1. DeAndre Jordan is an absolute delight
It’s time folks. If you haven’t let go of the DeAndre saga of three years ago, you definitely should now. And if you still can’t, it won’t take very long for him to win you over.
He just brings such an energy to the room, his personality is large, and his smile even larger. In fact, the moment he walked into the room for his press conference, he announced his arrival by claiming to be the “Black Dirk” and aggressively ripped off his warm up jacket and tossed it across the room.
Aside from just being entertaining and engaging during his presser, he really answered some tough, but fair questions with honesty and maturity. Something we may not have been able to say three years ago.
When pressed about his last minute heel turn back in 2015 and what he might have done differently , he candidly replied, “I wouldn’t have changed anything about my decision, but I would have changed the way it was handled.” Citing his lack of communication as his most glaring misstep.
This type of humility mixed in with some self deprecating humor leads me to believe that Mavs fans, even the most ardent Jordan detractors, are going to love this guy in no time.
2. Are Dennis and Luka best friends now?
It seems Mavs fans praying on a DSJ/Luka bromance might get their wish. The two seemed to be the best of buds while at work and in front of the media, and they are apparently kicking it off the court as well. According to Grandpa Dirk, they have “clicked already over PlayStation, and have probably had some nice battles on there.”
I am not sure Dirk is the most video game literate individual on the squad, in fact he’s probably the least, but who cares? Dennis and Luka are boys!
In fact, we even learned that they are living in the same apartment complex. Not that this budding friendship is going to translate to guaranteed success on the court, but it is guaranteed to warm Mavs fans hearts.
And besides, Luka is literally living in a brand new country, as a 19-year old kid. Having a support system of family, friends, and teammates in place to help him reach his potential is critical. Dirk had Steve Nash, so maybe Dennis and “Luk” as he calls him, can have a similar relationship.
3. Training camp buzz
This might be the most exciting lead into a season since the year after the title. You have acquired your biggest fish to date, you have a budding tandem of under-21 stars finally on the roster, and a solid mix of youngsters and vets surrounding them.
It’s hard to explain, but that place was just exuding good vibes and a tangible energy. Maybe that’s the youth movement. After all, there are a lot more kids on this team than in years past, but that could be good for some of the elder statesman.
With the conclusion of the internal investigation and the good that came from it (props to Cynthia Marshall), all the fresh, talented faces, and the dawn of a new season just seem to have rejuvenated these guys and the fan base. It should definitely be a fun year.
4. The GOAT off the bench?
Not hearing Dirk’s name called during starting lineups is going to be weird, and somewhat heartbreaking. But bringing the big fella off the pine seems to be in the cards.
“He’s likely to be coming off the bench,” Coach Carlisle told us.
“It’s pretty obvious, and Dirk knows this, but…we have to move the franchise forward the right way.”
Rick Carlisle definitely pulled no punches with that last line, and I definitley agree with his logic and trust his decision. But bringing someone as stiff as Dirk off the bench with no warm up, at least that we know of, well that’s going to be tough. Coach alluded to the fact that he knows it will be, but “moving the franchise forward” appears to be the priority. Which is a scary thought, but one we will have to face soon enough.
Now, I imagine the Mavs world class training staff will have a plan to try and keep “The Big Mummy” loose and ready to go when it’s his time to check it, but for both nostalgic and physical reasons, not having Dirk out there to get things started will be a challenge.
5. Dirk is still hilarious
Probably my favorite moment from the entire media day experience was an exchange Dirk had with us during his presser:
Reporter: “Dirk, you have been a champion and an MVP, is there anthing else you woud like to accomplish before you hang them up for good?”
Dirk: “Well during the All-Star game, I always wanted to win the Slam Dunk Contest, and maybe the Skills challenge too since I am such a complete player.”
Media: *chorus of laughter*
Reporter: “Not Defensive Player of the Year?”
Dirk: “Yeah, that one is probably going to be pretty tough.”
And this was hardly the only laugh out loud moment Dirk ignited. He took shots at what he refers to as his own “movement issues,” and then talked about having a massage therapists on call during games to keep him loose. It’s so unique and refreshing to have such an all-time great, a literal living legend, be so humble and self deprecating. We don’t deserve Dirk, if this is it, or if it isn’t, lets appreciate the greatness regardless.
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