We all know how magical the Mavs’ 2011 run was. It’s been written about and documented on and I’m sure we’ve all watched the 4th quarter of game 2 multiple times. It was one of the greatest stories of vindication ever told. Never before have we seen a single championship seem like it was a dynasty run. I can’t be the only one who feels like that title felt more like 2 maybe 3 rings. I always catch hell for saying that to fans of other teams, but Mavs fans know what I’m talking about. Right?
There’s been some other Mavs moments in franchise history that I’d like to relive on paper if I may. Some moments are engrained in my memory like it happened last night. These are the moments that were compressed for a little over a decade, only to finally burst out in the form of confetti in June 2011. These are also moments that will all live in infamy as the “Days of Dirk”.
I’d like to start a series that I have cleverly named, “Mavs Memories”, with Tony Clayton:
**Disclaimer: Tony was in college when the following story took place. By no way does Tony encourage this behavior in any way. Nor do the thoughts and actions of Tony reflect current day Tony who is married with two children.
2003 Western Conference Finals, Mavericks vs. Spurs:
This is when the Mavericks became a passion for me on an unhealthy level. I’ll never forget the previous series when the Mavs took down the Kings in 7 games. The real test would come in the next round where the Spurs would become my most HATED team in professional sports (Oakland A’s have come awfully close).
I was in college at the time in San Marcos, TX. For those that don’t know, San Marcos is just 45 minutes north of San Antonio, so I was surrounded by Spurs fans on a daily basis. The first few games of the series were watched at a friend’s house that had a big screen T.V. A few Spurs fans were there and the debates would get heated but I still felt like the only one in the room that was losing my mind each and every play. The venue had to change.
So we watched games 3-6 at a local bar called Nephews. I remember Game 4 specifically. We were watching the game in an upstairs area of the bar where there were a few couches. I would get there before anyone else to arrange the couches to get the best angle on the TV and save seats for me and fellow Mavs fans.
I remember I became so heated after a Spurs run that I swung my hand in disgust and a ring that I was wearing flew off and hit a Spurs fan in the side of the head. This guy was pretty big. Usually the “liquid courage” I was consuming would have resulted in an altercation, but not this time. I told him it was an accident and he returned the ring. Mavs lost that game and went down in the series 1-3.
Two nights later we headed back to the bar for Game 5. The Mavs were trying to avoid elimination IN San Antonio. Mavs were on the brink but made a comeback to get the win, 103-91. This was also without Dirk who had hurt his knee in Game 3. At the bar I made a deal with a buddy that if the Mavs came back and won this game (which they did), I would run around our apartment complex naked and jump in the pool. Well, I did not follow through with that bet completely. For some reason there was a massive roll of bubble wrap in front of the apartment next door. So I wrapped that around my naked body and bolted through a courtyard where a party was going on. I think I yelled something in the form of “Woohoo Mavericks! Spurs Suck!” or something real clever like that. I finally made it to the pool and leaped in. My roommate was not far behind with a pair of shorts so I could walk back to the apartment with some dignity.
The good feelings were short lived as the Spurs and Steve Stupid Kerr put the dagger in our hearts after we lead Game 6 by 15 points in the second half. Kerr and Stephen Jackson went unconscious and made every 3 pointer in sight, ending our season. Spurs then went on to beat the New Jersey Nets in the Finals.
I’m still convinced to this day that the Spurs were lucky to avoid dealing with Dirk in games 5 and 6. Had Dirk been healthy, we could have faced the Nets that year in the Finals.
The Dirk/Nash/Finley era was over soon after that. Who knows what could’ve been had Cuban met Nash financially and he had stuck around Dallas. But then again, we wouldn’t have had no Jason Terry and ultimately, no Jason Kidd.
More stories coming soon. Be sure to tune in for the “smashed Motorola in game 4 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals” story. And also the story of the time I was on all fours praying for a Mavs miracle and it was answered.
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AP Photo/Donna McWilliam
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