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Mavs Donuts: Dirk's Future? 'Staubach-Like'
DONUT 1: Dirk as Roger ...
We had a chance to visit with Roger Staubach last night, and when it comes to him talking about his Cowboys, never is heard a discouraging word. ... and it got me thinking about the future of Dirk as a Mavs "ambassador.''
I don't believe post-playing-career Dirk will be given an official front-office suit-and-tie role with the Mavs -- at least not one that will lasso him into sitting behind a desk inside of a cubicle. He'll likely live in both Dallas and Germany, as he does now, and while he'll probably be on Dallas' payroll in some capacity, I bet it will be a loose arrangement that really sets him up as a "goodwill ambassador'' for the Mavs.
In many ways, that's what Ro Blackman does with the Dallas Mavericks now. And in many ways, that what Staubach (without compensation) does for the Cowboys.
DONUT 2: The Ambassador ...
So it was Thursday at AT&T Stadium, when about 40 Cowboys alums gathered (along with 10,000 fans) to watch this year's team practice, and then former players gathered with present-day roster members to share stories over dinner.
And as always, the legendary Staubach helped make the entire affair a feel-good night.
Staubach on quarterback Tony Romo?
"If there's a bigger Romo fan in town, I don't know who it is," Staubach said. "I want to argue with all my negative Romo fans and tell them how great this guy is. … He's a franchise quarterback."
Staubach on wide receiver Dez Bryant?
"If he stays healthy, there won't be a better receiver in the league than Dez Bryant,'' said Staubach. "He can be as good as any receiver in the National Football League."
Staubach's forecast for the Cowboys' season?
"We can be 11-5 in a second with a little luck and keeping people healthy, maybe 12-4," he said. "(But) you just want to get in the playoffs. … This is a good team that needs to go to a higher level. And I think this is the year to do it.''
And all the while Roger is talking glowingly, I'm imagining Dirk, a decade from now, two and three decades from now, saying encouraging things about the new 2023 draftee, giving guidance to the Mavs' 2033 stars, offering up pep talks to all of DFW in regard to "his'' Mavs' chances.
There is much hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing among Mavs fans who will be sad when Dirk Nowitzki retires. But there is some comfort in envisioning him retiring from a playing role into a Staubach-like role.
DONUT 3: The life of a beat writer ...
I get a lot of questions about "the life of a beat writer'' and such. So I think you'll be interested in the words of Jason Quick, the long-time Blazers beat man who is stepping down and who truthfully skewers players, coaches and even fans.
DONUT 4: Curious Monta ...
The name of the piece is "Monta Ellis' Mavs Fit & Future: 3 Skepticism-Driven Points Of Analysis'' and David Lord runs the project.
When you read it you'll possibly think "skepticism'' is too strong a word here. "Curious'' might be a better fit.
DONUT 5: Hip-Hop ...
This isn't exactly my cup of tea. But I think it might be yours, Dear Reader, and I am here to serve: A Chart Comparing NBA Season Scoring with Hip Hop Mentions.
DONUT 6: B-Wright's promise ...
This isn't exactly the life and times of Brandan Wright, but with his cooperation, we think it's a good look at his money, his stats and his promise.
DONUT 7: Who'd DeJuan diss? ...
I've seen a lot of reaction to Sefko's piece on DeJuan Blair, much of it characterizing Blair as having "ripped the Spurs.''
Did I not read enough of the article to get the flavor of it?
Blair, who signed a one-year vet's minimum in Dallas after seemingly falling out of favor in SA, says, "I had to leave and come here where I think they'll give me confidence and believe in me. I didn't think they believed in me in San Antonio. ... (In Dallas), I feel supported.''
There's nothing outrageous about that (unless you want to count the suggestion that players don't also "fall out of favor'' with the Dallas coach.)
Blair was a part-time starter for a perennial power, can play two positions, is a positive-attitude guy and is only 24. He can do some of the things Elton Brand did (at least on offense). But know that the Mavs' "support'' of Brand only lasted one year, just as their "support'' of Blair is reflected in his short-term deal as well.
Mark Cuban and others have referred to DeJuan as a "beast'' and I'd love for that to be true. Blair seems especially inspired to prove the Ugly-Ass-River Spurs wrong and I've love for that to come true as well.
But Blair's words aren't outrageous to me because he is a reasonable basketball man and reasonable basketball men are hesitant to insist that Greg Popovich is anything but a usually-right basketball man.
DONUT 8: Dignity in office ...
You want a Players Association boss who has the respect of his constituency, who has enough superstar power outside the office to avoid scandal and temptation, and who carries himself with dignity?
You get Chris Paul, and the union should be very proud of itself here.
DONUT 9: Thanks, Studio Movie Grill! ...
A great partner with us in charitable work and a great place to get a movie and a meal ... thanks for the DB.com relationship, Studio Movie Grill!
DONUT 10: A lesson learned ...
I had a nice visit with a Mavs staffer the other day in which a conclusion was reached (I think). It's certainly a conclusion I've reached, and one I'm prepared to believe Dallas has come to as well:
Taking an amateur player (college or overseas) who just played the position of "athlete'' at his previous stop and "converting" him to "point guard'' is a project unworthy of the time involved ... and unproductive given the results.
Roddy B comes under this heading. So does DoJo. And Cunningham. (I'm trying to think back on Ager and Foster; were they ever part of such an experiment?)
If you believe that point guard is like quarterback and you understand football, imagine: An all-purpose player in college who plays some running back and some wide receiver and returns punts is so explosive that an NFL team drafts him with the intention of teaching how to play QB for the first time in his life.
If we look at it that way, we see why the Convert-To-PG idea is doomed. ... and why Dallas spent the offseason acquiring "pure'' point guards in Calderon, Devin, Larkin and Mekel.
DONUT 11: Party time! ...
A tip of the cap of appreciation to Frisco Party Station, your neighborhood headquarters for all your party needs ... everything! All the neighborhood schools represented -- college and even high school! -- and the party is on!
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
I don't really care that Ben Affleck has been tabbed to play "Batman.'' Wake me up, however, when get to do "Wonder Woman.''