When I heard you would be coming to Dallas, I couldn’t have been more excited. A fellow Australian playing for the Mavericks was just the thing I needed to validate my weird obsession with a team in Dallas, Texas, a place that I’ve never even been.
You were probably the player that I have been most excited about in the last several years.
I appreciated your grit and grind, something only someone who grew up playing Australian rules football could understand, and I was really excited about the force you would be playing along my NBA idol, Dirk Nowitzki.
I’ll be honest, I know there were plenty of skeptics about what you could do for our team, but I had the utmost faith that you could be the perfect fit at center. Your ability to rebound and defend the paint in a system that totally lacked this skill set was going to be so valuable, and I couldn’t wait to be the proud person who was able to say “I told you so.” I looked forward to celebrating our shared country of birth as the Dallas Mavericks showed the NBA that they were still capable of being competitive in one of the toughest divisions in the NBA.
I was (and still am) convinced that the reason that the Warriors weren’t able to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals last year was your injury. Since then, I have so valued your contribution to the NBA and will always be behind you in your endeavors to once again become a champion.
So, I guess the Dallas Mavericks experiment didn’t work out, but thank you for trying. Thank you for coming down and giving us what you have, regardless of the results. Thank you for proving many wrong when they said you weren’t trying and questioned your effort. There were nights when people said that you didn’t want to be in Dallas, but the next night you’d pull down 12 rebounds, dish out six assists and be responsible for two steals.
I wish you all the best in the future and will always remember your willingness to do what it takes to win, whether it’s start and take on some of the biggest bodies in the NBA or come off the bench for the benefit of the team to let Dirk wreak havoc at the 5-spot.
From one Australian to another, good onya mate, thanks for giving it a crack.