Mavericks Mount Rushmore

Remember when Pat Riley did that thing with the three players that one summer and then after they had the pep rally and the big guy started counting stuff.

Yep, pretty sure that’s how all that went. Cleveland also got historically screwed somewhere in between. I think.

In an odd twist of fate, counting – more specifically numbers – have each applied their basic single digit power to each member of the Miami Heat big three.

In 2008, Dwyane Wade starred with former role model Charles Barkley in T-Mobile’s “Fave 5″ initiative, something about trying to distract you with benefits stretched across five wireless plans until you remember that you’re about to buy something from T-Mobile .

Chris Bosh hasn’t really had a campaign based around digits, but the jury is out on how many years ago he arrived on Earth.

Then there’s LeBron James, who recently sat down with NBA TV’s Steve Smith for probably his most revealing interview in the 29-year old’s career. The interview won’t be aired until the Monday (2/17) after the NBA All-Star Game, but there’s been little to no effort to conceal any of the content that came from the sit down.

Among them was James telling us that “I’m going to be one of the top four to ever play this game.” Fair deal. But he went on to say…

“Four NBA greats — I would say, obviously, the easy three, that we all talk about in our league: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I would say my fourth, wow, this is so tough. The greatest players of all time, that I would like to see on Mount Rushmore. This is not fair. This is not fair. You know how many great players there is? Oh my god, Oscar Robertson. Those are my four.”

It’s a tough question, but LeBron cracked off enough “It’s not fair’s” that even George Lucas thinks he went overboard expressing such emotion.

The fallout from these comments was that everybody everywhere wanted to make their own Mount Rushmore of NBA players and Kim Kardashian partners and hell, maybe even Presidents. (Bill Simmons says worse I’m gonna roll the dice with hell)

The common denominator is of course that you only get to pick four.

My whole life I’ve gone against the trends because if everyone is doing them then I can fly under the radar with a little me time until *that* thing just becomes a thing again.

But I was asked to give my Dallas Mavericks version of a Mount Rushmore and if I declined, I probably would have taken a nap. And that’s just not productive. So here we go.

Face 1: Dirk Nowitzki

Can he be all four faces? Brb.

No he cannot. But he’s still going to be number one.

The tall baller from the G is on the verge of joining the top 10 all-time scoring list and will forever be remembered for the imprint he left on the game of basketball. Unorthodox does no justice to what Dirk has done to and for the sport. Everything about his personality fits the 11th man and not the superstar, but a superstar he is. And in 2011 he became an NBA champion, leading the magical run that ended with the first championship in Dallas Mavericks history.


Face 2: Mark Cuban

20 years before Mark Cuban bought the team: 40% win percentage.

10 years following: 69 % win percentage.

Despite the past few seasons’ mishaps, Mark Cuban, from the court to the arena to the Mavs brand, is the best owner in all of sports. Debatable? Sure. Will I debate it? No, sir. No owner in sports is as engaged and as big a fan of the team they invest in (most aren’t fans at all) than Mark Cuban. The Mavericks have been a perennial powerhouse since 2001 excluding 2012 and 2013 and reached the pinnacle in 2011 in great, great thanks to our owner.

Face 3: Rick Carlisle

May 9, 2008. It wasn’t a sexy hire to replace Avery Johnson, but an accomplished one. Over the next few years different pieces fell into place alongside Dirk, recently acquired Jason Kidd and sixth man Jet Terry. Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and more entered the fold and of course, as I’ve mentioned above and it applies just as much if not the most to the surgeon of the operation, Coach Carlisle.

“The one-and-done boys” were not one-and-done but four-and-champs. The expectation of the former just shows how little teams expected of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 postseason. We were chokers, always grabbing a high seed just to falter when it mattered most.

But Coach Carlisle ventured all the way down the bench, situationally placing parts like Deshawn Stevenson, Corey Brewer, Peja Stojakovic, Ian Mahinmi and Brian Cardinal when the time was right. The Mavericks didn’t really have a second star, and only the 2004 Detroit Pistons can make a similar claim to overcoming such a situation.

He called the shots – and he called player’s numbers – and it all worked beautifully for Coach Carlisle, Coach Stotts, Coach Casey, Coach Mathis, Coach Armstrong, Head Athletic Trainer Smith…the whole crew was wonderful, but it started at the top.

Face 4: (Hmmmmm…)

I struggled with this one. I’m obviously focusing on the 2010-2011 personnel because the team’s lone NBA title came in that season. But there’s so much rich Mavericks history, particularly Rolando Blackman, Brad Davis and Derek Harper. You know what? I’m sorry LeBron, this really isn’t fair!

Donnie Nelson is going to be snubbed, as is Tariq Abdul-Wahad. I really would love to put former PA announcer Billy “humble” Hayes in the list, who was kind enough to let me bother him after games for a brief moment so I could say “Dad, I talked to the twoooooooooooooooooooooooo shots guy!” The Mavericks were lucky to have humble before personal matters caused him to make the tough decision to depart, but his replacement Sean Heath has a lot of good ‘ol “Humble Hayes” in his announcing repertoire and we lucked out as a fan base finding him as well. On the topic of announcers…

Face 4: Mark Followill

Few members of the organization have been with the Mavericks organization as long as our beloved television play-by-play man. “Follow” has been with the team since the 2001-2002 season and made the switch from radio to TV in 2005-2006.

You won’t find a bigger #MFFL around and unlike certain announcers around the Association (*cough Clippers cough* excuse me) he keeps a beautiful balance between his fandom and his professionalism.He’s been along for pretty much this whole entire era of Dallas Mavericks basketball and as soon as it hit me to include him in my “Mavs Mt. Rushmore” the spot was his.

Thanks for reading, next week we decide which Maverick is the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and The House at the End of the Street.

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Tags: Dallas Mavericks LeBron James Mount Rushmore

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