2012 remembered: Mavs Moneyball-style

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As we ring in the New Year, MMB takes a moment to remember 2012, the year we'll forever know as "what happened AFTER we won the championship".

When the clock hits midnight, 2013 will be here. Chances are, you won't feel all that differently, and nothing much will have changed, except that date.

For the Dallas Mavericks, 2012 was a year full of changes, and 2013 may bring even more yet. Gone already are familiar faces, like Kidd, Terry, Haywood, Mahinmi, Cardinal. In eight months time, we may be saying goodbye to those who have practically just arrived, like Kaman, Brand, maybe even Collison and Mayo.

The most enduring memory of 2012, as funny as it sounds, will probably be the memory of the year before. Though the Mavericks accomplished more than many teams in making the playoffs, the season felt a little like an extended victory lap. Fox Sports Southwest unveiled their "championship snapshot" campaign with glossy photos of the 2011 NBA Finals' best Mav moments, serving to keep us somewhat sated even as the team struggled at times to sustain a competent title defense, and were eventually swept by the revenge-hungry Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, owner Mark Cuban, coach Rick Carlisle, and beloved star Dirk Nowitzki are all a year older, and the team and us fans a year more separated from Finals glory. If time doesn't make those happier memories fuzzy, looking at the team taking the floor every night certainly might, as the current incarnation bears little resemblance to the one that won it all, both cosmetically and in the record column.

To older sports fans, this is likely nothing new. Things change, yes? There may even be some of you out there who still can recall Moody Madness, and the Blackmon-Harper-Aguirre led 80's teams that first brought exciting NBA action to the Metroplex. Seasons pass and the names on the backs of the jerseys are different. As Vonnegut said, so it goes.

Still, it's nice to look back and have moments nicely preserved, as a record, because they can remind us not only of what was, but of who we were. I think I can safely say that I felt different as a Mavs fan in 2012, different than I had in 2010, or 2006, or 2002. You grow with your team, often, mature with them, rejoice and despair with them, their ebb and flow matching our own. I guess the players aren't the only things that change, afterall.

So, here it is, the year that soon will be the year that was, 2012:

BEST MOMENT: Dirk checks in for first time, December 23rd, 2012

It might say something when the best moment of 2012 occurs in a loss to a bitter rival. Maybe you'd prefer Dirk's 40 point night against Utah back in early March, or his incredible fallaway game winner against Orlando later that month. For us, the return of Dirk was the best moment because it gave a glimmer of hope and happiness in an otherwise bleak period that we are still hoping to escape from. Dirk is the Dallas Mavericks, past and present, and we hope that he has a lot of time remaining in their uture, as well.

WORST MOMENT: Thunder sweep Mavericks 4-0 in first round of 2012 NBA Playoffs, May 5th, 2012

If you're taking the good, sometimes you have to take the bad, too. IWhile being swept in defense of a championship was painful, there were some positives to take away. The Thunder were clearly the best team in the West that year, demolishing the Lakers and handling the Spurs as well en route to the NBA Finals. Losing to them was no insult. And, though the absence of a Maverick win might suggest otherwise, it was not a series in which the Mavs simply rolled over. They held leads in the 4th quarter of three of the four games, including game 3 in which they found back from a double-digit deficit. The Mavericks would lose these games in the end because they simply could not keep up with the firepower of the OKC squad, but it was not without considerable effort.

FUNNIEST MOMENT: Dirk provides another announcing gem, January 25th, 2012

Another year, another slogan. 2011 gave us "Take dat wit 'chew!", and 2012 gave us the not-as-good, but still funny "Shut it doooooown! Let's go hoooome!" Hopefully, he's done being hurt this year so we won't have to have a 2013 slogan. The play itself here is pretty good, too. I hope that even when Dirk's playing days are over he can find the time to make an occasional guest announcing appearance, just so we can have more catchphrases in the future.

There you have it. The good, the bad, the hilarious in video of 2012.

We also asked our MMB writers to provide their New Years' resolutions.

Lisa: As a fan I resolve to stop throwing my remote at the wall when Dallas gives up offensive rebounds for second chance points.

Tim: As a fan I resolve to appreciate Dirk Nowitzki as the greatest player the Mavericks have ever had, even if we've lost (insert large number here) games in a row.

Andy: As a fan, I resolve to try to find peace with the distance between my hopes and realities and appreciate the good without allowing the bad to poison me. We are here, and we go forward.

Kirk: As a fan, I resolve to stop being such a vocal eeyore about the Mavs stinking. Wish me luck.

Alan: As a fan, I resolve to not get my hopes up over every big name tossed around as an acquisition, because it always seems to end in heartbreaOOH DeMarcus Cousins wants to come to Dallas?! Cool!

What about you all(or, for the regionally inclined, "y'all")? What are your best moments? What are your fan resolutions? Please, feel free to post whatever stands out for you about 2012.

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