Mavs training camp is approaching, and Rick Carlisle talks to DB.com to put his excitement into…
Monday Mavs Donuts: Scoop Inside The AAC
DONUT 1: Kaleb to the rescue ...
Kaleb Canales is new to the coaching staff, even though the former Portland staffer (and UTA product) has been a known commodity among Mavs officials for years.
As of this week, he's not only better-known -- but also better-liked.
I'm told Canales got wind of equipment manager Al Whitley's love of the Seattle Seahawks. Whitley, a Vancouver native, dreamed of finding a way to zip from DFW to Seattle this weekend to witness the Seahawks' home opener against the rival 49ers.
Canales just happens to be friendly with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks coaches. And voila, Al Whitley will be sitting in primo seats on Sunday night for Niners-at-Seattle.
"Aw, I don't know what you're talking about,'' Canales said when I asked him about the hook-up. "Al's a big deal up there. He's probably got connections.''
He's got connections, alright. Right here in the AAC offices, where the already well-liked Kaleb Canales is now better-liked.
DONUT 2: Myth or miracle? ...
On DB.com Boards, the smarties discuss "Mavs Culture.'' Is it PR hype? A myth born from a title? Is it a Miracle of Dirk? Or did it pre-date him?
Smart and creative stuff here ... and yet another of the reasons to join thousands of passionate Mavs fans by getting your free membership on DB.com Boards!
DONUT 3: Plan your schedule ...
An annual DB.com favorite: Play-by-play voice of the Dallas Mavericks Chuck Cooperstein dissects the upcoming schedule.
DONUT 4: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...
Follow the Mavs on Twitter: Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!
DONUT 5: Harp on the backcourt ...
The Mavericks have overhauled their starting backcourt, the moves coming with the stamp of approval from a Mavs backcourt legend, Derek Harper.
Harper played in 1,199 regular-season games, more than 10 of those as a Mav. He retired having the 11th most steals and the 17th most assists in NBA history, and sits near or atop those categories and more in Mavs lore. Harp is now the color analyst for Mavs TV games on Fox Sports Southwest (and I'm proud to note that once again I'll be working alongside him, Mark Followill and Bob Ortegel in my role as a Fox Sports studio analyst).
Harp's thoughts on Monta Ellis?
"I think Monta can be a perfect 'Robin' for 'Batman,' who clearly is Dirk Nowitzki.''
Harp's thoughts on Jose Calderon?
"A lot of guys don't understand the dynamics of playing with a guy like Dirk. But I think Calderon can really make hay doing that. ... the guy understands how to run a team.''
Here's Derek Harper's video evaluation of the Mavs' probable backcourt starters:
DONUT 6: 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 7: Sarge's 'Late-Blooming Dream' ...
Bernard James tells us that not only was he 6-5 while he served in the military (before shooting up to his present 6-10), but that in middle school he was the shortest boy in his group of friends.
"I came from a basketball family, you might say,'' Sarge says, "but I was small. Really small.''
Early on, Bernard decided he didn't want to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, an accomplished basketball player. Again, that decision was made easy ... until that post-teenage growth spurt.
"I wouldn't say it was a 'dream' of mine to be in the NBA,'' he tells us. "Unless you want to count it as a 'late-blooming dream.'
DONUT 8: Big-deal Barea ...
J.J. Barea hints to ESPNDeportes that he might be in favor of an eventual return to Dallas.
"It's a great relationship with Mark Cuban,'' JJB said. "If they want to bring me back to Dallas, I am very (good) with it," he said. "But I'm happy in Minnesota. ...''
There are the facts and I've been asked why DB.com is not making a bigger deal of this. Isn't this large news, breaking news, important news, new news?
On the very day JJB learned that he would be able to get a four-year deal in Minny including money that Dallas simply wasn't prepared to spent, I wrote in this space that it would take about six months for J.J. to express "mover's remorse.'' Not that he shouldn't have taken the deal; not that Minnesota wouldn't be competitive (maybe this year!); not that the Twin Cities isn't a lovely place for a kid from Puerto Rico to spend his winters (though as a Twin Cities native I can tell you, it's not).
No, the regret was always going to be about how JJB fit into this team, this culture, this city. And the desire to return would always be there, too.
And indeed, JJB mentioned that first year how he missed Dallas. And here we are two years later and he still cannot hide that truth.
So this is not large news, breaking news, important news, or new news. But it's a warm-and-fuzzy note about Mavs culture.
DONUT 9: Rosas chained to the desk ...
It was my intention to visit with new Mavs exec Gersson Rosas on my recent spin through the AAC, but there was a problem:
For a span of about three hours, he never exited his office.
My observation, after strolling by his office a million times in an attempt to "bump into him'': Rosas doesn't mill around, doesn't grab a coffee, doesn't BS with the gang, doesn't visit with the secretaries, doesn't jack around.
From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., there he was. In his office. Chaining himself to his desk, constantly connected to his laptop and his phone.
DONUT 10: Thanks to Red Rock! ...
Our North Dallas hangout for sports and live music? It's Red Rock Bar & Grill! They help make DB.com what it is ... thanks, guys!
DONUT 11: Cool scenes ...
Two cool scenes at AT&T Stadium: One, when Cowboys fan LeBron James was shown on the JumboTron and was booed heartily by 85,000 Cowboys fans.
Why? Because those 85,000 Cowboys fans are, for the most part, likely also Mavs fans. And Mavs fans heartily boo LeBron.
Two: About 12:45 a.m., with almost nobody left in the building, LeBron and his buddies found a football. And the former high school gridiron star gleefully ran pass routes all over the Cowboys field.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Hoopsworld is reporting the following: "The Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks have expressed interest in Devin Ebanks, according to a source.''
I'm prepared to apologize to all involved if tomorrow Devin Ebanks shows up at an AAC press conference hoisting up his new Mavs jersey. But for now ...
This is a clumsy attempt to attach the name of the frequently-shopping Mavs (and their historically spendy owner) to a marginal NBA benchwarmer who finds himself unemployed on the eve of the start of training camps.
It's clumsy on the part of the reporter (who ideally would respond to his "source's'' "information'' by asking ... "WHY? Why would Dallas be interested in adding a 3-ppg guy to a roster that seems full-up?''
It's clumsy, too, in the usage'' of "source'' and on the part of the "source'' as well. Media now tends to use "sources'' not because the identity of the information-giver need be protected but rather because young reporters think doing so makes them sound like James Bond. There is no need for this to be "sourced''; it almost certainly came from Ebanks' agent ... in which case the reporter should simply insist that the agent be on-the-record and for-attribution.
In other words, it's clumsy of the agent, too.
Unless, of course, the agent knows it's all baloney and would prefer to toss this stink bomb onto somebody else's lap and then go sprinting away in the opposite direction.