New Loud City ThunderCast
December 29, 2010
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The guys at Loud City have a new podcast up. Go give it a listen.
OKC ThunderCast #55: Dallas Mav-wrecks
Their podcast today is really just one of their guys, Brent, speaking on his feelings regarding the end of the Mavs game. It is a good podcast (go here if you cannot hear it but want to see what he’s saying) and the issue of how the Mavs players acted down the stretch is something I also have been pondering. Particularly, it seemed out of character from the guys who participated in the showing up of the home town team.
Here is what I think I know from years of observation:
- Butler and Chandler are both passionate and emotional players. I saw Butler play many years while he was in DC, and despite such a losing culture, I never got the sense that he was a dirty player or poor sport.
- Jason Terry has always played with a little chip on his shoulder, but I’ve always interpreted his comments to be very down to earth and well-spoken. Indeed, he was effusive in his praise of the Thunder fans after the fact. Yes, he got into it a little bit with a fan, but I can’t believe that those exchanges are different from any of the other 28 arenas.
- The two team leaders of this team, Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, are not bad eggs. They’re dedicated and quiet professionals. The next time I hear Dirk say something controversial or critical of the league will be the first.
- Ergo, is Brent’s conclusion correct? Have at least some of these guys been “corrupted” for lack of a better word by Mark Cuban’s largesse and bravado?
Truth be told, I kind of like Cuban. I think he’s actually good for the league. Despite all of the attention he brings to himself, much of it negative and quite deserved, the fact remains that he has helped usher in a new golden age for the NBA. He provides a first-rate experience for his fans, he puts his players and coaches in the best position possible with all the tools required to win, and he has helped bring greater transparency to how the league works (particularly when it comes to referees). He willingly takes an operating loss on his team’s business operations in order to put the best team possible on the court. On a personal note, I think he’s really freaking smart when it comes to his business acumen. Say what you want about his team management style, but when it comes to putting dollars and cents together, Cuban knows how to bring good ideas to market fruition, and he does it in a wide array of spectra (Remember that sweet little movie “Akeelah and the Bee?” Cuban made that one).
So, what to do? I like to think of it this way – consider Bill Belichick. Is he good for the NFL? The answer is obvious. Is Belichick kind of an SOB? That answer is also pretty obvious. So do I have to like him because of what he brings to the table? Of course not. He’s the foil, the antagonist, the Iago, the Joker, and Darth Vader. Do we have to like them? No. Do we need them? YES.
Colonel Jessup said it well:
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.