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2019 - 2020 Dallas Mavericks: Eastern Bloc > Western Conference

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16 hours ago, CBT said:

This is awesome. Cuban is great.

 

 

Good on, Cuban.  He may not be Sage Steele but for a Hoosier, he's a-ok.  

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Given we're going to have a shortage of shit to talk about here for a while, thought I'd indulge myself by posting (part of) a road trip report.
Went to the Mavs last road game of the season on Tuesday night in San Antonio- took the fam to spend a couple of days over the kids' spring break.  Long and short of it- yeah, the ATT Center is a dirty old barn, but I'm jealous of it.  It's a rivalry sure, but we're talking about a team that's going to miss the playoffs and that arena was louder than I've ever heard the AAC at a regular season game.  There's really no one there to "be seen" - they're there to cheer their asses off.  Which is weird considering all the titles they've won.  But our fans are the ones that act spoiled.  And everyone was super nice (all four of us were wearing Mavs gear), so I don't really have anything bad to say about the people either.  Sorry- don't neg me bros.  I'm still pissed about that second half.
Had a bomb ass torta (made to order) and they have a legit full size Whataburger restaurant in the concourse, so obviously the kids ate that.
Ran into this dude walking around downtown the morning before the game though- made the whole trip worth while.
a-a-carlisle.jpg
 
 
That's awesome. We did the same thing last year with my 3 oldest (8, 6, 5) for dirk's last game ever. Drive down from Austin, watched the Mavs, stayed on the Riverwalk, and let the kids play hooky the next day. Didn't see Rick Carlisle though.

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On 3/12/2020 at 11:29 AM, threesheets said:

Given we're going to have a shortage of shit to talk about here for a while, thought I'd indulge myself by posting (part of) a road trip report.

Went to the Mavs last road game of the season on Tuesday night in San Antonio- took the fam to spend a couple of days over the kids' spring break.  Long and short of it- yeah, the ATT Center is a dirty old barn, but I'm jealous of it.  It's a rivalry sure, but we're talking about a team that's going to miss the playoffs and that arena was louder than I've ever heard the AAC at a regular season game.  There's really no one there to "be seen" - they're there to cheer their asses off.  Which is weird considering all the titles they've won.  But our fans are the ones that act spoiled.  And everyone was super nice (all four of us were wearing Mavs gear), so I don't really have anything bad to say about the people either.  Sorry- don't neg me bros.  I'm still pissed about that second half.

Had a bomb ass torta (made to order) and they have a legit full size Whataburger restaurant in the concourse, so obviously the kids ate that.

Ran into this dude walking around downtown the morning before the game though- made the whole trip worth while.

spacer.png

 

 

wait, you're not black??

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, threesheets said:

Black in name only, amirite @conVINCEd.

This is true.  You also attended a HS that is/was regularly a contender for the state basketball championship, so there’s a little social influence as well.

Edited by conVINCEd

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Posted (edited)

Also must watch, not sure how I missed this:

 

 

 

 

Edited by CBT

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Some of these young'ins have no respect.

 

You can see the fire in KP's eyes though...he wants what Dirk had.

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Nice. Why would they not show the parade, I don't know, at the end?

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2011 Portland vs Dallas quarter finals game on. Man what a time to be living in Dallas

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

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Just now, Zepol87 said:

2011 Portland vs Dallas quarter finals game on. Man what a time to be living in Dallas

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

Isn't it game 4(I was glancing at what was gonna be on tonight; not at tv now)? That's not exactly one for the memory book. Pretty cool B Roy got a moment like that before his body gave out on him tho

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At the start of the season, I thought it would be 100% THJ would exercise his player option for next season. It will pay 19mil. After how he played this season and its not a deep free agent class, he may opt out.

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Eye-opening.

