DONUT 1: Are the Mavs lotto-bound? ...
ESPN Insider has an expert predicting that this year's Dallas Mavericks won't qualify for the Western Conference Playoffs.
Possible? Certainly; not even 12 straight years of doing so, not even the presence of Dirk and Carlisle, not even the assemblage of a roster that looks at least as capable as last year's No. 7 seed, guarantees anything.
A premature "Insider'' report given that we don't fully know the makeup of the Mavs and the eight teams that are predicted to finish ahead of them? Certainly; as the ESPN writer made his bold claim, he couldn't have had any idea who is even going to be on the roster of, say, the Houston Rockets.
But for fun, a Parlour Game: Name the eight West teams that represent better Western playoff-berth bets than the Mavs.
Ready ... Go!
1). ___ 2). ___ 3). ___ 4). ___ 5). ___ 6). ___ 7). ___ 8). ___.
Whoa. I don't know about you, but for me, that game is harder than "Jeopardy'' in Mandarin.
DONUT 2: A good piece of Jason Kidd news ...
It's relative, of course, but here goes:
J-Kidd is lucky to be alive.
You look at Kidd's crushed Escalade and after any of us makes our snarky jokes -- gallows humor, really, for any of us who maybe should've skipped that last beer -- you realize just how fast he must've been going and just how much he endangered his life and just how fortunate we all are that there weren't other people put him harm's way.
My man Brian Cuban suggests that Kidd should stick this photograph on his refrigerator, or maybe on his dashboard.
I'll go beyond that: Maybe we all should do the same.
DONUT 3: Is Cuban right about the Olympics? ...
Blake Griffin went down with a torn meniscus in his left knee at Olympic training camp. Injury ... surgery ... rehab ... and Mark Cuban maybe knowingly shaking his head.
As long-time readers of DallasBasketball.com are aware, Cuban is strongly against the idea of NBA players being "loaned out'' to the Olympics, where that body makes all the money while the player and his NBA team absorb all the risks.
It, Cuban recently told FOXSports, is "the worst decision the NBA makes. ... If you look up 'stupid' in the dictionary, you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the US Olympic Committee can make millions of dollars. If you come up with something that you own, that you give it to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it."
Griffin goes down. Scola gets hurt. The Mavs are still haunted by Roddy B's broken foot sustained while practicing with France.
There is a very logical argument against Cuban's position, and it is championed by Kobe Bryant, who says that even if players weren't practicing for the Olympics, they'd still be practicing, period. They'd still be in the gym, still be subject to the possibility of torn knees and broken feet.
But if there is now a debate on the merits of NBA players in the Olympics, Cuban's first goal is achieved. Long ago, he wanted the involved parties to take this process off "automatic'' and consider it more deeply.
I think all parties are doing so now.
DONUT 4: Dollars and sense in Charlotte ...
Now, the Charlotte Bobcats have often been accused of frugality. And yet look at how they've assembled ex-Dallas Mavericks centers?
DeSagana Diop is there and now amnestied Brendan Haywood joins him.
Big Wood is a Carolina guy, so he's got that going for him. And he's a good dude, as is Diop.
Will the Bobcats get their money's worth? Does any of this make sense in Charlotte's long climb to become decent?
Laugh at Charlotte if you will. But ...
Isn't this -- combined with our inside look at Dallas' plan and our pokes at Brooklyn's plan -- yet another example of how the NBA, working under the new CBA, is showing off 30 different ways to try to skin this cat? (Stupid "cat'' pun intended.)
DONUT 5: The Margarita Capital of Texas! ...
Big thanks to our Mavs-lovin' friends at Esparza's in Grapevine ... The Margarita Capital of Texas!
DONUT 6: Follow Fish and the Mavs Twitterverse! ...
DONUT 7: Did Dirk put a ring on it? ...
No, Dirk Nowitzki did not get married to the lovely Jessica over the weekend. When it happens, you'll be ... well, you won't be the first to know. The UberMan and his UberMa'am will be first.
But if you read Mavs Donuts every day, you might be in the top 20,000 to know, OK?
DONUT 8: Fish on Radio ...
All next week, Monday through Friday from 10 to 2, I'm in for Mark Elfenbein co-hosting "Elf & Slater'' with the lovely Jane Slater on 105.3 The Fan. Mavs, Cowboys, assorted junk ... we're on it. Give us a listen, please!
DONUT 9: Dez' deep roots of trouble ...
There are hundreds of Dez-related stories – “branches on the tree,’’ you might say – but they aren't really branches because of how underground they are.
They're not "branches,'' but "roots.'' Twisted and tangled and rife with termites and barnacles and leeches.
An investigation into Dez' “support team’’ would reveal that it, too, is made up of leeches holding on tight to Dez' knotted roots. Some of these people have the authority to help the Cowboys receiver out of his holes but are instead manning the shovels.
This isn't a defense of Bryant wrestling with his mother, who is even more troubled that he is. This isn't even about whether Dez hit his mother in the face with a ballcap, or "punched her wrists,'' or ripped her bra. Because even after those accusations are proven or disproven, earning punishment or given explanation, the leeches won't let go of the roots.
Why are the people charged with "helping'' Dez the ones involved in his bad car deals, bad jewelry deals, bad lifestyle decisions? How did he go from being a student/athlete at Oklahoma State to being a resident of North Texas ... before the Cowboys even drafted him?
I believe it would be accurate to portray Dez as a person who lacks the emotional maturity to act responsibly. At 23, it's time for him to find that. At the same time, I believe it is also accurate, in part, to recognize him as a victim of a dirty system so tangled and knotted that the people who are leeching off Dez Bryant are also in control of Dez Bryant.
DONUT 10: Patience and Powder and Plans ...
The latest development on Dwightmare? Well, from a Mavs perspective, it's about "Patience and Powder and Plans'' ... here's a Premium take!
You will notice it's not "over-reactionary.'' Why not? Because a Thursday source close to Dwight issues conflicting information with a Friday source close to Dwight. I'm interested in how Dwightmare impacts Dallas. I address that in this story by cutting out the baloney. Give it a look.
DONUT 11: Want more Mavs? ...
the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
I'm outraged and will complain about the idea of advertising on NBA uniforms, and I'll do it next ... right after this commercial break.