'Are The Mavs Like The Ewings?' In Donuts
This story originally published on DallasBasketball.com

Posted Aug 15, 2012

It is just us, or it J-Ho's hat-in-hand problem kind of a drag? ... Roy Hibbert's sad story ... 'No' to Bolt but 'maybe' to Mangold? ... Please put away the Lakers annointing oil ... Is the Mavs family (or, actually, Mavs followers like us) like the family of J.R. Ewing?

DONUT 1: The righteous indignation! ...

So a Dallas Mavericks fan points out, with great indignation, that for the last 13 years, the Spurs and the Lakers have maybe been better than your Mavs.

And of course, we begrudgingly admit, there is no "maybe'' about it. Add up the rings.

But it's the indignation I do not understand.
For the last 13 years, the Lakers and Spurs are among the few teams that have been, however slightly, better than the Mavs. Maybe the other owner is "better,'' whatever "better'' means. Maybe it's the same with the GM, the coach, and yes, even the star player. Maybe Kobe and Duncan are "better'' than Dirk Nowitzki.

Do you really view that as outrageous? As blasphemous? Maybe there have simply been a couple of franchises that are better than this franchise. ... and maybe the "reason'' is simply that they've been better. Maybe Jordan/Anybody was better than Malone/Stockton. Maybe Tom Brady's teammates/coaches/talent/luck was better than Peyton Manning's.

Why is this such a horrifying thought to some?

I'm watching 'Dallas' the other night (the new TNT thing; it's not exactly "good'' and yet it does suck you in, soap-opera style). And some female character or another (they all look the same to me in that they are in desperate need of a cheeseburger or five), says, "That's one thing about being a Ewing: You NEVER lose.''

DONUT 2: "We Deserve To Win!'' ...

Sometimes, I think that's the way we as sports fans view things. WE ARENT SUPPOSED TO LOSE. We DESERVE BETTER!!!

But there are 30 groups of NBA fans who have every right, if they wish, to think this way. There are fan gaskets being blown every year in 29 of those cities.

Truth is, the Ewings DO lose. Their mom dies and gets replaced by Donna Reed. Their wives cheat on them and get blown up in car accidents. Their oil wells run dry and they have to sell Southfork. Their kids are drug addicts and whores. They get shot. They die.

But otherwise, the Ewings think they should never and do never lose.

DONUT 3: Witten goes down ...

And the Blame Game begins.

Jason Witten’s spleen injury has the Cowboys scrambling for help at the tight end position while also hoping the All-Pro’s recovery does not impact his availability for the team’s regular-season opener on Sept. 5 against the Giants.
In Monday’s preseason game at Oakland, the star tight end caught a short pass from pressured quarterback Tony Romo and was immediately tackled violently. Witten was slow to his feet, but returned for the next series and caught a pass for an 8-yard gain. After the game, he talked of the tackle and reported no ill effects and team owner Jerry Jones breathed a sign of relief.

“I held my breath,’’ Jones said, “when I saw Witten take that lick.’’

And now the organization does the same for the all-time great Witten, who in his nine NFL seasons has 696 catches for 7,909 yards and 41 touchdowns. Witten will almost certainly miss the remainder of the preseason, and with backup tight end John Phillips working to recover from an ankle injury, the Cowboys are thin at the position. Rookie James Hanna has performed well at camp. Andrew Szczerba is the other tight end on the roster.

Therefore, the Cowboys have signed Harry Flaherty, a 23-year-old street free agent who is the nephew of head coach Jason Garrett. Flaherty played at Princeton (as did Garrett) and has been in the Cowboys and Saints camps.

Hopefully, Cowboys fans, and Jerry -- and in a literal sense, Witten himself -- will soon be able to sigh with relief and without pain. In the meantime, the football world now contemplates the same question we deal with in basketball when it comes to international play: What is the risk/reward? Who is to blame? Are we supposed to bubblewrap talented players until the real games begin? And while it's easy to write "no parachuting allowed'' into contracts, how much are injuries simply the fault of the nature of the sports we watch and play?

DONUT 4: Goose on the loose ...

I see where old chum Rick Gosselin of the DallasNews says "the Lakers have just shown the Mavs how to build a champion,'' or something like that.

You want an on-paper concession from Dallas? Consider it made. But where is that invisible "Summer of 2013 Championship Trophy''? The Lakers showed the Mavs how to win? Last time I checked, when the two teams went head-to-head for the sole purpose of one "showing'' the other ... didn't Dallas win?

Friends, we are about too see the Lakers annointed as West champs 82 nights over the course of the fall, winter and spring. Let's not hurry to hurry to annoint, OK?

DONUT 5: Sad tale in Sacto ...

There are few things sadder than a boy dying of leukemia. But this may top that: Roy Hibbert planned a trip to Sacramento to meet the boy ... but the boy didn't live long enough to enjoy the visit.
DONUT 6: Before, you even ask ...

Before, you even ask: The answer is "no.'' Olympian Usain Bolt cannot play in the NFL. No, no, no.

Now, Olympian Holley Mangold, that's a "maybe.''

DONUT 7: Hat-in-hand ...

Is it just us, or is it sort of a drag to watch old friend Josh Howard go door-to-door, hat-in-hand, trying to find work?

Over the weekend, there was a report of Josh "nearing a decision,'' which suggests this is all in J-Ho's power. Pacers, Warriors, Knicks and Nets, say the reports ... but that sounds like agent-speak.

If this was really Josh's decision, he'd be a Mav. This is home now (he lives here in the offseason and has a child here). J-Ho is reduced to this because of injury, I guess, and not because of his "I Can't Control What The Ball Do'' silliness. But either way ... just a bit of a drag.

DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter ...

DONUT 9: Coach K on LeBron ...

Olympics boss Mike Krzyzewski calls LeBron James "as smart as any player playing any game.''

This -- more than the title, the MVPs and the gold -- may be the greatest single act that reforms the image of LeBron James.

DONUT 10: How the CBA wasn't supposed to work ...

We got us a new CBA. Then small-market New Orleans gave up on keeping Chris Paul and traded him. Then small-market Phoenix gave up on keeping Steve Nash and traded him. Then small-market Orlando gave up on keeping Dwight Howard and traded him.

And all three got traded to the Lakers.

How's that CBA working for y'all, owners and players?

DONUT 11: Want more Mavs? ...

We've got the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
By the way, we take that same focus that we provide on the Mavs here on DB.com and apply it to the Mavs and the Cowboys on 105.3 The Fan.

Listen live here for some Fish on Football and for breaking Mavs stuff, too
... throughout today and every day ... and we'll take you inside the teams in every possible way!

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

So Jerry Jones is on the radio the other day talking with "Elf & Slater'' and he's so smitten with the lovely Jane that he instructs her to call him "Jerome.''

Yes, so smitten the man cannot even remember his own given name. Which is "Jerral.''


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