I remember when the Dallas Mavericks were the doormat to the NBA. They were horrible, their uniforms sucked, and their players, well, I don’t remember who played for them. The only notable player that I can remember is Derrick Harper. Such records as 11-71, 13-69, they were far from stellar. Then along came Mark Cuban. He made them stellar.
After Mark Cuban took over the Mavericks in 2000, the Mavericks have made the playoffs 9 out of 10 times (very impressive). The Dallas Mavericks are champions for having turned around their team so quickly. There’s no doubt that they should have been the 2006 NBA Champions. They would have been champions if it weren’t for some ludicrous referring. Those refs were possibly working for the same people that Tim donaghy used to work for.
Remember that point guard I mentioned earlier from the doormat days of the Dallas Mavericks? Yes, Derek Harper, well he went on to play in a championship series with the Knicks, then later won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. You know where I’m going with this. Mark Cuban’s Kryptonite is at the point guards position. Undoubtedly if he had signed Steve Nash the Mavericks may have won two championships already, and may have been the team to beat in the NBA right now. After Cuban did not match the Suns offer for Steve Nash when he was a free agent, Nash went on to play for the Suns and become a two time reigning MVP. And the guy that won the MVP after Nash’s run was up, his old buddy Dirk Nowitzki. Cuban could have had both MVP’s at the same time had he played his cards right. But that’s not his only folly at the point guard position.
Cuban’s reasoning for not signing Nash was that he wanted to build around the younger Dirk Nowitzki. Which was a great decision at the time, but will forever haunt him in hindsight. So you’d think Mark Cuban likes to build around his younger players. His patience grew thin when he gambled big time and traded the young and promising Devin Harris away for Jason Kidd (an even older point guard than Steve Nash). Devin Harris would later go on to rip Jason Kidd and the Mavericks in a few games, one game notably dropping 41 bunnies and 13 dimes on one Jason Kidd. The fans in Jersey even chanted "Thank You Cuban".
This may very well be the Mavericks undoing. These days they look like a team on the decline than on the come up. One aging point guard in Jason Kidd, six players on the roster that have been in the NBA longer than 10 years, a chronically injured Josh Howard, and two other point guards in Jose Barea, and Rodrigue Beaubois that are under 6’0 feet.
It’ll be interesting to see what the entrepreneur spirit of Marc Cuban does, if he can reinvigorate life into a team that’s had a superb run, or if he’ll forever fall victim to his kryptonite of letting the number 9 point guard in history walk to the next door team, and trading away the future of his team in Devin Harris.
Then there’s Avery Johnson, former point guard of the Maverick’s rivals, the Spurs, one of the most winning coaches whom Cuban let walk. Johnson’s probably awaiting the retirement of coach Gregg Popovich. That’s some more payback awaiting.
For sure both Steve Nash and Devin Harris turned up their play after being spurned by Cuban, but it was hard not to see that they were in fact better off keeping than letting them play for another team. When the Nets move to Brooklyn and if they can land Lebron James, you can guarantee many championships with a combination of James and Harris. That will be the third set of fans chanting, "Thank You Cuban".