    One more thing I am attending UNT, my major is Journalism with a specification in Radio, Tv, and Film as well as news-editorial!!

    Thanks, Hope you like it!!

    Raul Garza

    Comment by Raul Garza -

  88. Hi Mark,

    I am new to your blog and I appreciate the fact that you keep in touch with your fans and critics in this way. I am a fan of the NBA in general, but as a Michigan boy, I am partial to the Pistons in the east. However, I like what I see in the competitive west, and in the Mavs. I think they just need a little more time together to really click. I hope Dirk is improving. His injury looked bad on the tube but the news afterwards was encouraging.

    I sent another note earlier this week after a nice lady that I met at the Indy convention center suggested I contact you. Maybe you didn\’t see it. Her name is Dana from the Dallas area and she is a big fan. We spoke about a couple of internet ventures and she mentioned you as a being a person who might be very interested in hearing about them and possibly getting involved.

    Please reply to this email and let me know when you might have the time to learn about these ventures (maybe in the off season) and I would be honored to send you something or come to Dallas for a meeting. I cannot share too much in my comments here so I will look forward to your reply and a more secure means of communication. I can tell you this, these Web services have absolutely huge potential and it will be well worth your time to hear me out. I could use some of your wise counsel as well.

    Sorry for contacting you like this. Dana told me your blog was the best way to get in touch because you read all of your emails.

    Thanks

    Comment by Glen Gohlke -

  89. Here\’s a copy of my new blog http://maverickslockerroom.blogspot.com

    I dont like the Dallas Mavericks.

    This statement alone should cause Mark Cuban to immediately stop reading this and move onto the next blogger.

    My intent is not to annoy Mr. Cuban, but rather to test him. He aims to open up the Mavericks locker room to any blogger.

    If he truly wants to see how allowing access to the Joes of the blogging world affects locker room coverage, then Im his man.

    A neophyte to the blogging world, I read Mr. Cubans blog for advice as to how to blog. He wrote, troll the net looking for other people\’s work and then throw out some witty comments or a simple rant to complement a link to that work. There I just did it. Hey! This blogging stuff is easy! I think that last line qualifies as a witty comment (witty can be argued, but it is a comment), so I must be a great blogger now!

    Ive just recently moved from Houston, so the only blogging Ive done is on the Houston Chronicles website in regards to the Rockets. Mr. Cuban hit the nail on the head in describing my previous work when he wrote, they sit in front of the TV and throw out posts/comments about the game.

    My comments would go along the lines of She-Macs always hurt, trade him! Never mind that I have no idea of his actual status, how much pain hes in, or the extent of his injury. Or (before their 22 game win streak), Id write something like, This team stinks, that Adelmans an idiot! Never mind that hes been to the NBA finals twice or has over 800 wins, I know more than he does, because Im a blogger!

    But of course, being in the Dallas Mavericks locker room, I couldnt cover the Houston Rockets (like I said, I just moved here, so give me time to switch allegiances. BTW, letting me cover the Mavs is a good start on said switch). I agree with Mr. Cuban in that I dont see the point of the bloggers having to have locker room access. Isnt what counts on the court? With that said, I dont plan on blogging about the Mavericks. Im not going to waste his players time asking them what their favorite color is or why they missed a particular shot (as if they missed it on purpose). I intend to blog about the bloggers in the locker room.

    I intend to write about them, what theyre doing. Ill interject every now and then. For example, heres a theoretical exchange Ive already acted out in my brain:
    Pseudojournalist: Jason Kidd, do you think this trade has made the Mavericks a worser team?
    Me before Mr. Kidd can answer: WTF! First of all, worser is not a word. Ignoring your ignorance of the English language, what do you expect him to say? Yeah, I suck? Come on!

    Heres another example of what I would offer:
    Wannabe-journalist: Avery, do you think that you should have had Jason Kidd in there at the end of the game?
    Me: Youre asking him that?! If he thought that Jason Kidd should have been in there, wouldnt he have put him in? Hes the freakin coach for goodness sake! Should he have had him in there? Well, they lost, which means that whatever he did was the wrong choice . So yes, he should have had him in there. Of course hes not going to say that because that would be tantamount to saying, I dont know what Im doing. Speaking of not knowing what theyre doing

    These bloggers are just going to waste your players time, so I intend to waste theirs. Why should they go in the locker room and ask about Dirks injury? How is blogger Xs knowledge of Dirks personal medical opinion going to change anything at all?

    I could go on, but I have to save some for future rants, err blogs. God bless the First Amendment.

