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Someone please call Maxi Kleber

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Meet his demands. Give him whatever he wants.

Dallas Mavericks v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

After a night in which the other Wurzburg Wonder went off for a career high 26 points on 10/13 shooting, the ascending third year pro can no longer be ignored and there remains a question that is begging to be answered: what does Maxi Kleber want?

This season has seen Kleber set career highs across pretty much his entire box score. Points, rebounds, free throw percentage, effective field goal percent, three point percentage, handsomeness quotient; it’s all there. Oh, did I mention he’s locked in to a newly signed 4 year $35.9M contract that looks more and more like one of the best bargain contracts in the league with each passing game?

Maxi Kleber is a man on a mission; that much is clear. What’s less clear is what exactly is driving the big man to these new heights. At first glance, it may seem like there’s no seam to tug on to even begin to unravel this mystery. In fact, the only clue we have to go on, the only new wrinkle in his game, is the celebration Kleber has debuted alongside his 38 percent three-point shooting.

It looks a little something like this.

Sometimes he even has accomplices.

Maxi Kleber is asking, perhaps even daring, someone, anyone, to give him a call. But why? From whom? Let’s run down a list of the most probable suspects.

He just made a long distance call

At the top of the arc, the NBA three point line is 23 feet 9 inches from the basket. However, the “corner three,” perhaps the most desirable shot in the modern NBA, is much shorter. Just 22ft from the rim — practically a layup! For most of the first half of the season, it wasn’t uncommon to see Kleber camped out there, ready to push Luka Doncic one assist closer to yet another triple double. He’s shooting 41 percent from the corners this season, as a matter of fact. That’s better than Danny Green.

However, we’ve begun to see his comfort zone drift from being chained to the corner. Beyond the top of the arc, even. Check out this 27 foot bomb he hit in route to his 26 points against the Magic.

Maxi isn’t afraid to dial one up from long distance, and he’s not afraid to let you know about it when he connects. Hello, operator? Yes, I think they’ll be accepting the long distance charge, thank you. (Readers under 20, this is an arguably bad joke about how phone calls used to cost more when you would call someone from far away on your landline. Please don’t bully me.)

Call off the dogs

With the Mavericks still sporting a league-leading 116.5 offensive rating, many teams have experienced the despair of being on the receiving end of a hot shooting night from Dallas. Luka Doncic is the 20-year-old super star forcing his name in to MVP conversations in his second year, and he’ll happily hit a step-back three on the center you so callously abandoned out at the top of the key on a high pick and roll. Kristaps Porzingis is the 7’3” anomaly you pray will simply miss because you’re a defender who’s a full foot shorter than him and you might as well not even be standing there with your hands in the air when KP rises up to shoot straight over you. Oh, hey, and there’s Seth Curry. Ah, and a revitalized Tim Hardaway Jr.

Your defense is running itself ragged out past the three-point line trying to cover everyone when suddenly the ball winds up in the hands of a wide open Maxi Kleber. Please. Please, sir, have mercy. You’re up by 11 in the 4th. Call off the dogs.

No.


Call me if you ever want to see your family again

He has kidnapped the family of an opposing coach and is holding them hostage until said coach calls him to arrange a drop point in the visiting player’s locker room where a ball boy can leave a brown bag full of unmarked $100 bills. That contract is a steal and he’s now had to turn to a life of crime after his Luka-impersonation side hustle fell through.

Farfetched? Too dastardly? Just a little too evil-villian-y? Hardly. Just listen to Maxi flash his cold, calculated basketball IQ in his post game interview. Does that sound like the internal machinations of a man who wouldn’t lock up an opposing coach’s family in an out of service elevator located somewhere inside the arena?

In the end, this has all the trimmings of a classic unsolvable case. After all that, the only thing we can know for sure is that Maxi Kleber is a solid, solid dude. Keep on chooglin’, Maxi Kleber.