Quote

Here’s the point: in 2011, Dallas would win 57 games, tied for second in the West, with the Lakers and behind the Spurs, at 61, and fifth overall behind the Heat (58) and the Bulls (62). If, in that stretch where they went 3-9 thanks to Dirk’s injury, they had won half those games, having a healthy Dirk – so 6-6 – that would give them 60 wins. If they’d won 60 percent, as in their worst stretch of the season besides this one, they’d be at 61, tying the Spurs for first in the West. If they’d won 82 percent, as they’d been doing up to that point, they’d have won 10, which would give them 63 wins, good for best in the league. If they’d won 90 percent, as they did when Dirk got right, that might get them all the way to 66, their second most ever, and tied for the sixth most wins all-time in the modern era. Among the seventeen teams that have won 66 or more since 1970, twelve won the Finals, one more made the Finals – the 2015-2016 Warriors, of course – and two more made it to the conference finals.

https://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2020/5/3/21245396/dallas-mavericks-2011-champions-dirk-nowitzki-great-all-time-team

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Eye-opening.
Here’s the point: in 2011, Dallas would win 57 games, tied for second in the West, with the Lakers and behind the Spurs, at 61, and fifth overall behind the Heat (58) and the Bulls (62). If, in that stretch where they went 3-9 thanks to Dirk’s injury, they had won half those games, having a healthy Dirk – so 6-6 – that would give them 60 wins. If they’d won 60 percent, as in their worst stretch of the season besides this one, they’d be at 61, tying the Spurs for first in the West. If they’d won 82 percent, as they’d been doing up to that point, they’d have won 10, which would give them 63 wins, good for best in the league. If they’d won 90 percent, as they did when Dirk got right, that might get them all the way to 66, their second most ever, and tied for the sixth most wins all-time in the modern era. Among the seventeen teams that have won 66 or more since 1970, twelve won the Finals, one more made the Finals – the 2015-2016 Warriors, of course – and two more made it to the conference finals.
https://www.mavsmoneyball.com/2020/5/3/21245396/dallas-mavericks-2011-champions-dirk-nowitzki-great-all-time-team
2011 Game 6 on ABC right now.

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Posted (edited)

That Pegasus jersey is pretty sick

On the subject of jerseys: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29118960/ranking-top-74-jerseys-nba-history

Mavs are hardly celebrated in this list, but it does reinforce something I've been saying for years. Bring back a fucking proper green jersey already.

edit:

hgxqw4m03lh31.png

 

TBH, give any of the white, blue or green ones here. Would probably prefer a different script on the greens

Edited by TommyGufano

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Posted (edited)

The Mavs' jersey game has always been very weak. 

Put these and Pegasus in the regular rotation, and I'd be a happy camper.

9-21jerseys9

Edited by idigTexas

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On 5/5/2020 at 10:19 AM, TommyGufano said:

That Pegasus jersey is pretty sick

On the subject of jerseys: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29118960/ranking-top-74-jerseys-nba-history

Mavs are hardly celebrated in this list, but it does reinforce something I've been saying for years. Bring back a fucking proper green jersey already.

edit:

hgxqw4m03lh31.png

 

TBH, give any of the white, blue or green ones here. Would probably prefer a different script on the greens

Put the Dallas from the blues onto the greens. Done. 

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13 hours ago, idigTexas said:

The Mavs' jersey game has always been very weak. 

Put these and Pegasus in the regular rotation, and I'd be a happy camper.

9-21jerseys9

Oh hey, there's Juwan getting beat again.

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20 hours ago, threesheets said:

 

 

I haven’t purchased a pair of Jordans since high school, but sign me up.

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On 5/5/2020 at 11:19 AM, TommyGufano said:

That Pegasus jersey is pretty sick

On the subject of jerseys: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29118960/ranking-top-74-jerseys-nba-history

Mavs are hardly celebrated in this list, but it does reinforce something I've been saying for years. Bring back a fucking proper green jersey already.

edit:

hgxqw4m03lh31.png

 

TBH, give any of the white, blue or green ones here. Would probably prefer a different script on the greens

Those are fire

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Entertaining read for Mavs fans - The Athletic's oral history of Dennis Rodman's stint with the team.

 

Spoiler

 

Dennis Rodman’s last dance: The oral history of The Worm’s month with Mavericks

Tim Cato and Saad Yousuf May 18, 2020comment-icon.png 25 save-icon.png

In January 2000, Dennis Rodman was 38 years old. He was also out of basketball. Less than two years removed from capturing his fifth championship ring, the most eccentric member of the Chicago Bulls had moved on to other pursuits. He’d married and divorced Carmen Electra. He starred in a pair of Hollywood movies and joined a TV show. He continued to moonlight as a professional wrestling personality. He’d evolved from an athlete into a cultural phenomenon. Wherever he went, whatever he did, The Worm was irresistible.

