If you’re anything like me, you were excited with the Dallas Mavericks traded for veteran journeyman Josh McRoberts over the summer. After all, McRoberts has flashed moments of great all-around play throughout his career and sported some of the most luxurious hair the NBA has seen in recent history. His hair this season is no different. However, something is different this season. Or maybe it’s actually more of the same.
Over the past three seasons, McRoberts incurred a series of injuries that sidelined him for all but 81 games. Dallas, then, could be seen as a fresh start for the big man. A chance to reignite his career. However, after already missing the first few preseason games, it’s anyone’s guess when McRoberts will be available to play.
“I don’t know,” head coach Rick Carlisle said of when McRoberts will be ready. “He’s wearing out the exercise bike, I’ll tell you that. He’s doing well and his health situation, I think I would say, is progressing.
“He went through a lot last year. He had three broken bones in his foot. He’s got a toe thing that’s been a problem in his career. We’re being cautious with him.”
Carlisle went on to describe McRobert’s situation as similar to that of Maxi Kleber, who was held out of this year’s summer league due to injury concerns, and Peja Stojakovic when he joined the team.
“The same thing happened with Stojakovic when we got him here in 2011,” Carlisle said. “We basically put him in a two and a half week training camp to get him over a little knee issue and then he was a big contributor on the championship team.”
It’s unlikely that this season will end in a championship for the Mavericks, but they know what they are doing when it comes to player rehabilitation. Carlisle trusts head trainer Casey Smith and his staff to make the right call when assessing players. For McRoberts, it means that he needs more time before he can step on the court and be a contributor.
I’m sure I’m not the only one disappointed that McRoberts isn’t ready to go yet. It’s unfortunate that he’s again dealing with injuries. Everything isn’t lost, though. It’s my belief that he’ll suit up at some point this season. When he does, he’ll add a unique element to a team that promises to be fun. For now, we’ll just have to admire that glorious hair.