It’s been a tough few weeks for the Dallas Mavericks and their fans. We’ve had to watch Trae Young play with a supporting cast we wish Luka Doncic had — and subsequently slaughter the Eastern Conference). We’ve had to deal with some questionable (to say the least) comments from Mark Cuban. We’ve had to see our beloved head coach leave. And worst of all — we’ve had to watch a wide-open Western Conference race transpire that day by day feels more and more like the Mavs could still be in it if a couple more things broke their way.
So instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s take a Ted Lasso turn and focus on the positives.
Tonight is a huge day for the NBA. It’s draft lottery night. The best part of it? The Mavs aren’t in it.
There’s a certain excitement that comes with your team being in the lottery, but it’s an excitement paralleled with unbridled fear. If the ping pong balls don’t roll your way, your team is likely in NBA hell for another year. When your team is in the lottery, you’re banking on luck. Not only luck with the ping pong balls but luck with how your new lottery pick pans out in the league. It’s gambling. Sometimes, you hit the jackpot. But more often than not, you end up losing more than you gain.
So that’s what we’re celebrating. We’re celebrating that the Dallas Mavericks franchise isn’t in a position where they need to make that gamble. We’re celebrating the fact that they don’t have to bank on getting lucky. They already did that, and their past it for the foreseeable future.
Let’s look at the Minnesota Timberwolves this year, for example. If they get a little unlucky with the ping pong balls, it’ll be time for the franchise to press the panic button. The Wolves have the sixth-best chance at landing the No. 1 pick, and if they end up out of the top three, their pick goes to the Warriors. That means there’s a 72.4 percent chance the Wolves don’t even get to keep their pick. Can you imagine the anxiety that Wolves fans will be feeling during the lottery show? The results could potentially change their franchises direction for the next decade. Mavs fans don’t have to worry about that, and it’s glorious.
Of course, there are other things Mavs fans have to worry about. There are a different set of worries when you already have a direction. Will the Mavs hire the right coach? Will the new front office finally surround Luka with enough help to make a deep playoff run? Will Dallas be able to keep Luka long-term? Will Mark Cuban stop talking? But for now, we’re not worrying about that. We’re celebrating the fact that the fate of our franchise isn’t in ping pong balls.
Tonight, we can take a deep breath and watch the madness unfold without it affecting our guys. This is when the NBA is fun!