Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Mavericks [Print without images]

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Wild, often strange offseason will churn rumor mill

By Jeff Caplan

Approaching the one-month mark to the start of Dallas Mavericks training camp, the bouncing of basketballs can't get here soon enough to end a wild and increasingly silly offseason.

Think about it. First, Deron Williams denied the Mavs in their hot pursuit to make the homegrown star the face-of-the-franchise-in-waiting. Then owner Mark Cuban, a converted flag bearer for cap space to chase such free agents, said the Mavs are actually financially better off without one of the league's elite point guards.

Jason Kidd spent the week leading up to free agency playing golf with Williams in New York, presumably to recruit him to Big D. But once Williams revealed his choice of the Brooklyn Nets over the Mavs -- on Twitter, no less -- Kidd, who has talked of his affinity for Cuban's business acumen and a desire to ascend to the front office, backed out of a deal with the Mavs and signed with the Knicks. Soon after, Kidd plowed his SUV into a telephone pole in a scary DWI crash. A month later, Cuban acknowledged Kidd hurt his feelings by abruptly leaving and dismissed him as a rafter retiree candidate.

On a lighter note, Dirk Nowitzki got married this summer in seemingly 15 ceremonies around the globe. On Sunday, he found the time to hop on Twitter for an impromptu open-mic session with fans. He revealed he likes dogs better than cats, prefers red wine over beer and rocks to the Stones and Zeppelin. And he assured Mavs Nation he bleeds blue and has no plans to jump ship down the road to a super team.

And then there's the character that is new Mavs centerChris Kaman, a former teammate on Dirk's German national team even though the red-blooded American -- who has tweeted pictures of his guns, his Texas-sized pickup and a new pair of cowboy boots -- was born in blue-collar Wyoming, Mich.

"Chris has definitely hit me up for all my hunting contacts," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said last week. "He wants to bag a white-tail deer and go hog hunting. So, I'm working on that."

Training camp, anyone?

Read the full column here.