Dirk Nowitzki, Barnes & the Rest of the Players Deserve Your Support
By Isaac Harris
The spotlight is on Dallas and the fans are rightfully angry, but the players putting on the jerseys deserve all the fan support they can get.
Things have been better in Dallas to say the least.
Over the past 10-20 years, fans have had their rollercoaster of emotions with the Mavericks. From the championship year in 2011 to the constant striking out in free agency, MFFL’s thought they hit both ends of the fan spectrum….until this past week.
Suddenly, missing out on free agents and breaking up the title team became an afterthought as fans in Dallas now have a new low in their fandom.
Anger. Disappointment. Confusion. Everything.
Fans of the Dallas Mavericks are rightfully upset with the current situation, but there is one group of people in the organization they shouldn’t be angry at or show any backlash to.
That is the actual players on the team.
Just this past week, Harrison Barnes and his wife Brittany went out in the community and hosted viewings at a local theater for kids to watch the movie Black Panther.
The Barnes duo didn’t just do it one night either. They did the same thing for a second night hosting another group of 150 kids from the Boys and Girls Club.
On his instagram post about the event, Barnes said “it is important for kids to see themselves on the big screen.”
What Barnes has done in the community already in his short time in Dallas is not going unnoticed. Last summer, he hosted a free basketball camp in South Dallas that focused on kid relationships with law enforcement.
On the court, Barnes has missed only five games over the course of the past two years and is on pace to lead the team in scoring once again. The work Barnes has done on and off the court in Dallas as one of the best genuine men in the league shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Then you have the 20-year-old rook in Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis is nearing the end of his rookie year where everything is flying by for him. Growing up at a super fast rate, Smith Jr. is still learning what the NBA is all about, the city of Dallas and what exactly playing for the Dallas Mavericks means.
You also have cool stories like Kyle Collinsworth who took a 10-day contract with the Mavericks a few months ago only to find himself signed for the rest of the season after the traded deadline. What about two-way player Johnathan Motley who could get his first real shot a playing time over the last part of the season?
When I look at Wesley Matthews, the first thing I think about is his competitive fire within him.
Back when Matthews first signed in Dallas, he was just over six months from tearing his Achilles when he suited up for Dallas in the first game of the season. Many people thought he would sit for the first few weeks of the season and some predicted Matthews to make his debut after Christmas.
The Iron Man suited up night one and played in 78 games that season.
Now, he’s in his third season in Dallas and as assistant coach Melvin Hunt likes to call him, he’s one of the most competitive players ever.
The man gives it all for the team and for the city of Dallas, not to mention he is shooting his best percentage since arriving in Dallas and serving as a big brother mentor to Dennis Smith Jr.
Remember all the work J.J. Barea did and still does for his home country of Puerto Rico?
The 33-year-old Barea is in his 9th season in Dallas and to be honest, should have his number retired with the Mavericks before it is all said and done.
Last and certainly not the least…Dirk Nowitzki.
He is Dallas.
He is who many of us pretended to be in our pickup games over the past 20 years.
He is our MVP.
He is the one who delivered the infamous 2011 NBA Championship.
He is the most loyal player in professional sports.
He is everything to MFFL’s.
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In the midst of his 20th season in the league, Nowitzki is having one of the best shooting seasons of his career and has only missed ONE GAME ALL YEAR.
If people only knew every single thing this man does on a daily basis to be able to play the game and put on the jersey with DALLAS across his chest. Just remember this quote from his exit interview after the 33 win season last year and the idea of rebuilding in Dallas.
"“If you are going with a team like I have for so long, if that is what it takes, that is what it takes. I made the decision last summer when I decided to sign on. I knew it was a possibility. At the end of the day, I can’t imagine myself in a different uniform. That is why I made that decision. Whatever comes, if we are rebuilding, then I am the face of that. If we are championship, then I am here for that. I just identified myself with the organization for so long, with the fan base, with the city, that no matter what the team or franchise is going through, I am right there to push it through” -Dirk Nowitzki"
Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes and the rest of these players deserve your support.
Next: Nowitzki, Carlisle Respond to Cuban
Now, it’s time for the fans to continue to show appreciation for the players during a rough time for everyone.