Mavs’ Doncic on extension: ‘I always wanted to sign this’

After three seasons, Luka Doncic has established himself as one of the best players in basketball, and on Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks paid him like one. The team announced that they had extended the contract of the two-time All-NBA First Team guard.

It’s a five-year deal worth $207 million, which is the largest guaranteed rookie extension in NBA history. Doncic is the first and only super-max eligible player to sign this deal based on making All-NBA First Team in two of his first three seasons.

Doncic, who gave indication back in June that he was going to sign the extension with Dallas, is happy to get his new contract.

“It’s a really special moment here,” Doncic said at a press conference in Slovenia to announce the deal. “Thank you to Dallas for offering me this. I still kind of don’t know what to say because I never imagined this happening. I was only dreaming to only play in the NBA, but now I can sign an extension with the Dallas Mavericks for five more years, which I never had a doubt about. I always wanted to sign this.”

Last season was tremendous for Doncic. He averaged a team-best 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, a team-high 8.6 assists. Doncic was even better in the playoffs as he increased his scoring average to a league-best 35.7 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds and a team-high 10.3 assists.

Doncic, 22, was the youngest player in league history to earn multiple All-NBA First Team selections. He also started his second straight All-Star Game in 2020-21, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to start multiple All-Star games before his 23rd birthday. 

Additionally, the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft had a special Olympic run. He recorded the third-ever triple-double in Olympic history and almost carried Slovenia to the gold medal game.

At this point, the Mavericks have to find ways to build around their young star. In the past two seasons, Dallas has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. With new GM Nico Harrison and a new head coach in Jason Kidd, Dallas has to get to that next level. 

They were very reliant on Doncic last season, and at times the ball stopped when it got into his hands, so they have to do a better job of diversifying the offense, including getting Kristaps Porzingis more involved.

On paper, Dallas, who re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr. and brought in Reggie Bullock, is not a championship team, but maybe they have a few more moves in the offseason that could get them to that spot. 

Mavs’ Cuban: ‘We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country’

The national anthem will be played again before every game in Dallas and every NBA arena, the league announced today.

NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass issued the following statement today concerning the league’s rule on playing the national anthem:

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”

Since the beginning of the season, Dallas had not played the anthem before the game, which Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed to The Athletic

Cuban released the following statement on Wednesday after the league’s announcement:

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been. Going forward, our hope is that people will take the same passion they have for this issue and apply the same amount of energy to listen to those who feel differently from them. Only then we can move forward and have courageous conversations that move this country forward and find what unites us.”  

The national anthem is usually played or sung before every game at every major sporting event in America, but Cuban is interested in having a larger discussion on the issue, which, in reality, is not a bad thing.

 

Mavericks to open practice facility on Thursday

With news circulating that the NBA season could be restarted soon, teams around the league begin to prepare, including the Dallas Mavericks. They announced on Wednesday that they would open their practice facility on May 28(Thursday). 

The NBA season was suspended on March 11 after players from the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

Here is a statement from the Mavericks on the reopening of their practice facility:

The Dallas Mavericks, in compliance with NBA guidance and working closely with team medical professionals, will open their practice facility for voluntary player workouts beginning Thursday, May 28.

Mavericks players may choose to access the practice facility as per protocols established by the NBA and local health officials.

The safety of our players, staff and community is the organization’s top priority. The Mavericks continue to adhere to public health and NBA guidelines to protect players and staff and to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Cuban, Doncic, Powell donate $500K to healthcare workers

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that proprietor Mark Cuban, guard Luka Dončić and center Dwight Powell have teamed up with the Dallas Mavericks Foundation to donate $500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital. Funds will be allocated to support childcare for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response effort during this unprecedented time.

“We can’t thank our healthcare workers enough for putting their patients’ well-being before their own,” said Cuban. “I am thankful to Luka and Dwight as we partner up to support healthcare workers who are doing everything they can to keep our community healthy.”

“We are deeply grateful to the entire Dallas Mavericks organization, and especially to Mark, Dwight and Luka, for their incredible generosity in providing emergency childcare funding benefitting the frontline healthcare workers of UT Southwestern and Parkland,” said Daniel K. Podolsky, MD, president of UT Southwestern. “This will alleviate a tremendous burden faced by so many nurses, physicians, lab technicians and other care team members working nonstop on our COVID-19 response. Having support for childcare will be one less thing they have to worry about.”

UT Southwestern and Parkland frontline caregiving staff include inpatient intensivists, advanced practice practitioners, physicians, nurses, phlebotomists, sonographers, radiology technicians, transporters, lab technicians and pharmacists. Additionally, support staff includes front desk staff, medical assistants and janitorial staff who are critical to the functioning of an urgent care environment. Allocation of the funds to individual staff will be made as expeditiously as possible.

“Thank you to our amazing healthcare workers,” said Dončić. “They are sacrificing so much to care for others, and I am honored to help.”

“We are extremely grateful for the amazing bravery shown by our health professionals during this difficult time,” said Powell. “We feel it’s our duty to do whatever we can to support their efforts. We continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene, while hoping this fund helps prevent families from further hardship as a result of their sacrifice.”

 

 

 

Mavericks to pay hourly employees during league shut down

In a lovely gesture, the Dallas Mavericks will pay hourly employees who work game nights at American Airlines Arena, which is the home of the team.

According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league will be shut down for at least 30 days because of the coronavirus.

Here is a statement from the Mavericks on their decision to pay hourly employees:

“The Dallas Mavericks issued the following statement today regarding the continued payment of hourly staff who work Mavericks’ game nights at American Airlines Center:

“In light of the postponement of the NBA season, it is of utmost importance to Dallas Mavericks’ management and ownership that we do what we can to minimize the adverse financial impact that will be felt by staff who would otherwise be working our games at American Airlines Center. As such, the organization, along with American Airlines Center leadership, is currently making arrangements to ensure that scheduled event staff will receive payment for the six home games that were to take place during the 30-day NBA hiatus. As part of its mission to provide financial piece of mind, Mavericks jersey sponsor Chime, the leader in U.S. challenger banking, has also allocated funds to support this effort.

“Staff includes security, police, parking attendants, housekeeping, in-arena entertainers, and guest services staff, among others. It is our hope that this will allow our valued team members to satisfy their economic needs during this unprecedented time.

“In addition, the Mavericks and Chime share a commitment to their local communities and are working with our current nonprofit partners to identify support and service opportunities throughout North Texas during this time.”

Mavs’ Cuban: ‘Our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick’

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban issued the following statement on the passing of Kobe, and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, who, along with seven others, tragically passed away from a helicopter accident in California on Sunday.

Here what Cuban had to say:

“We are shocked and saddened by the devastating news of the passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Kobe was an ambassador for our game, a decorated legend and a global icon. Above all, he was a loving and dedicated father.

“Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick. 

“Our hearts go out to all the lives lost and the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and the family, the Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere.”

Westbrook not a MVP candidate?

According to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Russell Westbrook is not a MVP candidate. Cuban’s MVP candidates are Lebron James and James Harden. We all know that Westbrook and Cuban have had their issues over the years, but Cuban sounds silly when he says Westbrook is not a MVP candidate.

As far as I am concerned, if Westbrook ends the year averaging a triple-double, and OKC is at least one game over .500, in my mind he is the MVP. The reason is simple no one has averaged a triple double since the 1961-62 season(Oscar Robertson). In reality, the thought was that it would never be done again.  End of the day, that is enough for me to give Westbrook the MVP!