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President's Day Links

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Real late today as I've been taking advantage of a day off from work.

I'll start with my favorite of the day.

Potentially the tensest moment of Sunday's All-Star Game never materialized.

Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade didn't greet one another as the Western and Eastern Conference starters met at Thomas & Mack Center midcourt circle just before the opening tip.

Each bumped fists and man-hugged with just about every starter out there. Somehow, Nowitzki and Wade missed sharing pleasantries.
I don't know why this makes me so happy, but it does. I guess as fans we always want to feel a connection with the players we cheer for. Having our teams best player not be real fond of one all of our least favorite players does exactly that.

Welcome to our club Dirk. I can't wait until Thursday...

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Despite being the lowest scorer for West All-Stars, Josh Howard had a good time.
"I enjoyed the weekend," said Howard, who had three points and four rebounds in about 20 minutes. "Being around those guys I've been playing against the last three-and-half years, it's been great. For me to be able to label myself as an All-Star now is even better.

"I'm going to enjoy this moment. It's another one in the books. Now, I'm trying to get a championship."

"It was All-Star weekend," Howard said. "Lights, camera, action. Everything was going on, and I was a part of it."
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Thers' been a lot of talk lately that Phoenix was pretty much conceding the West to Dallas and this quote from D'Antoni seem to confirm that.
"If they would cooperate every once in a while and lose, but they don't lose," he said. "We're not going to catch them if they don't lose. We have to keep Steve healthy, get Kurt Thomas back. And if we catch them, we catch them. If we don't, we'll meet them later."
Smart move. It's not really a great idea to use a 7 man rotation throughout the regular season.

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David Moore held a Mavs chat on the DMN site earlier this afternoon. Not much of interest. He thinks Phoenix has easily overtaken San Antonio as the strongest opponent in the West, doesn't think Dallas will make a trade because of the Mbenga injury, and predicts Dirk will win the MVP.

Moore also had an article about Kobe in the paper this morning.

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Marc Stein points that the Mavs have history on their side when it comes to their chance of winning it all.
The Dallas Mavericks, in case you'd forgotten, are 30-2 in their last 32 games.

But that's not all.

The Mavs also have the fourth-highest overall winning percentage, at .830, of any team at the All-Star break since 1980.

Why is that significant? Besides establishing Dirk Nowitzki as the MVP favorite in a two-man race entering the stretch run -- ahead of two-time reigning MVP and good buddy Steve Nash -- it's worth noting that the only three teams in that span with a higher winning percentage at this juncture all went on to win the championship.

As did the team in fifth right behind Dallas.

The list:
* 1995-96 Bulls (42-5, .894)
* 1996-97 Bulls (42-6, .875)
* 1982-83 76ers (43-7, .860)
* 2006-07 Mavericks (44-9, .830)
* 1985-86 Celtics (38-8, .826)
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Art Garcia looks at the best from the All-Star weekend. He also talked to Mark Cuban about having the All-Star game in Dallas -- or Arlington anyway.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is serious about bringing the All-Star Game to North Texas as soon as the Cowboys' new stadium opens in Arlington.

Cuban said the Mavs have held preliminary discussions with Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones about hosting the NBA's midseason showcase in the $1 billion stadium scheduled to open in 2009.

"It's all set, assuming the NBA approves it," Cuban said. "We want to do it at the first available moment. The new stadium solves all of our problems. It'll be great for North Texas."

The earliest game the stadium would be ready to host would be 2010.

Cuban added that a formal bid hasn't been submitted to the league.
There is one constant across all American sports, "If you build it they will come". Expect the All-Star game, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four to be coming to Arlington.