So, it happened yesterday, a few days earlier than expected. Reunion Arena, former home of the Dallas Mavericks came crashing down in a heap of dust and twisted metal.
I didn't think I'd be as sad as I am knowing that Reunion is gone. I wasn't bothered by Arlington Stadium or what will happen to Texas Stadium, but something about Reunion is different. This was the place where my love of basketball began and my fascination with the Dallas Mavericks was kindled.
My Top 10 Mavericks Memories from Reunion Arena (I say memories because they're not all specific events)...in no particular order
1) Kevin McCarthy's PA ways. I wasn't a fan of Humble Billy. I don't think PA guys need to be over the top (or DJ's in the case of Miami). McCarthy was understated and classy. I always liked that.
2) Barely any luxury suites. It never really dawned on me when I would go there, after all, I was a kid. However, looking back, this made it much more "college-like" in the fan intensity...I'm not sure that makes sense, but I think you guys know what I'm talking about.
3) The Triple J era. Remember 1994? Tonya Harding busted what's her name in the knee and made a sex tape about it (check my facts). The Menendez brothers killed their parents with OJ's bloody Bruno Magli shoes. I was captivated by the X-Men cartoon and the three core players on the Mavericks: Jason Kidd v 1.0, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn. Remember? The year before kid was the 13 win year and then this rookie showed up and was a triple double machine. Then Jim Jackson had sex with Toni Braxton and effed the whole thing up. Damn you, Toni Braxton.
4) The sheer volume level. What I remember about Reunion is that it didn't really need all the lights, sound, smoke and lasers to make it home field. The Rowdies (where I credit "Rowdy, Proud, and Loud") made that place damn near uncomfortable to play for visitors. In that 1988 WCF against the Lakers, CBS apparently measured the game 6 volume at 121 decibels.
5) Now that I mention it, the entire 1988 season. Roy Tarpley was THE 6th man. Aguirre and Donaldson made the All-Star team. All together just kick ass before running into Show Time.
Rest after the jump...
6) The collapse in 1989 and 1990. I didn't say they were all good memories. The Aguirre for Dantley move. The Schrempf for Herb Williams move. James Donaldson loses his knee. Tarpley discovers alcohol and drugs. Perkins goes to the Lakers.
7) Fat Lever. Yes, he was a Nugget for most of his career. Yes, he came to the Mavericks after the 1990 debacle. Yes, he only played 35 games in 3 season. But damn it, his nickname was "Fat" and I was a kid who thought that was hilarious.
8) A young Michael Finley stokes hope again with Nellie on the bench. After the Triple J thing stopped working, and the NBA went all lock out on us. Finley went off and would be the foundation of the team. Nellie stepped out of the GM role and on to the bench for what would become the Mavs re-birth into today's greatness.
9) The German Invasion...part 3. Apparently I forgot that WWII humor doesn't sit well with the internet. So, I'll just say this. Dirk came into the locker room of Reunion a young schnitzel. Now's he's the big sausage. (That wasn't funny. I'm sorry.) Don't forget, he wasn't the first big German to play for the Mavs, he was third after Schrempf and Blab.
10) Cubes takes over, and the Mavs move on a good note. The brand spanking new AAC was built, and the Mavs had a young nucleus and a flashy new owner.
Video of the collapse, courtesy of the Dallas Observer's Unfair Park Blog