That was in stark contrast to the Dallas Mavericks, which was at the time the NBA’s most depressing franchise mired in an entire decade of painful losing seasons. Even when the franchise had reason for hope again thanks to a young star trio known as the Three Js, that mid-decade optimism fizzled out. By the end of 1999, Dallas had zero Js and had won only nine games out of 30 during the ongoing season. With forward Gary Trent Sr. out indefinitely with injury, though, an addition was needed. And with owner Ross Perot Jr. more focused on politics than players, little was expected to change.

That month, though, a virtually unknown tech billionaire and Mavericks season-ticket holder named Mark Cuban purchased the team from Perot. Within weeks, it became clear the T-shirt-wearing, brashly unconventional maverick would do and try anything to make this franchise prominent again. In time, he would succeed beyond anyone’s expectations. But in his first month as owner, Cuban faced a much more fundamental challenge: making people care about his forlorn team. One free agent, in particular, could help with that.

Dennis Rodman barely spent one month in Dallas, playing 12 games in a 13-game stretch before he was released. (He was, naturally, suspended for another one.) But even two decades later, Rodman still gets talked about and his time can still be used to understand the early days of Mark Cuban’s ownership – and the unpredictability of everything that would follow. Whether it was Rodman donning No. 69 at his opening press conference, his infamous stay at Cuban’s guest house or his abrupt departure, it was all bizarre, all fraught with intrigue. What happened away from the cameras and headlines contained scenes even more surreal. In the final games of his career, Dennis Rodman made people pay attention.

What follows is an oral history of Rodman’s two months in Dallas, as told by 13 individuals on or around the 1999-2000 Dallas Mavericks.


Mark Cuban, owner (2000-present): We had 10 straight years of losing.

Jaime Aron, Associated Press reporter (1991-2011): Everyone can have a bad decade. The Mavs had, statistically, the worst decade that any professional sports team had up to that point.

Scott Roth, assistant coach (1996-2000): (Cuban) came walking in in a T-shirt, and we were all stunned. And he basically came in with a lot of fire and passion and had a vision of turning this way around right from the beginning. You could see that he was young and fiery and ready to go.

Charlie Parker, assistant coach (1995-2005): I’d been there since ‘96, and the whole environment changed (when Cuban arrived). And everyone kind of knew it was gonna change because of the way he conducted his life. And knew that he would take chances, that he would spend money and that it was going to be a totally new scene, a new environment for everyone.

Roth: The funny thing was that the guy (former owner Ross Perot Jr.) was selling the team (to) was a guy who was sitting, like, six seats away from us on the baseline that was there every night. We just thought he was there as a fan, a general fan who was at the game. He was young so you never would have put two and two together. … It was kind of bizarre that way, that the new owner (had been) watching us the whole time.

Cuban: We had started off the season poorly, and we were playing better, but we wanted to make a playoff run and it was like, “We’ve got to do something.”

Aron: Everything he did was to, kind of, put a new narrative around the team because of it just being the franchise that couldn’t do anything right.

Bruno Sundov, center (1998-2000): His first move, he’s like, “I want to make a show.” I want to put Dallas on the map right away. 

Cuban: We really didn’t realize what we had with Nash, Fin and Dirk at that point. We were playing better but, I mean, nobody thought we’d make the playoffs that year. Everybody just thought it would be the same sad-sack Mavs.

Aron: People so wanted the Mavericks to succeed. Everybody wanted this team to come back and, of course, it was almost like a toddler trying to learn how to walk. They kept falling and kept stumbling and things just kept getting worse. And so then you had Cuban (come) in and that was just a whirlwind. Because at that point, the Mavericks had been so much false hope for so long.

Cuban: I just remember talking to Nellie about it saying, hey, we need rebounding because every time we would lose, the conversation would turn to rebounding. So why not Dennis Rodman? (Nellie) was like, “Well, it’s gonna be a shit show.”

On Jan. 25, 2000, the Dallas Mavericks signed Dennis Rodman to a contract through the remainder of the season. This was no ordinary transaction, and only those inside the locker room knew how unusual the circumstances of Rodman’s arrival truly were. 

Cuban: (Nellie) put it to a vote to the team.

Damon Jones, guard (1999-00): I’ve never seen that happen before. I think because Don Nelson was the coach, he was a guy that wanted to include everybody in all decisions.

Erick Strickland, guard (1996-2000): I didn’t know how to take it. We were starting to make a run, and we had a stretch of losses but then we had a run of wins. We were starting to kind of turn around, you know?

