One rookie joins some legends and another rookie sells some beer ... 'The Dez, Delonte & J-Ho Show' …
Wednesday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: Title talk ...
Darren Collison has a vision for the Dallas Mavericks.
"Before I even got here I want to be successful on this team as far as a winner,'' said Collison. "Every game starting with the (opening night game against the Los Angeles) Lakers, all the way to our last game of the season, all the way throughout the playoffs, I want to win as much games as we can.''
That march continues tonight, with the Mavs hosting Phoenix in a 7:30 tip at the AAC.
"I think the city deserves it, the organization deserves it and we need to be successful as far as winning,'' said Collison. "They won a championship the year before the lockout (in 2011) -- that's what we're graded on. We're graded on a high level as far as winning.''
DONUT 2: Delonte's deal ...
I asked coach Rick Carlisle on Tuesday afternoon if Delonte West fully understood the coach's motivation in the Monday night suspension handed him by the team. Rick told me he did. I asked GM Donnie Nelson if the Tuesday meeting with Delonte went well enough to lift the suspension. Donnie tells me it did.
End of suspension.
Dallas Mavericks bosses Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson visited with Delonte West on Tuesday following an angry incident in the post-game locker room after Monday's preseason win over Houston at the AAC. The Mavs had immediately suspended West for "conduct detrimental to the team'' and promised to work to "resolve the situation quickly'' in the Tuesday meeting, as Carlisle said.
"He's been suspended and we're going to talk to him today a little bit later, Donnie and I, and hopefully get it resolved quickly,'' Carlisle said. "It was a conduct issue and we're addressing it.''
Consider it addressed.
"We're back on track, Fish,'' Nelson told me on Tuesday evening.
A trio of things could've been at play with the problem: One observer tells us West was unhappy when he left the floor on Monday, possibly over having played just 17 minutes in the game. Additionally, Monday was his mother's birthday, a seemingly emotional time for Delonte. And third, West deals with bipolar disorder, which can be managed with medication but can result in outbursts when not properly managed.
Now it seems West, a fan favorite, will play tonight against the Suns. I've said often that Delonte's hard-knocks story can make him an unorthodox but effective leader in the Dallas room.
He now gets another shot to prove that.
DONUT 3: Is Elton "elite''? ...
DB.com goes 1-on-1 with Rick Carlisle as he reviews our stat thesis: Elton Brand is an "elite" defensive big. And, um ... So "elite'' that he can mentioned in the same breath with Tyson Chandler, Rick?
"Well,' Carlisle tells us, "that's not preposterous, but ...''
It's Premium Mavs coverage, including advanced stats and Carlisle's discussion with us about them -- and you can only get it at DB.com!
DONUT 4: Del speaks ...
When Del Harris speaks, DallasBasketball.com listens. Del's alerted me to his book, "On Point,'' which details his Four-Step System and "the ability to influence our teams for a positive outcome.'' Check it out!
DONUT 5: DJ in trouble ...
Center D.J. Mbenga, recently released from the Mavs with the plan to transfer him to Frisco, was arrested for public intoxication at 4 a.m. today and then reportedly engaged in a confrontation with police. It is alleged he was exiting a Dallas restaurant when he put his hand on a police officer's chest, engaged in an argument with the officer, and then challenged him to a fight.
Police are saying Mbenga mentioned his plans to sign with the Raptors (rather than sticking with the Legends). The alleged behavior here of D.J. -- who we think a great deal of -- might slow that process of whatever basketball is in his future.
DONUT 6: 'Microwave' Mayo ...
O.J. Mayo says his instant-offense role in Memphis had its benefits but came with certain pressures.
"Memphis was more like a microwave,'' Mayo said yesterday in a media visit after practice. "You get in and heat up, or maybe you sit down.''
Here, as a starter, maybe OJ has a little more leeway. He noted that "scoring is something that is a gift and talent that I have.'' And he showed that against Houston with his 20-point explosion. Fortunately, Carlisle's postgame criticism of Mayo's defense was followed up by OJ's acknowledgement of the same.
The "microwave'' idea is a good one, as long as it always stays plugged in ... and is willing to cook on defense as well.
DONUT 7: Jae at the line ...
How did Jae Crowder react to a 20-point game in his home preseason debut - a Monday game in which the rookie was terrific but struggled at the line?
On Tuesday, he finished up practice by shooting 100 FTs.
DONUT 8: Thanks, Esparza's! ...
The gang at Esparza's in Grapevine loves that it's Mavs season and the Mavs love Esparza's, too! Let me put it this way: You never know who you'll see out on Esparza's famous front porch! Thanks for your sponsorship, Esparza's!
DONUT 9: Carlisle quoting Walton ...
More on this later, but I asked Rick about Dirk's unorthodox decision to continue to delay a scope on the knee. The coach indicated that Nowitzki simply views surgery as a last-last resort.
"Like my good friend Bill Walton says, 'It's only 'minor surgery' when it happens to somebody else,' Rick told me.
The inside scoop on the medical issues surrounding Dirk's decision is here.
DONUT 10: How did Chris Kaman spend his European Vacation? ...
"I'm from Germany,'' said Kaman, straight-faced. "I found out my mom and dad lied to me and I was adopted from Germany when I was little. ... I tried to find my real parents when I was there just now in Berlin, without any luck, unfortunately. I'm going to go back this summer and try again. No, seriously.''
Kidding. I think. Maybe. I believe his parents are under the impression that Chris is theirs, and that they were very involved in his birth and upbringing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But you never quite know with this guy. ... except as an weapon on the floor. Against Houston, Kaman combined with Elton Brand (Dirk's replacement in the lineup) for 19 rebounds in just 45 minutes.
DONUT 11: Jared's diary ...
Jared Cunningham is writing about his experiences so far as a rookie on NBA.com. In addition to his experiences at the Draft and during the Rookie Transition Program, Jared writes about his time abroad with the Mavs in Europe. Perhaps most interestingly, with election season in full swing, he reflects on playing with Oregon State, where the team was hosted at the White House three times and met President Obama and the First Lady, as his coach while there is the First Lady's brother.
Check out Jared's diary here on NBA.com.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
"It's an honor to play for the Mavericks and to put on this uniform. You're playing for those guys in the locker room and the organization. It's a great feeling. I just want to get it my all every day." - Jae Crowder
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