There are two things in life that I both love and am well qualified in. Sports and Super Heroes. Some day I hope to add women to the list. Some other day I hope to get paid in one of the first two, never the third.
I recently went to a premiere of Marvel’s latest powerhouse, Captain America: Civil War, and I absolutely loved it. I expected as much, so did my fans. Shoutout to my fans. I also recently saw the movie again, and tried it out for a third time as well. You should see it. For those who haven’t, there aren’t any spoilers here because I know better than that and this is a sports article at heart anyway, I think.
The movie deals with the conflict between good guys, hence the title. The Dallas Mavericks community is currently dealing with a conflict amongst themselves. Wait, maybe ourselves, because I promise I’m an MFFL, despite what you may think by the end of this article.
Since winning the NBA Championship in 2011, the Mavericks have been competitive. For some, that’s good enough. Number 7 seed, no playoffs, eighth seed, seventh seed, and sixth seed. You could say it’s trending up, but you could also be stupid. We’re in the middle of the pack year after year and to me, that’s the worst place to be.
Making the playoffs, selling out games (by any means necessary) and having a superstar player has disguised the fact that the Dallas Mavericks are in fact mediocre. What does that mean?
Mediocre (adj): of only moderate quality; not very good.
As harsh as that may sound, it’s the blunt truth and most fans refuse to accept it. And perhaps an owner.
I love Mark Cuban. I owe a lot to him as a sports fan and more specifically, a Mavericks fan. But there’s no way around the fact that this “Big Fish” strategy deployed since winning it all almost five years ago has been an epic failure and the biggest casualty has been that of Dirk Nowitzki.
Specifically, his golden years.
Take into consideration when Nowitzki was 33 and had at least three seasons of All-Star quality basketball left (turns out he had more). His teammates have changed every year in the form of “Plan C” free agents who nobody else wanted or the Mavericks overpaid to simply acquire.
Along the way Dirk turned down several max contract offers from teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets (shudder) to take a massive pay cut in Dallas. He put his faith in the man who did everything he could to get him that Championship. Unfortunately faith and trust didn’t equal execution and the result has been a middle of the road team with zero direction and leftover cap space every July.
It’s not fair to Dirk and at long last it seems he’s finally grown a bit weary of his team’s plan that keeps on failing.
In short, Mark Cuban failed Dirk Nowitzki. And as painful as it is to read that, it was harder to type and even harder to tell myself that it’s true. I was a delusional fan for most of my life, but two years ago, not long after I finished learning how to do my own laundry, I started seeing things as they really are.
We failed Dirk. He deserves better. He knows it, the organization knows it, the fans should know it and the world outside Dallas sure as heck knows it.
But he’s the most loyal superstar ever to play basketball and that loyalty has cost him over the past five seasons. He follows blindly the only team and city he’s ever known. He so desperately wants it to work here, but it just isn’t and at this point it’s most certainly not going to.
He’s the ultimate teammate, the ultimate leader, and the ultimate human being. He deserves better.
It has the fans divided, not equally though. It’s probably 80/20 minimum or 99 to Asher. Actually make that 98 because my dad is on board.
I hate the idea of Dirk Nowitzki in another jersey.
But being mediocre, average, in the middle of the road or more specifically the Western Conference year after year is maddening and as I said like 600 words ago, the worst place to be as a sports team.
The Mavericks need to rebuild, something they haven’t done since drafting Dirk Nowitzki in 1998. One could argue they’ve been rebuilding for the past five years, but what they’ve been constructing since 2011 isn’t a Championship product. It’s a product to suffice, to keep the team #competitive and keep Dirk happy and invested in the process.
An unrestricted Free Agent after opting out of his contract in early May, most people are smart enough to see this as an inevitability taking two forms: either the Mavericks construct another respectable squad and he takes another pay cut or we strike out again and send Dirk’s career off into the sunset with one more lucrative deal.
The third option is he leaves. But he’s Dirk Nowitzki, loyal to the bitter end and honestly, loyal to a fault. He’s not going anywhere.
But he should.
He deserves better.
And if you hate me for this, don’t worry, I hate myself.
#TeamFreeDirk – 1
#TeamKeepDirk – everyone else
Captain America: Civil War is now playing.
The 2016 Dallas Mavericks Off-Season begins after the conclusion of the NBA Finals.