Jones: Some guys wanted him to come, some guys thought that we should keep the team the same.

Parker: We had Dirk and Steve Nash. Both of them were young. (They didn’t) know what’s going on. (They didn’t) know about personalities and stuff other than what they had heard. I think the younger guys were more in favor than some of the veteran guys.

Sarah Melton, public relations (1999-2019): Dirk was a Bulls fan (growing up). I’m sure he looked at him sort of in awe.

Parker: It was led by Michael Finley. (He was) from Chicago and had grown up in the light of the (Bulls). That was his third or fourth year in the league when Rodman came. He was a big fan of any player from Chicago.

Chad Lewis, strength & condition coach and lead equipment manager (1996-2002): Shawn Bradley (was) super religious, and I’m sure freaked out by what his perception of Dennis would be.

Parker: Shawn Bradley first came into the league in Philadelphia. And Rodman was playing against him, and I know Shawn used to tell me all the time, “Rodman used to kill me talking about me, trying to hurt me, saying I’m not good. He disrespected me in so many different ways.”

Strickland: As a player who had laid it all on the line when he was focused to do so, I respected him. But I thought he was a clown.

Jones: After everybody voted, they read the “yeses” and “nos,” and it was very close. It wasn’t a landslide where everybody wanted him to come. “Yes” won out.

Dwayne Wilson, assistant strength coach and equipment manager (1997-2004): I think, initially, I don’t think Nellie was really for it.

Sundov: (Cuban) needed the blessing of the coaching staff. What are they going to say? The new owner comes and gives some wish, what are you going to say, no? Your ass is on the line, whatever you say. So they rolled with it, you know?

Cuban: Look, we just wanted rebounding. We’d been bad for so long that we weren’t sure how to win. And so I had come in saying I’d try anything that helps us win. Period, end of story.

Aron: Bringing in a rebounder on a team that’s winning 25 games a year isn’t going to turn things around.

Roth: I think some of it was, for sure, a PR move, which was smart on Cuban’s part to bring interest to the team.

Aron: I remember talking to him about the whole thing being a play for relevance. Even his own shenanigans, him being the lightning rod. (It was), “Talk about me, talk about my flamboyance, but ultimately you’re talking about the Mavericks, and you’re taking the pressure off the guys on the court, who, oh by the way if you pay attention, they’re blossoming into stars.”

Roth: When Mark bought the team, there was still not really any kind of buzz about the team. You’re always going to be behind the Cowboys. The minute he brought up the idea of bringing in Dennis … I don’t really know how those conversations went with him and Nellie, but within 24 hours or 48 hours, I (saw) Dennis Rodman at one of our practices. The buzz starts around the city that we’ve just signed him. And it just started from there.

Wilson: When we were talking to Dennis about (jersey numbers), he said he wanted 69.

Lewis: I didn’t have a lot to do with that. That was what Mark told me he wanted, I had them made up for the press conference.

Wilson: Chad and I both knew it probably was not going to happen.

Greg Buckner, guard (1999-2002): Cuban, he’s a genius in marketing and stuff. He knew that was going to help Dallas Mavericks jersey sales, and it was going to be all over the world. No. 69? Dennis Rodman jersey? I mean, that was going to sell out every time they put some in the stores and in the (fan) shops in Reunion Arena. He was with that, for sure. Hell, I probably would have bought one.

Lewis: There was one for the press conference, and that’s it. I’m sure Mark got it, and I’m sure that’s the only one.

Cuban: The league was like, no. And I was like, “Bummer. OK, moving on.” It was not that big of (a) deal.

Lewis: (With) what you see on TV, you think of him being just like this crazy, wild guy that’s just a bit out of control. I wasn’t sure really of what we had coming.

Buckner: What are we going to be involved in? What type of things are we going to see? How is the crowd going to react on the road? How is it going to be in the hotel now with Dennis Rodman? What kind of famous women will he have around? We didn’t have a superstar back then. Dirk wasn’t a superstar at the time, (Steve) Nash wasn’t a superstar, Michael Finley (wasn’t).

Wilson: Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman were probably the two top basketball players to be known around the world.

Melton: (He was) somebody who superseded pop culture. He wasn’t just a great athlete. People that didn’t care about basketball at all knew who Dennis Rodman was. When you can transcend into a whole another subgroup, that is when you’re a superstar. He was a superstar.

