Avery Johnson accused the Mavericks of being on vacation in Miami last week. But now we know he was wrong. You know when they're on vacation. From the Associated Press: "From Nowitzki sporting his new haircut to Marquis Daniels flashing a diamond grill in his mouth to Darrell Armstrong showing up in golf attire and a bucket hat, the change from championship mode to summer vacation was stark." Dirk's do in photos. (Thanks Erin.)
Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, is ready for his close-up. This is from Alex Delanian on NJ.com: "After chatting with David Letterman on Wednesday, Wade stopped by the set of "Live with Regis and Kelly" yesterday before greeting hundreds of fans at the NBA Store in Manhattan. While there, he taped a segment for NBA-TV and answered questions from fans. It was just one stop on a whirlwind tour of media events for basketball's newest poster boy, who is reveling in the glory of his first championship." I can't help but worry just a little about Dwyane Wade's relationship with his wife and child. It's very hard to be a family in the NBA, or in the public eye at all. As far as I know they're one of the best at it. But this great professional success he has had doesn't come with a lot of time for family.
An e-mail from Jed Berger, big honcho at Dime magazine: "We’re selling $3 one year subscriptions for the next few days in honor of Wade (#3 obviously) winning the MVP. Considering it costs us about 40 cents just to ship a magazine and we’re talking 8 magazines a year, we may be very bad business people (or very good. I’ll let you know in a year or so)." Here's the link.
Bill Shaikin in the L.A. Times: "If Henry Samueli could persuade an NBA owner to move his team to the Arrowhead Pond and that owner wanted to identify his team with Los Angeles, Samueli would not stop him and the Anaheim City Council could not stop him... Samueli has looked into the availability of the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings. Without reference to a specific team, he said he had no offer on the table for any team and 'no serious discussions ongoing.'"
John Canzano: "I'll bet the Nets (which hold the No. 22 and 23 picks of the first round) would take a long look at Sebastian Telfair if the Blazers dangled him. Portland might love to use that No. 22 pick on Florida State's Alex Johnson." Canzano also made a strategic mistake, by creating a new word: "strategical."
Ian O'Connor: "Dolan presented Brown with all sorts of conditions he needed to meet to keep his job, conditions the owner knew wouldn't be met. He wanted Brown to stop holding trade talks with other teams, to stop disparaging his roster, to stop announcing his benchings in the media before informing the involved players, and to stop blessing Thomas' moves before ridiculing them a week or two later. It was like asking Brown to stop breathing. As it became clear that this zebra wasn't willing to change even a single stripe, Dolan ending the meeting by firing Brown with cause, by claiming the coach refused to honor basic employee requirements, and by telling him the Knicks wouldn't pay him any more cash until ordered to do so by Stern."
The Mavericks have some decisions to make about free agents. Josh Howard could use an extension, Jason Terry is a free agent, Adrian Griffin, Darrell Armstrong and D.J. Mbenga are also on the loose.
Selena Roberts says the Knicks will be one long blooper reel until James Dolan is out at the top (and the only person who can fire him might be his father): " Jim Dolan had wealth as a birthright growing up among the Long Island elite, only to lose nearly a decade of his life battling addictions before taking over the Garden. He arrived immature, with a fistful of Cablevision monopoly money and Crayolas in hand. He wasn't a grown-up, still isn't, a fact reflected in his romper room management etiquette."
James Dolan, Modern Day Moses.
It's never to early for some more predictions. Chris Broussard makes the call for 2007, and it's a Miami repeat. He picked Miami last summer too (then changed his mind, mid-season, but still, credit where credit is due.): "I predict the Heat will take out Cleveland in six or seven games in the Eastern Conference finals in a series that will feature a classic battle between Flash and King James. That's right: Detroit will be a second-round casualty next season, and Cleveland will be the team to take the Pistons down."
Matt Watson makes a great point: can you imagine what will happen if Isiah Thomas's sexual harrassment case goes to trial during the NBA season? He'll be the coach. Ugly.
I can't figure out why fans care much about who's invite to the green room.
Arn Tellem tells Chad Ford that he knows where LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and Shelden Williams will all be drafted. Chad Ford reads the tea leaves, and none of it seems to make sense. Tellem indicated those two players would not be 1-2. I'm tempted to speculate on this, and probably will later today. For now, let me say this: someone is throwing up an excellent smokescreen, because for this to be true, it seems either Toronto doesn't really want Bargnani or Portland doesn't really want Morrison.
Mark Madsen: "I look at what Mark Cuban has done for the Dallas Mavericks franchise and it is nothing short of miraculous. When we go to the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, it feels like a college atmosphere with people painting their heads, bands playing, and a bunch of "texas" people on the front row with big old cowboy hats and boots. It's an awesome place to play with great fans and I think Cuban has been a big part of that." Also, Madsen has the news that Shaquille O'Neal took his massive NBA championship ring to a jeweler and had it enlarged.
Derek Anderson and James Posey can both opt out of their contracts in the next few days. Anderson has said he'd trade money for playing time, and the Heat would be thrilled to see him go.