Guest Post By Adam Johnson
From an irrelevant, laughingstock of a team over 20 years ago, to a rejuvenated squad, injected with excitement courtesy of owner Mark Cuban, these Mavs aren’t the ones I grew up with.
Growing up, there were several things I could count on in my life. Nesquick powder for awesome chocolate milk, visiting my grandparents on Mondays, and knowing the Mavericks were the first team to beat in NBA Jam each time the system powered on.
From the rim-rocking boomshakalakas, to the “Is It The Shoes?”, you never could tell what kind of game you were going to have against a spastic AI. Nevertheless I poured countless hours into that game, not worrying about my initials or password. AAA, 1111 and I was good to go.
I loved that game growing up. My friends would always wonder why I’d commit goal tending while I was heating up. Simple. Get buckets while scorching the net to their frantic dismay.
Yet it was the Mavs who provided the warm-up game. The Generals to my Globetrotters if you will. You could have your way with this team, especially with the likes of Grandmama Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, they were my go-to team.
Saturday morning it was roll out of bed and turn on the Genesis. I always thought the TV screen look on the start-up screen was awesome. The alley-oops, the corner threes, the insane halftime stat sheets, the game had it all. It was a young kid’s basketball dream come true.
But every now and then Dallas just wouldn’t go away. You knew by halftime when the score difference was less than double-digits you were in for the fight of your life. No amount of shoving players into the scorer’s table, or shattered backboards could counter the Mavericks power.
Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn on any given day could be stomped with little to no effort. But when the planets aligned they were unstoppable.
Call it just waking up for the day still in my pajamas and with crud still in the corner of my eye. But it never seemed to fail, when the Mavs wanted to win, they could get the job done.
A 2-point lead wouldn’t suffice if the Mavs had the last possession. There was no way to defend the inbound three-quarters court heave courtesy of Mashburn to win the game (there was usually 0.8 seconds or less in this scenario). Game over, Mavs did the impossible, the unthinkable, and the unbelievable.
They won the game they weren’t supposed to. I’d sit there puzzled, unsure of what to do with myself. Do I go back to bed and start my day over? Do I question life’s meaning? I’d just reset the game so I could go through all the teams again undefeated. NOBODY wanted a blemish on their record and certainly not against the lowly Mavs. I worried I might have to go into the Witness Protection Program if word got out I lost to them.
The Mavericks finally hit the reset button in 2011 winning the franchise’s first NBA Title, removing years of disgusting film left behind by the mark of the video game franchise.
No longer could they be the victims of a “Razzle Dazzle!” or feel ridiculed as the announcer barks, “Ugly Shot!”. No more. The Mavericks became not the champions NBA Jamites wanted, but the champions we so desperately deserved.
Anything is possible.
Editor’s Note: Adam is a lifelong NBA Fan and D-League nut, covering the Santa Cruz Warriors at his own site seadubscentral.com. An Ike Diogu apologist and a proud father. He’s also a must follow on Twitter @AdamJNBA and @SeaDubsCentral.