GettyImages-1219007733-1-865x1024.jpg
 
Dennis Rodman, as seen wearing his second choice of uniform numbers. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

Rodman’s reputation preceded him to Dallas: difficult, combative, enigmatic and eccentric. In some ways, he was precisely as advertised. But in others, Rodman was unlike anything the Mavericks anticipated — and, in a matter of weeks, they came to learn just how different Dennis Rodman, the person, could be from Dennis Rodman, the persona.

Parker: Nellie put the faith in dealing with Rodman to me. He says, “Charlie, do you think you can get through with Dennis? And try to get close to him?” And first off, I was like, “Nellie, I don’t know. This is a whole different kind of personality, you know? (I’m a) nice, Christian young man. I don’t know what I’m going to do here.”

Lewis: I think a lot of the public perception that you would see would be when he’s out drinking and partying. I think he would kind of turn into a different person when he would party. … I think his personality, his true personality, is more just a quiet, reserved person.

Sundov: He wasn’t rude to us teammates. Not at all. I couldn’t say a bad thing about him. Just really quiet and strange, in a way.

Buckner: He was quiet as a mouse. It was amazing. You just expect him to come in and be this loud guy who wants all the attention, who would be lazy for practice and stuff, but he was the complete opposite, man.

Sundov: Even on a plane or the buses, don’t talk zero to nobody. His conversations, none. I remember like in the plane they put one of his movies on (that he had acted in), I don’t know which one (it) was, but he just said, “Turn this off.” I remember this part. He was like, “No, no, no, no. Turn this off.”

Parker: He’d sit back there (on the plane) with the press and the coaches. He’d never sit up there with the players. He really had no exchange with any of the players. And I’m not sure with any of the coaches.

Roth: I will tell you very frankly and honestly, I don’t think I ever had an interaction with him. He would never even know who I was if I stood right in front of him. 

Wilson: He didn’t say much to Nellie. And Nellie was trying to get some (instructions) to him and Nellie looked at me, and Nellie was like, during a game, “Dee, tell him I need to get this screen set up a little different.” And (Dennis) is standing right there! And I turned around, and I looked at Dennis, and I said, “Nellie needs that screen set up a little higher. You’re at the elbow.” And he’d look at me, and he’d say, “OK, I gotchu.” And I’d be like, “Holy shit.” I’d just laugh.

Roth: I mean, he was not coachable. He was not conducive to talking.

Buckner: He definitely had his own part of the locker room but I just looked at it as he just didn’t want to be bothered. He just wanted to be quiet and stay out of the way.

Roth: That progressed into him not showering with the guys. On the road we had to find a different locker room for him.

Keith Grant, assistant general manager (1980-present): I don’t know that he knew everybody’s name, to be perfectly honest.

Roth: I came back in (right before a road game in Phoenix) just to check what was going on in the (coach’s) locker room and to see Nellie, and there’s Nellie sitting in a chair, two or three feet away from Rodman in a towel and naked. Because he doesn’t want to be in a room with the players.

Buckner: It’s Dennis Rodman, man. He’s going to get a little different.

Strickland: (He’s) probably (like this) because, you know, he won six championships and he’s looking at us, like, “Why am I playing with these bums?” That’s probably how he thought of it.

Parker: I think it was a protective device that he used to not let anybody get close to him or really get close to anybody. I think his trust level was very low.

Wilson: Dennis wasn’t the best at meeting new people or trusting people at that point.

Sundov: I heard maybe 20 words (from him). I don’t know what to tell you regarding Dennis Rodman. But when the lights go on it’s a totally different person. When he puts up his jersey he’s just a showman. He just (presses) a button, and he says, “OK, this is me.”

Lewis: I was very close with Rick Mahorn, who obviously was with the Bad Boys (Pistons) and was with Rodman when he was not what he — nobody really knew him — became. No tattoos or anything like that. Rick had told me, “Man, this kid is so talented, and we kind of created this identity as the Bad Boys, we want to be tough and we wanted to create an identity. And Dennis was so shy and so to himself, almost painfully, that I told him to watch WWE, watch these entertainment things. What we do, we entertain people.” … By the time (he came to Dallas), I wasn’t sure if it was a role or if it was really the guy.

No matter who Rodman really was, he was ostensibly brought in to help the Mavericks win. It very quickly became evident, however, that whether or not his legendary rebounding and defensive acumen held up would be the least of the team’s worries. 

