When you watch the Dallas Mavericks’ newest center Boban Marjanovic play on television, it is natural to want to compare Boban’s size against other NBA players, or against the actual basketball itself, or really against any object in his vicinity. And each comparison will more than likely leave you shaking your head at the sheer colossus that is Boban.
And just when you think you have, in your mind’s eye, a somewhat accurate idea of Boban’s behemoth stature, you meet him in person and everything you’ve ever known about measurements and how your mind works, is all out the window. There’s truly no way to quantify the mass Boban occupies on this our planet Earth, until that is you meet him face-to-face (this is a figure of speech because you probably won’t have access to a crane to literally meet him face-to-face).
The salient point here is that Boban Marjanovic is a very large human. And the impact he is having on this Mavericks team — albeit very early in the season — is almost as large.
The 31-year-old Serbian center, now in his fifth NBA season and playing for a sixth NBA franchise, has played in four of the Mavericks’ nine games. Boban is averaging 11 minutes, 6.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and is shooting .500 from the field. Comparatively, Boban’s career numbers almost mirror the start to this season for him (9.8mpg, 6.2ppg, 4.0rbg, .580FG%) — so, while early going, the Mavericks knew what they were getting with Boban, and Boban is delivering on it.
I briefly caught up with Boban after the Mavericks’ home loss to the New York Knicks on Friday night. A surreal moment for sure. I was standing by his locker space, far enough away I thought, but I still had to move back a bit so that Boban could stretch his body down to adjust his Coast Guard Cutter-sized sneakers. Have I mentioned that Boban is 7’3”? No? Well, Boban is 7’3”.
Boban smiles a big smile as he settles back for a chat. They say glasses make a person appear more distinguished and Boban’s glasses definitely give him a distinguished look — if you can imagine a medieval castle looking more distinguished than it already is.
Asked about how he is enjoying Dallas so far, and specifically the team, Boban’s eyes dance as he animatedly answers. “Well, you have to try to adjust to everything, you know. So far, I like it, I enjoy it here. I have a good group of people [Boban points in the direction of other Mavericks players around the locker room], and I enjoy spending time with them.”
Boban pauses again to adjust one his sneakers. I move back out of sheer instinct, much like I would if a city bus was slowly taking a turn towards me.
“You know, I enjoy how we keep each other like a family, how we treat ourselves like friends, like teammates. I can count on these people, and I love to be here.”
Asked about his role on the court, specifically about his production, Boban’s face takes on a decidedly more serious look. “Well, it’s early but I’m still trying to adjust to everything, but so far I like it.”
The discussion then turns to some off-the-court items as we discuss Boban’s recent product endorsement opportunity with a company co-founded by Anthony Tolliver, a former teammate of Boban’s when the two were on the same Detroit Pistons team. The company, Big Blanket Co., lists Boban as a “Chief Blanket Connoisseur” — a regal term for a regal man.
The animated side of Boban comes out again, he sits up straighter in his chair and uses his hands to talk enthusiastically about this product. “You know, I love that blanket. I have at home that blanket, not like one, I have more than one — and I really enjoy it! Not like a commercial, I truly enjoy it. The people who start to do it, they make a great job, and I am happy to be a partner of this company.”
Listening to Boban talk about his love for a blanket that can adequately — Big Blanket Co.’s “average” blankets are 10-feet by 10-feet, so about four times the size of a normal throw blanket — keep his prodigious self comfortable, you get the sense that this product endorsement deal is about as organic a relationship between a product and a paid spokesperson can be.
It is still early in this Mavericks’ 2019-2020 season, and Boban is still adjusting to life in Dallas as well as to his role in the Mavs’ potent offense. But Boban is producing numbers close to his career numbers and his off-court persona appears to be wrapping the Mavericks fanbase — already giddy about the Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis duo — up inside a warm cocoon of excitement.
As Dallas heads into the winter months, Boban Marjanovic appears to be warmly blanketing the Mavericks and the fans up with his unique brand of larger (way, way larger) than life being.