We spent the better portion of a year getting close to these guys. Seeing them work two to four times a week, seeing them play through injury, sometimes as we brushed our teeth before going to bed. We got a little tight with them but we know the rules.
Yeah, you know what time it is. We’re at the unofficial bar that you only go to for Going Aways to drink some I’ll-tell-you-how-I-really-feel-now beers. However, first, a bar chart made of words to put the guest count of this year’s Going Away in context of years past:
Interesting that this year’s list is tied for the lowest turnout we’ve had since 2011 but is still at eight. Also, 2012, damn.
How do we remember ex-players? It’s a mix of how much they played (playing time matters), how well they played, how memorable they were (did they hit any game-winners, invent a trademark celebration or commit any social media gaffes) and why they’re leaving (leaving for a rival is worse than retiring, for example).
So let’s say good-bye to this year’s outgoing Mavs on a scale of zero to 10.
Lee came in for the final third of the year as the 2016 mid-season waiver special. Lee did the Brandan Wright well, filling in as a backup big who can’t miss from the field (64 FG%). Lee was a good Mav but he missed the playoffs and his overall score is dampened by the short service.
Appreciate you score: 4
John Jenkins / Jeremy Evans:
Jenkins got waived. Evans got hurt. I don’t even remember what numbers they wore but they did make it into the Halloween team photo. Good game, guys.
Appreciate you score: 1
True bench Mavericks
The designated long-range sniper of the team, Mr. Flamethrower hit 27 percent of his threes and averaged eight minutes per game after the All-Star Game. Straight ice. He did get in a playoff tussle with Russell Westbrook and then claimed to get in Westbrook’s head, which is sort of like the guy who fell into a tiger cage at the zoo and then claimed that his hindquarters got up in the tiger’s face. Charlie V is still on the market. A S. Curry is taking his spot (yes!).
Appreciate you score: 0.
JaVale was waived to save $1.4 million, which ended up going into Dirk’s “Make It Right” check, which is like suspending National Park bathroom services to pad the defense budget. JaVale played in 2 games in March and April as #SalahSlam took over. That's why Google still thinks you’re looking for gifs if you search for JaVale.
Appreciate you score: 2, mostly for off-court shenanigans potential.
Key stat: 14,227. That’s the number of votes Zaza came short of starting the NBA All-Star game. Basically, if everybody with a smartphone at any home game voted once, he’s in! Shocking. A true glue guy, Zaza flirted with 20-rebound games a number of times, gave Dirk’s Twitter some action and gave Donnie Nelson a Facebook memory reminder in early July to ply a starting center from a cap-tight team. (“On this day, you were desperate for a starting center but you let it ride and it worked out. Do it again.”). Thanks, Z.
Appreciate you score: 8.
The Tyson Tax came through last year as the injuries piled up at the point. RayRay started 31 games, even notching a game-winner in double-OT in April. A true pro who stayed ready and put his hard hat on, Ray let Rick Carlisle lean on his “generic sport quotes” bank and proved that you don’t always judge a man’s game by a man’s shape. Ray got a minimum deal with the Clippers. Best to you, Ray.
Appreciate you score: 6.5.
Good: CP was balling from late January to early March. Over a 20 game stretch, he averaged 21/6/3 shooting a blistering 65 percente eFG, looking like a legitimate franchise piece as a point forward. Bad: For the rest of the year, he was averaging 10/4/2.5, either recovering from injuries or not playing well. Ugly: He also missed 16 games and the playoffs. After missing 19 games and most of the playoffs the year before. The talent is real but so are the injury and true ceiling questions.
Appreciate you score: 6.5 for the player, 3.5 to the player’s knees.
In summary, there’s an 8, some 4-6s and a few donuts/near-donuts. Sounds about right for an injured starter, a couple quality subs and a bunch of fringe guys. We didn’t arrive too early, had two drinks and went home for dinner, not at the burrito place with orange sauce. We’re not hungover tomorrow. The guys we really like are back. We’ve been to this party several years now.
Later, ex-Mavericks. Pour one out. We appreciate your service and look forward to your replacements.