Roth: Dennis came in the first day and never practiced. He said he would never practice, so he would just ride a bike. (He said,) “I don’t shoot, so I don’t need to practice.”

Wilson: Especially on basketball IQ and basketball sense, Dennis was still smart as shit. He knew the game, and he knew what to do out there even before most people recognized what was going on.

Jones: He would come in 10-15 minutes before the game started. We’re already doing our mental preparation on the board with the coaching staff.

Roth: Nellie’s about ready to speak, and (Rodman) walks basically across the room and takes a shower. And the showers are running, he’s showering in the back while Nellie’s going over the game plan for the upcoming game.

Jones: (He) would do a couple of layups and then he was ready to play. He would go out and get 15 rebounds.

Parker: I’d go over to him and tell him, “Dennis, Nellie wants us to blitz the screen and roll, trap it occasionally, stay off and cover the penetrator.” He’d just look over the top of me and (wouldn’t) say anything. And I’d say, “You got that?” And he’d say, “I know how to play. I know how to cover.”

Roth: (Our) players had a difficult time because he was set in his ways defensively. (He) wouldn’t really buy into schemes and that was a frustration, obviously.

Parker: He’d go out and do what he wanted. It would really frustrate Nellie. Nellie used to say, “I’m done with that.”

Wilson: Sometimes, he’d just lose interest. And sometimes his losing interest was right there during the middle of the game.

Cuban: We were playing the Kings, and Nellie had him guard Chris Webber and he was supposed to guard him, guard him. And (Rodman) would just point to him and say, “Shoot. You can’t make it.” And Chris kept on hitting the shots.

Parker: He sometimes didn’t even try to go across halfcourt. He just jogged, and Finley and them would play, and he would wait for the other team to get the rebound. And he would just stay at halfcourt and run back. Because he didn’t want to be involved with the offense. He didn’t want to shoot, he didn’t want to score. He just wanted to do that.

Roth: We had a lot of unselfish guys like Dirk and Nash and Finley, and late in the shot clock, if they didn’t have a shot with six or seven seconds left to go, well, (Rodman’s) always open. So they would pass him the ball, and Dennis would just turn around and pass it back to them with two or three seconds to go. He wasn’t going to shoot the ball.

Strickland: We were used to finding the open guy. And we still thought the guy open at seven feet, five feet, eight feet can make a bucket! You know what I mean? That was “get buckets” for us! That’s an assist! So we just did what we were normally used to doing. But we had to rearrange our thinking, we really did. It was wild. We had to retrain the way that we dealt.

Roth: We had to start telling these guys, “Don’t pass him the ball. He’s open for a reason.”

Parker: I would say, “Dennis, how come you’re not going back on offense?” And he would say, “They’re not going to give me the ball!” And he said, “If I do get it, I ain’t gonna do nothing with it but pass it to somebody. I don’t care about that end of the court.” I said, “Wouldn’t that help us if you at least occupy and have your man on you?” And he said, “They ain’t gonna guard me anyway!” He said, “So I’m just wasting my time running down there.”

Strickland: You feel sorry for him because you know he’s great. And you really know that he’s just not playing up to what his potential really is. And then you just kind of say, “It’s a waste of opportunity.” And then you get mad. Because you’re out there busting your butt, and you’re having to make up for stuff for him. And the things he should be doing or he should have gotten, I’m having to cover because he missed an assignment. Then you get pissed. But you don’t want to make waves because you’re trying to keep him. You’re trying to put your arm around him and bring him in. So it’s a fine line, you know, between love and hate when you’re on the court with him at that time. 

Roth: It wasn’t the Chicago Bulls, and there was no one there to really hold him accountable.

rodman.jpg

In some ways, Rodman served his purpose on the court. He still ranks as the Mavericks’ all-time per game rebounding leader at 14.3 rebounds per game. But because this was Dennis Rodman, the production came with plenty of headaches, too. 

Parker: The thing I remember the most, if you’re talking about one incident of Dennis Rodman, it’s when he sat down at the free-throw line on the other end, and he would not get up. And they ended up throwing him out of the game.

Wilson: When you’re different from the norm, people, for lack of a better word, give you shit about that. So whether it was the media or teammates, he got shit for it. So he just said, in my mind, “Fuck it, I’m just going to be who I am and do my thing,” and that’s what he did.

Lewis: He and Karl Malone got into it, kind of tripped each other or something and Dennis just sat down, right in the middle of the paint.

