The Mavericks recently acquired two players, Shawn Marion and Tim Thomas, that Maverick fans once loathed.
Of course, they will be heartily welcomed by fans in the big D, right? So what was that hatred about? Uniforms? Did the players actually stand for something bad (and if so, has anything changed), or were they just cursed at because of their uniforms?
I'm always curious -- and this is where you guys come in -- as to when those cheers stop. If not for Thomas, the man who smooched in the face of Maverick pride, then for whom?
Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are two top-level talents that come to mind, but their skills are gaudy enough to turn haters into true believers with a mere change of zip code. The desire to field an incredible basketball team would supercede any hurt feelings MFFLs might still harbor, and Kobe or Wade would be welcomed with open arms. Hugs and kisses, fruit baskets and Jell-O casseroles.
But there is a player out there on the free agent market that would truly test the limits of fan commitment. He's one of the league's universal villains, the fruit of the loins of a conference rival, and a personal thorn in the side of Mavs' fans in particular. In this world, he goes by the name of Bruce Bowen, although many are convinced that his on-court persona is in congress with The Dark Lord himself.
There's no speculation that the Mavs are interested in Bowen, and I'm not even suggesting that they should be. But I am floating out this scenario to muck things up a bit. Which players, despite their contributions either real or theoretical (Bowen, model citizen though he may be, is hardly the defender he once was), are beyond the pale?
Personally, I'm not so sure the pale exists.