You guys, the NBA is the best and 90s music is the best. If you don't agree with those sentiments (or are too young to understand what I'm talking about) please feel free to not read further. But you really should read further.
On this NBA eve, like Christmas Eve through the eyes of a child, we're all full of excitement and hope and promise and happiness. And that is exactly what 90s music is. Look at this list of songs I tried really hard to fit into this article: Ace of Base's "The Sign." Blues Traveler's "Run Around." Fastball's "The Way." Del Amitri's "Roll To Me." Anything by Sugar Ray or early Matchbox Twenty. Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life." Eagle Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight." Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Tell me you don't smile just reading that list.
But there's only so much space in this article. After extensively listening to weeks and weeks of 90s music, and with a lot of
insistence encouragement from our own Kirk Henderson, I present to you the 2013-14 Mavericks in the form of 90s song dedications.
The "What IS This Team, Anyway?" Dedication
The Front Office - Gin Blossoms, "Follow You Down"
I know we're headed somewhere, I can see how far we've come
But still I can't remember anything
Let's not do the wrong thing and I'll swear it might be fun
It's a long way down when all the knots we've tied have come undone
Anywhere you go, I'll follow you down...
I'll follow you down, but not that far
There was no way I was going to not put a Gin Blossoms song on this. And "Follow You Down" perfectly describes the Mavs' offseason, or really, the past two offseasons. This 2013-14 season, we're headed somewhere. It's somewhere better than last season, we think, with players on multi-year contracts and our superstar in better shape than ever. We've fallen down, down from the highs of 2011. We're not sure where the front office has taken us since then. As a fan, I always believe my team will try to be competitive, and if that means I have to suffer a few down seasons, okay.
I have a breaking point, probably, but if they can "just not do the wrong thing" I'll follow them down for a while. So long as "down" still means "somewhat competitive."
The "We Really Need Point Guards, Hope and Youth" Dedication
Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel - Spin Doctors, "Two Princes"
This one he got a princely racket
That's what I said now
Got some Big Seal upon his jacket
Ain't in his head now
Marry him, marry me
I'm the one that loved you baby can't you see?
Ain't got no future or family tree
But I know what a prince and lover ought to be
Last season, the Mavericks' point guard at the end of the season was Mike James. MIKE JAMES. Who is both (a) old and (b) only sort of a point guard. Based on the amount of point guards the Mavs accumulated during the offseason, I have to think they agreed with me that this was a position of some need. They signed vets Jose Calderon and Devin Harris. But the two rookies - Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel - are the subjects of our 90s dedication.
Mekel, the rookie who has worked the whole offseason, given up his space representing Israel in Eurobasket, to be the point guard who loves us. Larkin, the son of Barry Larkin, who's "got the princely racket," but who (due to injury) will be joining the rotation soon as the presumed point guard of the future.
These two princes will be learning under Calderon for the chance to be what a
prince and lover point guard ought to be.
The "Oh God Please No" Dedication
Monta Ellis - Chumbawumba, "Tubthumping"
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
Do you know how easy it is to relate almost every single 90s song to Monta Ellis? Because I do. But ultimately I couldn't resist the opportunity to put the 90s classic "Tubthumping" on this list, and it works as well as anything. "I'm going to play Monta basketball." "I'm passing too much." All real quotes that play into the media narrative of "I get knocked down. But you're never gonna keep me down." (Cue evil laughter.)
Also, consider this: A whiskey drink. A vodka drink. A lager drink. A cider drink. All things we, as fans, could very realistically be doing on a regular basis should Monta Basketball start haunting our dreams.
I hope we can keep him down, a little. But we're never gonna keep him down, who are we kidding.
Honorable Mention goes to Kris Kross, "Jump," for obvious reasons.
The "Hey! We Have a Young Player on a Good Contract!" Dedication
Brandan Wright - Alanis Morissette, "Head Over Feet"
You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it, it's all your fault
You guys, I really really like Brandan Wright. I have liked Brandan Wright ever since my first full season watching the Mavs, and I am so happy he's back with the Mavs this season and every lyric of this song fits this situation perfectly. He's "stated [his] case, time and again." He waited for the Mavs to be able to afford him this summer the way Alanis's fictional lover "held [his] breath and the door for [her]."
Y'all, "I'm not used to [having good young players I like on reasonable contracts]." YAY.
The "Oh My God They're Back Again" Dedication
Devin Harris - Backstreet Boys, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
Oh my God, we're back again
Brothers, sisters, everybody sing
Gonna bring the flavor, show you how
Gotta question for you better answer now, yeah
The "What the Heck Happened Here?" Dedication
Vince Carter - OMC, "How Bizarre"
Pele yells, "We're outta here," Seena says, "Right on"
Make your moves and starting grooves before they knew we were gone
Jumped into the Chevy, headed for big lights
Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights
Look no further than our recent roundtable on Vince for how surprised a lot of our staff has been at Vince filling such a nice role here in Dallas. In my own player preview a few weeks ago, I talked about how crazy it is that VC's career numbers were in some statistical categories, the highest they've been in his career. At age 37, Vince is still a good player filling a very important role on this Mavs team. And that is...well, bizarre might be a good way to describe it.
We didn't know Vince wasn't gone.
And really, how long has it been since you had this song stuck in your head? YOU'RE WELCOME.
The "Fine Whatever Please Just Try To Be Good" Dedication
Jae Crowder - The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony"
And I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
So....Carlisle is still pretty determined to give Jae Crowder playing time. I'm guessing that continues! As we know, Crowder does do some things pretty well, but ultimately his determination to take low percentage shots is kind of the worst. A million different people from one day to the next.
Really, I just wanted to put this one on here for Andy, our resident Jae Crowder
hater enthusiast, though.
The "I Love You Always Forever" Dedication
Dirk Nowitzki - Aerosmith, "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing"
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure
Don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
'Cause I'd miss you, baby
And I don't wanna miss a thing
Sooooo many classic 90s love song options here. Shania Twain, "You're Still The One." Donna Lewis, "I Love You Always Forever." Ultimately though, I couldn't pass on Aerosmith's ode to Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck.
Enjoy the last few years of Dirk, everyone. Stay lost in those moments, that sweet surrender. I know I will.
Feel free to add your own 90s song dedications to Mavs current, former or theoretical in the comments below! BASKETBALL SEASON!