    Comment by Steve -

  90. Thank you Mr. Cuban for this opportunity to earn a chance to cover your team for a night. I currently live in Seattle, WA and I work Guest Relations for the Seattle Supersonics. I used to live in Texas, and will be returning to finish undergrad May 25th in Lubbock,TX. Go Red Raiders!

    But for an opportunity like this, I would have no problems purchasing a plane ticket immediately. For one night, or however long the opportunity exists, to live out one of my dreams, it\’d be amazing. I wouldn\’t take for granted one moment of the opportunity. I would take many photos to share with my readers, and write the best post humanly possible describing my experience. I don\’t like to be annoying when writing, so I try to stay away from too many witty sayings that tend to clog blogs these days. I think readers enjoy posts that display the writer\’s thoughts more, and not one trying to be a smart-ass who\’s shit don\’t stink.

    I just started writing this certain blog a few days ago, but I\’ll post the link to the Mavericks post I\’ve published.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14644-NBA-Dallas_Mavericks-Don_t_Write_Mavs_Off_Just_Yet-250308

    Good luck to all. Hopefully whoever is chosen cherishes the opportunity and doesn\’t ruin it for any future opportunities like this. Thanks again Mr. Cuban.

    Comment by Jeffrey Prince -

  91. hey mark.

    i really admire the new frontiers that you travel into year after year. from the beginning, you have sought new ways for the \”average joe\” to feel like a part of their favorite franchise.

    here\’s one of the blogs i\’ve posted recently on the injury to Dirk Nowitzki. i hope it\’s too your liking. keep up the great work. we are proud to have you as the owner of our mavericks.

    http://johnnybrower.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/mavericks-dirk-no-playoffs/

    thanks.
    johnny.

    Comment by johnny brower -

  92. Mark,

    I have been part of the evolution of Bloggers\’ access to their sports teams throughout this current NHL season. I have to give it mixed reviews. I have had access to media row in 5 different NHL arenas and have written articles both for a \’Fan\’ blog and for a more traditional informational sports blog.

    It has worked nicely for me turning into an invite to write content for my team\’s official website.

    Unfortunately I have witnessed too many messed up moments at the hands of Joe Blogger. I have seen Bloggers indulging in too many beers and just being obnoxious, sure they lose their credentials, but not before creating an unnecessary scene. Then there are the bonehead questions…\”Don\’t you think your Defense really sucked tonight?\” or \”The ref really looked one sided tonight, what do you think?\” Sure maybe these are things on the mind of people and sometimes mainstream media lobs softball questions out there, but why bother asking a question you know the player can\’t answer?

    Overall once the initial rush of fans wanting blogger access dies down the truly dedicated will rise to the top and you might even find a Diamond Blogger in the Rough!

    Comment by HockeyNutz -

  93. I\’ve been thinking a lot about the New York Times story about John McCain. You know, the one that alleges the senator had a conflict-of-interest with corporate lobbyists. And maybe even a romantic relationship.

    The story is a great example of both why we need newspapers and why their business model is struggling.

    First, why we need them: Investigative journalism, including the pursuit of stories about legislative favoritism, is vital in a democracy. And newspapers specifically are the ones to do it. Our nation\’s top national newspapers have newsroom staffs with close to 1,000 reporters. By comparison, the nation\’s top TV news desks have about 30 or 40 reporters.

    Next, why are their business model is struggling: These days, effective newsmedia don\’t yell out the headlines from a mountaintop they engage the audience. It\’s not good enough anymore to just write a story and walk away from it. The New York Times should have set up online chat session with the reporters. And they should have printed a sidebar explaining: how they learned about the allegations, when they started investigating them, why they waited until Feb. 20 to post the story. They especially owe this explanation to readers given that its case is based on statements from two unnamed disgruntled former McCain associates.1

    The New York Times had better be right. Otherwise, they\’re going down like CBS News.

    Comment by dll04d -

  94. Hey Mark.. I emailed you about this but you could have easily not gotten it with all the other crap you get. Here is my blog that I sent you from the Coke Zero dream job and I\’m sure you have some of my other stuff. Like I said in my email.. This would be a dream and it\’s something that I have no doubts that I can take off with if given the chance.

    \”I promised to start posting some pictures while I\’m on my AOL so heres one of me actually down here in San Antonio. All of the other ones that I\’ve seen are so incredibly goofy. I dont think the camera man got my good dimple.