Parker: He got mad because they didn’t call a foul, so he just sat down on the floor. 

Melton: He sat down cross-legged in the lane.

Parker: And the thing that was funny was they came down and played around him, and he’s still sitting on the floor.

Strickland: I just sighed and rolled my eyes.

Parker: I remember him saying, “I don’t have to stand up if I don’t want to. I do what I want to do.”

Melton: I remember looking at my boss, and I was like, “What is going to happen?”

Parker: They came down and played around him, and he’s still sitting on the floor. I said, “I can’t take this, this is too funny. This is too funny. That’s the funniest moment that I’ve seen.”

Aron: It was just Dennis being Dennis. It was always trying to find, manufacture the look-at-me moment.

Buckner: He would leave the arena with no shoes on. That’s just wild to me. Like, it’s in the wintertime, you don’t have no shoes on?

Cuban: He would just go work out after games instead of taking a shower.

Lewis: We’d work right up until the bus was about to leave. I guess he would shower when we’d get to the next city.

Jones: After the game, (he would) wear his uniform home. I don’t know if he didn’t want to shower at the arena or whatever, go and shower or whatever. He was the last one to get there and the first one to leave.

Lewis: That was probably true at home. On the road, it was last one to get there but also last one to leave. For his age, he was just a stud athlete. Stronger, way better-conditioned than I thought he would be for somebody who the perception is that he just parties and doesn’t care.

Jones: (He was) wearing the same pair of pants, (these) sweatpants, for the whole month. I was like, “Does he have another pair of pants?”

Lewis: He would just leave (in) his game shorts, throw on his sweats and take off.

Grant: It’s really weird; he lived in Mark’s place for a while. Mark had a guest house on his property, and he used to live in there.

Jones: I heard (that) Cuban offered him a limo to travel around.

Cuban: His driver’s license was suspended, and we were worried about him trying to drive places. So that’s how it ended up there.

Sundov: We were kind of hoping to run into him in the clubs and stuff, but this never happened. So I don’t know if he goes (out) or he doesn’t go. We heard Dennis goes (out), so we tried to find info to where he goes out, but I don’t think he (exited) the Mark Cuban house in the period he was in Dallas. 

Roth: By putting him in his back house there it was something where he could keep an eye on him and also help him.

Grant: The league called and said you can’t do that, it’s a salary cap violation. So he had to pack up and move.

Buckner: I had Cuban’s car. So, when he got in trouble with Cuban’s guest house, I got in trouble with Cuban’s car so I had to go buy a car.

Melton: That’s Mark being Mark. He’s done so many things like that where he doesn’t understand that it’s wrong, he’s just being accommodating and kind, not understanding the rules and regulations.

Buckner: Mark Cuban’s guest house was, I think, 5,000 square feet. I just had a little lonely car.

The incidents kept mounting, and they came with scrutiny rarely seen at Mavericks games. Media members would waylay Rodman in the Reunion Arena halls as he left the locker room, bumping over trash cans as they crowded around him in search of headlines and soundbites. Meanwhile, the coaching staff grappled with how Rodman’s presence and all that came with it was affecting Dallas’ young roster. 

Something had to give, and everything came to a head in early March when Rodman gave an attention-grabbing quote about Cuban to the Associated Press. One day later, the team waived him.

Jones: It was shocking that he did make those comments about Mark and how he needed to just be the owner of the basketball team, not try to be like the other guys.

Dennis Rodman, as quoted by the Associated Press in March 7, 2000: (Cuban) doesn’t need to be hanging around the players like he’s a coach or something. That’s like Jerry Jones, and it’s dumb. That’s why the Cowboys went down. He needs to be the owner, step back and put people in who can get this team in the right direction.

Parker: Eventually we knew that he was going to say some things and do something to Mark that’s going to provoke Mark to have to release him. And he just did that. It was no surprise. 

Wilson: I think most of us, we thought he was going to at least make it through the whole season. The rest of the season.

Cuban: I didn’t care about (his comments). I just cared about winning. And we were losing then, and it was setting a bad example.

Jones: It was interesting because like we said, he was staying with Mark, in his guest house and Mark had done everything he (could) to make Dennis comfortable.

Lewis: To try and fit in with a team that had been together and kind of already had their rotation and the things that they did, to be thrown in that, sometimes it just doesn’t work. I don’t think that it was really Dennis’ fault, as a person. I just think that where he was and where we were going were two different places.

