[Ed. note: reporting by Rebecca Lawson; transcription and analysis by Kate Crawford]
Mark Cuban had a lot to say following today's new player press conference. Check out the highlights below:
On getting Tyson Chandler back to Dallas...
All's well that ends well. I think it turned out just the way I planned.
On what he expects from Chandler Parsons...
Chandler is one of those fallen angels in some respects, where he does so much more than people give him credit for because [Houston] had guys who liked to dominate the ball. I think, when asked, he can score, he'll pass, he finishes. He was top five in the league in percentage on floaters.
On increased expectations for this year's bench...
I think it's a strength-in-numbers type thing. Last year we were really dependent on one or two guys to really pick up off the bench... but now we'll have so many different guys who can come in and score, whether it's Jameer [Nelson], whether it's [Richard Jefferson], whoever is coming off the bench, we'll have a lot more weapons than we did last year.
There's guys that teams had a lot of high expectations for that kind of fell through the cracks. [Al-Farouq Aminu] was the number one rebounding small forward in the NBA the last two seasons but New Orleans didn't really trust him for some reason, so they let him go. We're thrilled. Like I said, he was the first call I made. Greg Smith became available because Chicago was trying to get a big piece, and we've been trying to get him for a couple of years. Raymond [Felton] wasn't just a throw-in in the Tyson deal, he was somebody that through the 2010-11 season we were this close to signing him. These are all guys that we've had our eyes on for a long time, and so when other teams get off of them, we're excited to sign them.
His effusive praise for the bench makes sense, since Cuban believes this is the deepest team since the 2011 championship, and a lot of his comments focused on that depth, on his vision for more team-oriented basketball, and on the importance of the team's veteran leadership:
I think we added six guys who were starters on other teams last year, and we were able to keep a lot of our depth as well. We've got a group where everybody has had their own personal success but not a lot of team success or varied team success, so I think coming here we don't have guys who are looking just to throw up numbers. We've got guys who they've already done that, and now they're looking to win. They're not 21 or 22 anymore, and they're ready to win, and so that's gonna have a big impact.
I don't want [Dirk] to be a 20-point scorer. Monta has that capability; Chandler has that capability; Dirk's got that capability. Richard Jefferson's got that capability; Jameer, 15; Raymond could do 15, if that was the focus, but that's not our focus. That's the cool thing. There's gonna be times where we over pass, and that'll probably be one of the challenges that Rick has, that some of our guys will be too unselfish.
Once guys buy into who we are, and that's where the leadership in the locker room makes a difference, when you have Jameer and Dirk and Tyson and even Chandler Parsons talking to guys about what's important to win. Tyson outside of us never made it past the first round. Jameer made it to the Finals, but you've got a lot of guys who really want team success... our whole conversation with Jameer was more about wanting him for his leadership skills than anything else. My conversation with Al-Farouq was more about "here's a skillset that you have that's really good that we need, and you may not get as many minutes but when you come in, you're gonna be good at what you do." Same with RJ. Greg Smith, same thing... We're gonna have our guys Dirk and Chandler and Tyson and Monta and Devin that can do what they do at the end of the game, but I still think this is all about team, and it just feels a lot better that way.
He also shared his thoughts on the evolution of the NBA, including the ever-expanding role of analytics (over the last season, the Mavericks analytics team expanded from three to about 20):
The game is very efficient, and it changes very rapidly, a lot faster because there's a lot fewer old school owners, a lot fewer old school teams anymore, and I think you're gonna see a lot of things where old school basketball guys just shake their heads and go what the hell are we doing?
You always hear me say coaching matters. I think now in this NBA, coaching matters dramatically more because the league is smart. When I got in and we did analytics in the 2000 season, nobody knew what analytics were. Then Daryl and Houston started geek-a-palooza and more people and more teams became familiar with it, but the result of that is that it's a much smarter league. Everybody pays attention to what everybody else is doing and analyzes it and overanalyzes it and reacts to it. So everybody knows probably of the 30 teams, 26 of them know exactly what San Antonio did to win, what we did best against San Antonio defensively, and they're all gonna make those adjustments this coming year. And so because of that, trying to stay one step ahead is even more important, and I think that's really where Rick excels.
So what can we expect to see this year? Cuban didn't get into many specifics (though in an earlier response he did mention Parsons running the offense for the second unit), but he hinted that he and Carlisle have some adjustments planned:
You'll see us do some things that people will shake their head over, and that's a good thing, because we want to change the game. But I'm not going to tell you until we see if we can do it. The things that we're practicing now, I would've shaken my head at a few years ago. I'm yelling at Tyson Chandler to shoot threes.
What else would you liked to have heard Cuban address? And are you more excited to see Chandler Parsons run the offense or Tyson Chandler start shooting threes? Let us hear it in the comments below!