    Today we got to go on a tour of the AT&T Center. I\’ve been to a few Mavs games there so it was nothing new to me. I did get to see how things work behind the scenes and see a few other arena features that I hadn\’t gotten a chance to see before. I wore my Mavericks jersey of course. I don\’t think everyone was a big fan of it but oh well. Would a Yankees fan go down to Fenway and take pictures without their Yankee colors? Doubtful. I actually heard we were going to get to go on the court and play a little bit. I wanted to get a picture of me reenacting Dirks 3 point play in game 7 against the Spurs on the same basket. Unfortunately they had the hockey ice down.

    The tour guide and I threw some playful jabs at each other about our teams but it was all in good fun. A Spurs fan that was on the tour tried to tell me that Bruce Bowen isnt a dirty player… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry.. Couldnt contain myself on that one. The tour guide was actually really nice and I enjoyed the tour. As much as I dont like the Spurs I gotta say that they have an awesome arena. It\’s just got its own unique touch to everything. They have random fiesta colors on one random seat all around the arena. The seats are aligned way differently. The suites are just flat out awesome. You have the suite inside with TV\’s all over it, and then you actually have to walk outside the suite door and out the aisle to get to your assigned seats which are very close to the floor. I never understood how floor level suites worked but whoever designed the arena gets a 10 for creativity from me. It was cool to see some of the pictures and stuff from the Spurs history as well. I actually didn\’t mind the David Robinson, Sean Elliott, Avery Johnson Spurs. They weren\’t much for Oscar winning performances.

    We are actually going to the game tomorrow against the Clippers. I debated wearing my Mavs jersey because as a Mavericks fan it would be awesome to get boo\’d by thousands of Spurs fans.. but I thought it over and realized that everyone else would be getting boo\’d with me and that wouldn\’t be right. I turned down the free Spurs stuff at the tour.. but tomorrow I\’m in a little bit of a bind. I think we are going to get to meet the players. I really don\’t want to.. haha. I mean I have spent years not being able to stand most of these players. Have you ever seen a Jackie Chan movie and watched the fight scenes? It\’s amazing how they do all the fight scenes and he throws his body all around and into stuff without actually being hit. Jackie.. It\’s time to give it up. I thought you were the greatest until I saw Ginobli play a basketball game. Ginobli is a great basketball player.. he really is. I would actually probably be a fan of his if not for one thing. His dramatic flopping. Now.. a lot of NBA players do this to an extent.. Devin Harris did it when he was in Dallas and I even complained then. Nobody in NBA history has even come close to Ginobli though. Seriously.. watch him play. If ANY player even comes near Ginoblis personal bubble he is going to jerk his head back like he has just taken a Chuck Norris round house kick to the face and he is going to roll around in agony over it. I\’ve seen him do this without being touched. No… I dont mean he was grazed and he exagerrated it. I mean there was a good amount of space between him and the player as he was running around the screen. They were playing Seattle.

    Tim Duncan is one of the best ever.. but man.. everytime he gets a foul called his arms either go out wide with a shocked look on his face or he puts the basketball under his chin and acts like hes fighting back tears.. I guess I am being kind of a hypocrite though. When I played I would put Bob Knights temper to shame when the whistle got blown on me. It\’s just annoying to watch when hes playing my team.. haha.

    Tomorrow should be fun though. It will just be weird being up close and personal with players that I have boo\’d and complained about for so many years. I think the Spurs Mavs rivalry is the biggest in the NBA right now.

    As much as I hate San Antonios basketball team I actually love the city. It\’s just different. The people are all really friendly too. As long as we aren\’t talking NBA Basketball:)

    Hope everyone had a great Tuesday!\”

    Comment by Dustin Tinney -

  95. This is strange to me. Blogging isn\’t about picking a fight or witty comments. It\’s about a story and having a conversation with some readers. Unfortunately it seems that in sports, the conversation is about arm chair quarter backing.

    Don\’t you get tired of people telling you what\’s wrong with you and your team? That must get old.

    I\’d be more interested in blogging about the tech business you are involved in. For instance, how is video changing the internet and what do you see will happen in the next decade with high definition video on the net?

    Comment by Keith Combs -

  96. Mark, here\’s my post for the reason I started FireAvery.com.

    Greg
    FireAvery.com

    http://www.fireavery.com/2008/03/26/my-positioning-statement/#more-48

    Ok, Im getting tired of hearing the phrase fair-weather fan and that Im not a real fan, whatever that actually is. So Im going to go through my Mavericks history and why I started this site.

    I didnt move to Dallas until 1996, so I missed out on the really bad teams of the early ninetys. And when I did move here I was still in high school, so watching and paying attention to the Mavericks wasnt my highest priority. I didnt really start getting too into the Mavs until Cuban bought the team. So in that regard I guess I could be called a bandwagoner.