Grant: We probably weren’t the right team for him at that stage of his career. He was a piece that could help a team maybe get over the hump but for us at the time, I don’t know that our team was where we could handle those kinds of idiosyncrasies.

Melton: Could you imagine Dirk playing with somebody like that when Dirk was 20? He had no idea. He didn’t know how to respond to that. Dirk barely spoke, and then Dennis barely spoke.

Buckner: I just felt like he just wanted to be in Dallas to make more money in the future by getting a better job and maybe quote un-quote tricking somebody into giving him a couple-years’ contract for a few million dollars. 

Parker: I don’t think he was really looking to really recreate himself or turn a team totally around. I always felt like he was just doing it just to prove he could still play.

Buckner: You don’t just try to come to the Dallas Mavericks, at that time, to try and win a championship.

Wilson: I don’t think he wanted to play that game anymore. I think he was pretty much done with it. That was what really was the issue, (like), “I’m done playing these games.” And he just wanted to be done.

Jones: Maybe Dennis didn’t want to play anymore. You have to know that that’s the first thing you could do to get out the door is criticize the person that’s paying you. 

Ironically, Rodman’s departure put the Mavericks on the right path far more than his addition ever did: The Mavericks won 15 of their remaining 21 games, highlighted by a 9-1 run to end the season. From a results standpoint, his time in Dallas was a failure. Yet two decades later, everyone in and around the organization forgets those eventful six weeks, and often with a smile on their face. Dennis Rodman, the attraction, did exactly what he was supposed to do. 

Roth: The funny thing is, when he left, we started winning.

Strickland: We came up four games short. Yeah, there’s no question we would have made the playoffs if we didn’t sign Dennis. We would’ve.

Parker: (Players were asking), “What do I do if he’s going to get all the rebounds? And he’s going to guard one through five? Then what is my role on this team?” And I think that caused some confusion among the players, and once he was released, it was a release of tension. I think it gave us time to refocus on the roles of the players.

Melton: For a team that wasn’t getting a lot of attention for a while, we sure got some then. I loved it. Then, (after) his departure, we started to win even more than when we had (him).

Parker: It created a stability of knowing, this is it. It’s just us right now. No Dennis Rodmans, no more experiments. This is our team. So let’s bring this together, no distractions, and let’s get this thing going. … We almost pulled it off.

Lewis: Just personality-wise, he didn’t click with the group of guys. That team really did click well together.

Parker: The Rodman thing, as bad as it was during the time, I really thought it helped bring us together. I always felt that, that there was some good to come out of that.

Lewis: I enjoyed my time with him. I wish he had stayed longer,

Buckner: I actually ran across him when he tried to come back in Denver, and I was in Denver. A guy like Dennis Rodman, who was only there for a month, you don’t know if he remembers you or not (with) as much blacking out and partying that he’s done in his lifetime. (But) in Denver he comes straight up to me and (said), “I remember you. I thought you had a chance to be successful in this league.”

Strickland: I only had one encounter with him out, where we shared a little bit of time where I got to see him in his element. We all went out to Lake Texoma and we had a boat we leased and he brought a boat out there and we were all out there just hanging out. … It took him a second to finally notice me. But once he did, it was all good. He was cool afterward … I’m a little different. I think I hang out a little different than Dennis. So I let him do it the way he does it and kind of went on my own after that.

Melton: It was a short-lived experience, but it was fun. It did rejuvenate our fanbase, for sure.

Aron: I think the thing that everybody always says as they look back on the Dennis Rodman era is how truly short it was. … It was a very small number (of games), but every one loomed so large.

Parker: I even talk about it to my players here in Taiwan (coaching the national team). They don’t even know the NBA or know about guys like that. When I tell some of these stories to them, their lips drop. “He sat on the court, what?” They’re just amazed. They love it. I’ve had one player say, “Hey coach, can I sit down with you sometime and you just tell me everything about Dennis Rodman?” I don’t have that time to do all that. Everybody is fascinated by him. It’s something.

Through his agent, Dennis Rodman declined a request for comment for this story.

 

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Thanks for posting @KingBobo81. That shit brought the nostalgia.  I had a chance to party with him a couple of times while he was here.  He couldn't have been nicer.  Had to laugh during his episode on the Jordan doc every time I saw him drinking/talking about kamikazes- it would be round after round of those damn things the times I was around him.

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