DONUT 1: First thing Monday morning we'll blow this thing out ... get you suited up, get you in the club, get you in the game ... and do it so affordably that I'm going to have to borrow from Nate and Tony's college fund to pay for it. (Kidding. But seriously, that's how budget-friendly this get-together is gonna be.) So hang with me!
DONUT 2: Here are the lines I wrote to close our All-Access Pass to the Mavs-Hawks game:
The beauty of the Dallas roster is supposed to be depth. The idea: The first wave of Mavs can go 100 MPH because if somebody gets at all gassed, there is a second wave to take over.
This isn't the Wizards, where the talent base is limited and therefore the top players feel obliged to "keep something in the tank.''
You wanna coast, cruise and chill?
Do it on somebody else's time and somebody else's dime.
Do it on somebody else's time and somebody else's team.
Let's at least acknowledge that this sort of thing does go on … And to do so, allow me one more observation on this issue – though this one is more about stealing a paycheck than it is about "saving'' oneself.
LA coach Phil Jackson followed up a Lakers win over the Pistons this week by saying, "Some of those guys aren't playing hard right now."
That's a kick in the nuts, eh?
"That,'' countered Pistons star Ben Gordon, "is an accurate statement."
DONUT 3: Josh Hamilton gets mentioned as a candidate for SI "Sportsman of the Year'' … Ginger Ale for everybody!
DONUT 4: Props to the Hornets, who keep doing everything right in attempting to build around Chris Paul … with guys who CP3 will want to build with.
Peja for Jarrett Jack and a total of five bodies going back and forth between New Orleans and Toronto is about a handful of things … cap savings and Peja's expiring and Toronto's status as an "international city'' and the Hornets getting backup PG help …
But mostly it's about giving CP3 a comfort zone that might encourage him to be happy in New Orleans now, and beyond 2012.
DONUT 5: And speaking of big fish: I'm going to continue to poke around the rumor that Dallas would be interested in acquiring Carmelo Anthony on a rent-a-player basis – meaning giving up major assets for him even without the disgruntled Nuggets star signing a Mavs extension.
That goes against conventional wisdom … and it goes against the Mavs' position from as recently as two months ago. But Steiny-Mo says it is so. So it deserves further investigation in this space.
DONUT 6: It's Cowboys vs. Lions today, with Lions players say Roy E. Williams was a "front-runner.'' But how would they know? When were the Lions ever in front?
DONUT 7: Are y'all an NBA2K guy? We're proud to announce the Game Havens NBA 2K11 Tournament! It's on Dec. 4 in Addison at The Back 9. The tournament is sponsored by DallasBasketball.com and MavCowTickets.com. I'll be in the house that day, and if you come out, you can win lower-level Mavericks tickets! Entry is FREE. Pop onto Game Havens Facebook Page!for more info!
DONUT 8: Everybody's instant reaction to the Houston Astros being up for sale:
Mark Cuban should buy them!
Y'all do know it's more complicated than that, right?
Yeah, he's a double-billionaire or whatever, but this ain't grabbing a pack of chewing gum as you are sashaying through the checkout line. Think of all the teams Cuban DOESN'T buy … and understand that these things are about qualifying, about investment quality, about cash flow, about the passion that must be invested.
If it was simpler than that – as simple as some of us want to make it – Cuban would own the Mavs, Hornets, Bobcats, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Astros, Stars, Penguins and three or four NFL teams, too.
DONUT 9: I guess it's good that Tiger Woods is on Twitter now, telling us his innermost thoughts. But Tiger on Twitter a year ago would've really been bad-ass.
DONUT 10: Too reliant on Dirk? Going into Atlanta, where Dirk scored 21 in a win, Nowitzki scored 65 total points in the previous two games … both losses.
DONUT 11: Here's your NBA.com Mavs-Hawks highlight package:
DONUT 12: LeBron James has a chance to be Time's "Person of the Year.'' Which will be the first time he's actually ever won anything.