    I was in Reunion Arena for game 3 of the first round game against the Jazz and vividly remember Nash hitting the 3 on a fall away shot with two players all over him right before half-time. I was at the AAC for the first regular season game and still have the ticket displayed in the holder they gave out that night in my living room. I had season tickets in 02-03 and 03-04. I still have the book of playoff tickets that have the unused Finals tickets from the 02-03 season. I was at game 1 of the Finals in literally the last row of the building in the corner after paying $160 for a $16 ticket. So yes, I am a fan of this team.

    But, according to a lot of people, because I critique this team and what is going on with it right now Im not a real fan. Yes, Dallas is a fair-weather sports city. But to me a fair-weather fan, and I absolutely despise that term in general, is someone who is only around during the good times. To me, someone who can question what a team is doing, because they want the team to succeed, is a bigger fan than these homers who just accept everything going on with a team without asking questions.

    I want this team to succeed. I want the to win a championship. I want to finally go to that ill-planned parade in downtown. But I dont think the coach here right now is the person to lead this team to that goal. And thats why I started this site, to voice my opinion of what is wrong with this thing and give other people the chance to chime in. I make no money from this, its just something Im doing because I know this team can be better than it is right now. But a change is going to have to be made before that can happen.

    So if you dont agree with what were saying right now I hope you keep checking back and maybe we can change your mind as this season comes to a close.

    Comment by Greg -

  97. Hi Mark, my request wouldn\’t require access to the locker room area,just the interview area and maybe courtside to photograph the game. I enjoy letting photos tell a story. My passion is sports, but wedont get much of an opportunity to get sports photos out in Terrell. I do not take photos for profit, I am not that good. I do it for fun,if someone finds it enjoyable all the better.

    http://www.terrelldailyphoto.com/

    Comment by Jim K -

  98. Hi Mark,

    I write in a blog about many things, of which the Dallas Mavericks come up quite a bit.

    Here are a few of what I consider to be my best posts:
    http://kevinrossen.com/2008/02/29/an-example-of-the-difference-kidd-makes/
    http://kevinrossen.com/2008/02/10/nba-champion-prediction-let-history-pick-the-winner/
    http://kevinrossen.com/2007/02/13/obscure-nba-stats/

    Comment by Kevin -

  99. Looks like the link in the last comment to the PlumberSurplus.com Ecommerce and Entrepreneurship Blog didn\’t make it. Here is the raw URL…

    http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Blog/

    Comment by Faucet -

  100. Consider the PlumberSurplus.com Ecommerce and Entrepreneurship Blog…

    Comment by Faucet -

  101. Hi Mark,

    Here\’s the opening paragraph from a post titled \”Perk is not a Beast\” about the Celtics and, specifically, Kendrick Perkins\’ liability as a starting center. Full post here: http://mtc.vox.com/library/post/perk-is-not-a-beast.html

    Rebounds equal rings goes the famous Pat Riley quote. And, in this correspondents humble opinion, Riles is right. Not only do rebounds equal rings, they also equal wins. Basketball is, ultimately, a game of possessions. A team tries to score efficiently on its offensive possessions and tries to prevent the opposing team from scoring during defensive possessions. Rebounding numbers clue us into how efficiently a team is defending (higher defensive rebounding numbers means more stops) and how many extra possessions we are getting on offense via offensive rebounds. The team with more possessions, generated by good defense and rebounding, usually wins.

    Comment by Ben Guest -

  102. Hello Mark, it\’s a pleasure to be able to meet with you regarding this story.

    First of all, as your brother Brian can verify, I have defended what you do with the Dallas mavericks and this blogging issue for some time now on Digg.com
    I don\’t think anyone can really make a decision or have a valid opinion unless they were as close to a team as an NBA owner is. What I am saying here is, there are opinions and then there are certain facts. We in the blogoshphere don\’t have the ability to travel with the Mavericks, or get an inside view of the Mavs (or any other team for that matter). We can only speculate and form opinions based on the very sports pages that we read. Rather than sending an e-mail to Mark Cuban, who I know is a very busy man and I would never ask a favor from, if i can come and see for myself what the Mavericks or doing in the locker room and let me ask Dirk a question, I just have to read what I can, and then form some sort of opinion and then post that.

    I will now change that mode and now ask you to please let me see for myself so I can report on my website what goes on in the Mavericks locker room. I sort of dislike asking you this way, but hey, if you are willing to let me, I would be thrilled and honored to come to a game and have the opportunity to meet some great athletes, coaches, and might I even dare say, a chance to meet a great individual like Mark Cuban?

    P.S.
    Maybe Brian can be there too?

    Comment by LewP -

Comments are closed.