The start of the 2016-17 NBA season will present the end of the Zaza Pachulia era in Dallas. He may not have been the best in the league but Mavs fans everywhere respected just what he did for this organization.
Dear Mr. Pachulia,
Hello there, you may not know me, but I was your biggest fan this last season. When the Dallas Mavericks went out of their way to snag you from the Milwaukee Bucks (a steal of a deal I might add), I was one of the first on board to support the decision.
When the Mavs took the slap in the face from DeAndre Jordan, MFFLs were both angry and scared that we had lost our chance at having a bonafide center in the starting lineup. Even after picking you up, most people were unfamiliar with your body of work.
I knew that you were going to be great here though. As an avid follower of a majority of the European players in the NBA, I had seen the style of play that you exhibited and knew we could make it work.
More than that though, I knew that it was just a matter of time before the fans saw the same thing that Hawks fans saw years ago and Bucks fans were just being forced to forget. The Zaza Pachulia fan club was under way.
Now, a year later, Mavs fans have to forget the level of excitement we were spoiled with by your presence on the court. Few players show as much heart, tenacity, and will to win the day they walk into the gym for their new team. DeAndre would have never been that for the Mavericks.
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Zaza, you nearly gave us our first NBA All-Star Game starter since Dirk Nowitzki replaced an injured Yao Ming in 2007. Before that, the last Dallas Mavs player to start for the West was Jason Kidd in 1996. Despite the hype around the All-Star game, you stayed focused on the team.
The point of all of this is that we are going to miss you Zaza. Every Mavs fan that got the pleasure of seeing you play will miss you on the court. We are excited for Andrew Bogut and expect great things, but we will never forget what you did here.
We wish you only the best in Golden State this year and, although the Mavs faithful will be hopeful to see another banner hanging in Dallas, there is no doubt that you deserve a ring and the fans from Dallas will be happy if you do end up with one. Good luck this year, Zaza.