Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lovin' Us Some Mavs

Another thing that's on-trial this season, I think, is the Mavs' culture as an organization. The constant cry from management is, "We love our players." That's been taken to mean by some of the pessimists among MFsFL that the team will not slight the players even when the situation calls for it -- like not trading Jet Terry or Stackhouse even though it'd probably be a smart move financially.

One of our most intriguing acquisitions so far this off-season has been Gerald Green, a rising star that stuck on his way up. He's got a devestating slam, but almost no game. Blame bad coaching in high school that exploited his talents without developing them. Instead of going to college he went straight to the draft, he was a first-round pick, and he's been a tumbleweed through the NBA ever since. He played for Boston, got packed off to Minnesota as part of their deal to get Kevin Garnett, was traded to Houston, and cut after just one game.

Green admits he's had problems with discipline. The Word is his game suffers fundamental flaws. But a four-foot leap is not something to dismiss, if the man above the legs is willing to shut up and learn a few things.

Here's the culture part. Green had offers from other teams, for more money. He turned them down because he wanted the opportunity Dallas provided -- a chance to work with an organization that's willing to work with him. I've read it several times as I browse through the backlogs on dallasbasketball-dot-com; the Organization dedicates a lot of time and attention making sure the team has what it needs, and will stand by their men as best they can. Gerald Green's an asset we could use, and he's not going to get used unless and until he sharpens up. He needs help doing that. Mavs provide help. Asset gets used. Everybody leaves happy.

On the strictly business end of things, with not a hell of a lot of alternatives, loving your players and investing in them is the sensible move. The only other one is to admit the Kidd trade was a mistake, trade Dirk to a team that can use him properly, and resign ourselves to lottery-dom until the basketball gods send another superhero down our way. (Just for the record, no. You may not trade Dirk. Ever. Under any circumstances. Pry his leash from my clenched fist. I dare you.)

Caring about your players and wanting them to develop as men is not a bad thing. I think "we love our players" is being taken the wrong way by a fanbase that's probably in worse shape than the team after three years of playoff fuckups and bad luck.

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