The Dallas Mavericks needed Maxi Kleber when they drew the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The 6’10 big man was the team’s best option at defending the two-time Finals MVP. Leonard struggles to bully Kleber, and the Mavs big man can defend well on the perimeter. Slowing down Kawhi is difficult, but the 29-year-old has the best chance.
Fans have been wondering what to make of Kleber’s minutes dropping throughout the series. He was dealing with injuries that progressively got worse during the grueling and compressed regular season.
Maxi Kleber was at the Mavericks summer camp on Friday to work with the children. He interviewed with Kevin Gray where he touched on numerous topics, including making fun of J.J. Barea. Let us take a closer look.
Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber pokes fun at former teammate J.J. Barea
Kleber was taking part in a basketball camp for children. He was jokingly asked if facing the youngsters was like playing small ball. See the 6’10 big man’s response below.
"“That’s playing really small ball. Yeah, but there are some really talented guys out there. Smaller small ball. I would say it’s like having five J.J. Barea’s out there.”"
Kleber was just having a bit of fun at the expense of his former teammate. Barea is a candidate to join new Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd’s staff, so do not be surprised to see him get Kleber back for his joke.
The interview touched on multiple topics. The 29-year-old had this to say about the injury that limited him late in the regular season and into the playoffs.
"“I was pretty beat up at the end of the season, so I took the first time just to do rehab stuff and recover. I am a lot better now. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m starting to do basketball stuff again and normal movement. I’m feeling great. As long as it doesn’t get worse and I keep making progress, I’m happy.”"
The 29-year-old mentioned it was an Achilles injury that was made worse by the compressed schedule. Fans should be relieved that Kleber is making progress. He should back to 100 percent before the start of training camp in September.
The 6’10 big man also had this to say about coach Kidd.
"“Once he got signed and it was official, he reached out immediately and we talked a little bit. I really appreciated that. I got to meet him yesterday (July 22) for the first time and talk to him in person. We didn’t talk any specific basketball stuff, but he seems to be a really great guy. It’s been not too long for him since he was a player, so I think he’s going to be a player coach with a lot of understanding of how things work. He was a great facilitator when he was a player, so I think it is going to be fun to watch Mavs basketball with a lot of team play in the upcoming season.”"
Kleber seemed excited about playing for Kidd. Hopefully, the Hall of Famer can help him take another step forward.
Dallas Mavericks fans should listen to the entire interview with Maxi Kleber done by Kevin Gray. Kleber showcases his humor and touches on multiple topics that will impact the team.
Hopefully, Kleber keeps improving and is back at 100 percent soon. He will be an important piece for the Dallas Mavericks next season. Keep it locked to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest.