Average consumers of entertainment generally believe that the people producing entertainment know what they are doing. This isn’t always true.
Deep Blue Sea was on basic cable this week and while watching the train wreck of a shark film, I realized it can serve as an analogy for the current Dallas Mavericks. The film stars Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, LL Cool J and Saffron Burrows. Those are legitimate movie stars who have been involved in a number of extremely good and even great films. The film was directed by Renny Harlin who made decent action films like Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger.
Somehow that collection made a film where scientists genetically engineered sharks to have increased brain size in order to harvest a protein complex from their brains in order to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Predictably, genetically engineering super sharks and living with them on a remote marine outpost goes poorly.
This sounds like an amusing Syfy channel original script which would have an extremely cheap budget. The production budget was up to $82 million in 1999!!!! The Matrix budget was 63 million and it was released in the same year for reference. This movie was meant to be a science fiction thriller. The following scene was not filmed ironically.
A chef hides from a shark in an oven. The shark turns on the oven. The chef uses an axe he happened to have because he was going to use it to defend himself from the shark, to cut his way out of the oven. The man then jumps over and outmaneuvers a shark. He then says a one-liner to the shark before using his lighter to ignite the gas coming from the now punctured oven. The shark also happens to stick its head out of the water for some reason right as the explosion happens.
You may be wondering what this insanity has to do with the Mavericks. Sports is a form of entertainment. The Mavericks are therefore in the entertainment business every bit as much as Warner Brother’s. Many people give the Mavericks the benefit of the doubt that they must know what they are doing.
Their recent decisions show that they don’t. The Mavericks believe they are making “galaxy brain” plays with the decision to hire Jason Kidd and Nico Harrison. Harrison may well be an inspired choice. He has an extremely impressive list of contacts and relationships from his days at Nike. If he improves the Mavericks relationships with free agents and results in the Mavericks finally being able to improve as a free agent destination that is a fantastic result. But even Deep Blue Sea has quality scenes.
The good parts are just a change of pace between the bad scenes though. The Mavericks unfortunately appear to be in the same place. Acquiring Luka Doncic is one of the greatest moves any franchise has made. And yet two teams that passed on Doncic have made the conference finals because they have done such a better job of team building around him. The Mavericks second best asset was allowed to leave without compensation this offseason.
People who should know what they are doing don’t always actually know what they are doing. The fact that someone wrote the script for Deep Blue Sea as an action thriller rather than an ironic comedy proves this. Sadly, the recent moves of the Mavericks do as well.
Editor’s Note: It’s the off season. We’re going to dip into weird content now and then. Heck this place used to run “Mavs Moneyball Fan Fiction Friday”, which I recommend googling. You might think to yourself “what is this” every now and then during the summer. It’s Mavs Moneyball, that’s what.