Heroes game to go on without world champs
Dallas Stars sure-fire Hall of Famer Mike Modano, whose charity is a beneficiary of the event, will be there. Cowboys stars DeMarcus Ware and Bradie James will take the field. So will former Cowboys greats Drew Pearson and Everson Walls, as well as a variety of big- and small-screen actors.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and team president Donnie Nelson will also be there. Cuban, however, will leave his glove at home. He's on the shelf, rehabbing a torn rotator cuff (no surgery as of yet). Cuban will stay busy though, hanging in the stands with his newest best friend, the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy, and posing for pictures with fans.
So what's missing?
How about Cuban's world champs?
For the first time in at least the last five years of the Heroes game, no Dallas Mavericks players will participate. It's not official, but it certainly appears that the reason comes down to one nasty word: lockout.
The NBA forbids team executives and coaches from talking to players during the lockout, which took effect last Thursday night. For that reason, it appears, no Mavs players are on the roster with Cuban and Nelson out there (and possibly a David Stern spy drone flying overhead).
Last year, Jason Kidd played. James Singleton represented in 2009 with Jason Terry doing the honors in 2008 and Devin Harris in 2007. In 2006, Terry, Jerry Stackhouse and Marquis Daniels all hit the diamond.
Would the NBA really frown on Mavs players mingling with team brass at such a fan-friendly charity event? Well, it's hard to say. An NBA spokesman said he didn't know enough about the event to make a call. He did, however, mention that there are exceptions. For instance, Cuban and the Mavs will be together for the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
Miami Heat coaches were given the green light to attend Chris Bosh's wedding.
It would seem Cuban, Nelson and any Mavs players could play ball for charity without violating any lockout codes of silence.
But then, sillier things have happened.
So if you're headed to the game, congratulate Nelson on all his right roster moves, applaud Cuban for his postseason composure and encourage him to fight through his rotator cuff rehab. Take a picture with the trophy.
But barring a last-minute change, don't expect to get a glimpse of the world champs.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Donnie Nelson joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' season and the importance of this summer.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Mavericks playing after being eliminated from playoff contention, whom he wants to keep for next season and much more.