“Rello is here! And all ears!”
That’s the last anyone has heard from Mavrello Ballovic. He uttered those words as a reply on Twitter back in early September of 2022. Since then, nothing. It’s as if he’s disappeared. This wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.
Back in April of 2021, Mavrello emerged from the bunker beneath the American Airlines Center, revealing he was one of the original owners of the Dallas Mavericks. But he accidentally locked himself in the bunker (or was it foul play?) in the 1980s, and had to dig his way back to the surface with a spork.
It was a harrowing tale with a happy ending. At first, that is. Mavrello was likable and fun, and Mavs fans took to him immediately. A lively presence at games and online, he loved the Mavericks with a never-ending joy. Mavrello occasionally verbally sparred with current owner Mark Cuban, but everyone could tell that despite the tension between the two, Cuban begrudgingly liked Mavrello. We even got an exclusive interview with him on this site.
Thank you Mavrello GO MAVS! pic.twitter.com/oAJSQgxoWL— george sanchez (@georges60488791) May 31, 2021
But after that fateful September tweet, Mavrello fell silent. There were no more appearances at the AAC. The interaction online ceased. No more video footage of Mavrello doing goofy pranks. He was gone.
No one knows why. The Mavericks have not released any statements regarding Mavrello. They could not be reached for comment, because we did not reach out to them, because this is silly. There seems to be no interest from the media, national or local. Not one reporter has asked about Mavrello’s absence, instead choosing to focus on basketball.
There is no evidence that Mavrello has been harmed, but there’s been no word from him in months. It’s possible he left Dallas and is traveling the world, completely unreachable and unbothered. Or maybe he’s trapped in that underground bunker again.
If foul play has happened in this odd missing basketball case, who are the suspects? Cuban is the first name that comes to mind. Perhaps he paid Mavrello to disappear in order to consolidate his power. But that’s too simple. It would’ve come to light by now, and besides, does a two-dimensional CGI basketball actually have a need for money?
The Mavericks’ two mascots are obvious suspects. Of course, Champ is above reproach. He’s a horse after all. Nothing is impossible, but it’s very unlikely that a horse would hurt a basketball. We all learn that in high school biology.
But Mavs Man is another story. He’s long struck fear into the hearts of Mavs fans, and even those who cover the team:
Guys… if I don’t tweet in the next 45min come find my body buried under the AAC pic.twitter.com/vxtBIlYdty— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) March 10, 2022
Not long after Mavrello typed out those last fateful words, the Mavericks debuted a new look Mavs Man. Gone was the horrifying monster with the basketball skin. Now there was a slick robot cyborg type thing with a high tech suit of armor:
The question being murmured quietly behind the scenes is where did Mavs Man get the money for the upgrade? A mascot receiving a sudden influx of cash that comes along at the same time the basketball-shaped owner of a NBA franchise is bound to draw suspicion. But is there any actual evidence linking Mavs Man to Mavrello’s disappearance?
No. It’s possible Mavrello never existed and was a product of a mass hallucination by Mavs fans to distract them from the existential dread that comes with being a basketball fan in the 21st century. Or maybe he was just a fun bit of marketing to add some entertainment to the brand and the team has gone in a different direction lately.
Wherever he is now, Mavrello will always be in our hearts, and probably online somewhere, in some form.