Here’s a list of all the disastrous things that have happened to the Dallas Mavericks since the championship in 2011, all through the fault of their own terrible decision-making or rotten luck.
- Let the best center in franchise history walk so they could preserve cap space to sign a second star next to Dirk Nowitzki like Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.
- Traded for Lamar Odom and then watched him go so MIA that the Mavs didn’t share their playoff bonus with him.
- The Mavs got swept in the first round as the eighth seed to finish off that turd of a season.
- Failed to sign Deron Williams; Mark Cuban didn’t even go to the meeting.
- Finished the season out of the playoffs for the first time since 2000 behind a weird roster of one-year deals in hopes of signing Dwight Howard the following summer.
- Failed to sign Dwight Howard; Mark Cuban showed a cartoon at the meeting.
- After two years of abandoning the plan powder, star-chasing nonsense and building the roster back up through quality B and C level player moves, Dallas cashes in their final chip to get...Rajon Rondo. Rondo is a turd butt for most of the season before being sent home during the Mavs first-round loss to the Rockets.
- Let the greatest center in franchise history walk so they can preserve cap space to sign a second star next to Dirk Nowitzki like DeAndre Jordan.
- Failed to sign DeAndre Jordan after a whole mess of crap happened that I don’t want to type again.
- Missing the playoffs for the second time in 17 years after Dirk missed a lot of games.
- Trading for a “Tyson Chandler starter kit” in the 22-year-old Nerlens Noel and then proceeding to completely wet the bed in trying to develop him as both parties just kind of gave up on trying to make it work.
Phew that’s a lot! Not much has gone right for Dallas since 2011 as the Mavericks tried and failed to bridge the gap from the Dirk era to the post-Dirk great beyond. Instead they face-planted and are now just another bad, rebuilding team with a couple of promising long-term pieces. There is one giant difference about the Mavericks compared to everyone else though and that’s the insane stability of the coaching and front-office staffs. The recent boondoggle in Memphis with the firing of David Fizdale only illuminated it.
Since 2011, every NBA team except the Mavs, Spurs, Heat and Raptors have changed coaches. That’s a lot of coaching changes! That’s in addition to countless front office changes as teams bring in new general managers, promote others to vice president of basketball operations and hire Phil Jackson to smoke peyote and sit in a large chair during games. Yet throughout this six-year span, the head of the Mavs hasn’t changed: Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson put the team together and Rick Carlisle coaches it.
It hasn’t led to great results lately as the Mavs have faded to obscurity while Dirk is still on the roster. Even when you add in all those terrible moments and drama-inducing headaches up above, it still doesn’t really match what a lot of other teams have gone through. Fizdale — a two-year coach — feuded with the best player in his team’s history as the franchise is reaching a breaking point. Phil Jackson tried to trade one of the brightest stars in the league because he didn’t conform to his outdated basketball philosophies. The Kings traded away an MVP-level talent and rebooted with multiple head coaches. The Clippers took away Doc Rivers GM powers (and had the whole, you know, Donald Sterling thing). Even good teams like the Cavaliers and Rockets had to endure some coaching and even front-office drama before getting to where they wanted to be.
Yet there go the Mavericks, still rocking what’s regarded as one of the top three coaches in the league and a front office that, while not with a spotless track record by any means, has a history of accumulating good players. Say what you will about the Mavericks tire-fire plan that was chasing stars, they’re damn good at sifting through the cracks and finding good players at the level or two below the stars. When they actually want to draft and not save money, they do OK. Rick has his weaknesses as he’s getting used to coaching a lottery-bound team, but there’s no denying he’s rubbing off on Dennis Smith Jr., got the most out of Yogi Ferrell, unleashed Seth Curry, groomed Harrison Barnes and somehow turned Dwight Powell into a player with an elite skill. That’s something! Stop snickering, I’m doing the best I can.
It’s also something that of all the things an NBA team has to worry about when building their team, the Mavericks don’t have to fret about the leadership up top. There’s something oddly soothing about going into an off-season not worrying about who is going to lead the team the next year, even with the dust-ups Carlisle’s instigated in the last five years. There’s no doubt the fan base has gotten a little restless during these past two seasons, but having a steady hand while the Mavs nurture the most important young talent they’ve had since Dirk was a teenager is really important.
Dallas doesn’t have huge stable of rebuilding talent past Smith, but they still have the foundation of a championship team on the bench and in the front office. Maybe that means nothing five years from now, but it’s better than nothing as other NBA teams plow through coaches like a can of Pringles.