For a team that has won 50 games or more in the last nine consecutive seasons – especially one that has the most animated owner in sports and a top ten player in his league – the Dallas Mavericks tend to fly under the radar. Some of that is their own doing since the team has not won a championship in that span and only competed in one NBA Finals. Some of that is the fanbase that is far more concerned about the Cowboys (and college football… and high school football… and the Rangers). And some of that is the location where the team does not really appeal to either coast. This probably is not a year to sleep on the Dallas Mavericks. With the Lakers getting older, Oklahoma City maturing and Dallas adding pieces, the West could be even more competitive than it was in 2009-10 when all eight playoff teams won 50 games.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined KRLD in Dallas to discuss how the Miami Heat are like the Oakland Raiders, “hell yes” the Mavericks could beat the Lakers, Dallas as the deepest team in the NBA by far, the perception that he was trying buy the Texas Rangers away from Nolan Ryan and the lack of interest in his team right now.
On the Miami Heat:
“We finally have an Oakland Raiders of the NBA in the Miami Heat. Everybody is going to love to hate that team. That’s going to make for a really, really interesting season.”
On if the Mavs could beat the Lakers:
“Hell yes. That’s it. Hell yes. We’ve got the size now. We’ve got the depth. We’ve got a lot more depth than the Lakers. It’s not even close there.”
On expectations on the Mavs after nine straight 50-win seasons:
“I’m excited about it. We’re going to continue our streak. We’re going to have a great team. I think we have the depth, experience and are younger and more athletic to kind of fill some holes we had last year. We are going to be better… This is a really, really special opportunity for us. We’re going to have the deepest team in the NBA by far. I think our second unit, J.J. (Barea), Jet (Rodigue Beaubois) and probably Shawn Marion or Caron Butler switching back and forth with the second unit with rookie Dominique Jones playing the three, Tyson Chandler playing the four and Brendan (Haywood) or Ian (Mahini) playing the five. Our second unit could beat a lot of first units. We’re going to have so much depth that it’s really going to give us an advantage this year. All our guys are coming in with one focus only and that’s to win a championship. That’s the goal. “
On the perception that he was trying to take the Texas Rangers away from Nolan Ryan:
“No. In reality, there were several people trying to take the team away from those guys. As I said in my blog, I initially contacted them. Once it went to bankruptcy a couple different things could happen. There were a bunch of deals with Tom Hicks which I think created the uncertainty and the opportunity for me to get involved. If Tom didn’t relinquish the obligation that Chuck and Nolan had to him, the creditors were going to raise holy hell because it’s in bankruptcy court. At that time, there was other guys willing to come in and grab the team. That’s where I came in and said, ‘Look, I’m happy to be a backstop,’ because there was a very real situation where they could lose the team. Then, as we got into bankruptcy court, Tom did relinquish those obligations. It became a binary issue where we knew how much money they had and what the creditors were going to do. So, I thought, ‘OK, if they’re not able to raise the money and the creditors are going to raise hell, we’ll buy the team and that’s a good thing.’ That might not have made some folks happy regarding Chuck because he wouldn’t have had the team, but we would have provided him an opportunity to stay there. I honestly think, I know, Nolan Ryan would have stayed and Jon Daniels too.”
And on lack of interest in the Mavericks this time of year:
“It’s always that way this time of the year except when we were coming off the Finals. We always hit this lull. The Rangers are keeping people occupied where the weren’t before and the Cowboys are kicking in. The Cowboys really take everyone’s attention at the start of the season. We always get this kind of lull as we come in. Once we start playing and the games start kicking in and the juices start kicking up, people start paying more attention. Even as the Rangers play deep into October, I think we’ll be OK. Dallas is such a great sports town. A rising tide lifts all boats. Hopefully, the Cowboys will turn it up – I’m sure they will – the Rangers will make the W0rld Series and the Mavs will kick off a great season.”