This year's Dallas Mavericks set out and succeeded in changing their mantra of soft on the court, and are now generally regarded as a "tough" team; however, their classiness and efforts off the court using their NBA positions to help improve society clearly show that their tough exterior is an on-court attitude only. When thinking of the word "class", one player in particular comes to mind. Caron Butler, originally brought to the Mavericks in 2010, was viewed a a physical, tough player, who could help change Dallas' mentality. However, with a tumultuous past long behind him, he is now an epitome of class. Some view the NBA as a league full of tattooed thugs, but Caron Butler is as good of a class act as one can find. Following his trade from Washington to Dallas, he wrote a letter to the Washington Post to his fanbase in Washington, thanking them for their support. He did not portray any sort of frustration or indignation upon learning that his habit of chewing straws, a practice which he had continued for years without problems, was banned.
But while Caron Butler is a great example, he is just one of many on the Mavericks team. Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry are all veterans who are very involved with the community, always ready to contribute to charitable causes. Two summers ago, Dirk went all the way to Johannesburg, South Africa as a part of the Basketball without Borders program. Both Jasons Terry and Kidd support their own foundations to support others. Not even two months ago, Jason Kidd hosted a casino night which was able to raise over $125,000.
This is just a few of the Maverick players, but I could announce each one and how they've made an impact, and each one would have a significant lead. Even the Mavericks organization itself spares no pains in nurturing their position on the Mavericks to help others. The Mavericks operate or host many different charitable operations: the Mavs Reading Challenge, Teacher's Recognition Program, and Coat Drive, just to name a few.
This is just what the NBA needs. With negative role models in the NBA being prominent, its nice to see an entire organization be prominent for being good role models. It shows the class the organization truly shows, and the respect that is earned because of it.
On the basketball court, the Mavericks are just becoming known as tough, but off the court they've been softies for years.