By Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson
Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you know that Kevin Durant will start the next chapter of his career in a Golden State Warriors uniform.
What might get lost in the sauce in translation is that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban knows a thing or two against facing a super team.
His Mavericks team faced the arduous task of defeating the super team of the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh-led Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. James took his talents to South Beach and became public enemy number one. Miami would lose to Dallas, who had the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea on that squad.
“These super teams become the villain,” Cuban told Brown and Scoop last week. “We saw it in Miami, we saw LA try it with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Everybody was like you’re trying to take the easy road and that kind of makes them the villain and sells out arenas and makes it more fun to beat them. I also don’t think it’s as easy as it looks. Last year, one of the strong points of the Warriors was their bench, they had continuity on their bench from their championship year, they had guys that could take minutes off Steph and Draymond and Klay, etc. and now they’re going to have to reformulate their bench and it’s not as easy as it sounds.”
The Miami Heat’s experiment would not work in year one, but they would go on to win back-to-back NBA Finals against the then Kevin Durant led-Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and the San Antonio Spurs in 2013.
Dirk Nowitzki will enter his 18th year in the league and he got paid handsomely like many players did this offseason. Some suggested that Nowitzki might ‘pull a Dwyane Wade’ by leaving the only team he played for and complete his career elsewhere with perhaps a team like the Warriors, after Nowitzki decided to opt out of the final season of his three-year, $25 million deal. Mark Cuban offered Nowitzki a two-year, $50 Million deal and dispels the myth of Nowitzki bolting the 214.
“Dirk wasn’t even in the country and people couldn’t even reach him when free agency started,” Cuban told us. “I basically told him, look, you tell me the price and it actually started lower. His agent said ‘how about this much’ and we said ‘we’ll have a little more money, we’ll give you more’ and as the numbers started getting bigger and bigger, it was like ‘what about this number?’ ‘We’ll give you more.’ Finally, it was like ‘this is what we got left, take it!’ We wanted to make it a two-year deal with a team option so that people wouldn’t speculate that he was going to retire because Dirk is the type of guy, he’s just a good guy. He would hate going city to city to city and everyone asking him if he was going to retire because he has no intention of retiring after this year and, with the team option that we have, he gave us the flexibility that said ‘if we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let’s do it and if not, let’s give the money to Dirk again which I’m fine with too.”
In addition to re-signing Nowitzki, the sixth player in NBA history to register 29,000 career points, the Mavericks signed Harrison Barnes to a four-year, $94 million deal on July 9 and orchestrated a trade to acquire center Andrew Bogut. The team also re-signed Deron Williams, signed Seth Curry, added Argentinian wing, Nicolas Brussino, Quincy Acy and added second-round pick A.J. Hammons to their roster.
Brandon Robinson is a sports and entertainment writer and TV personality. You can catch him daily on CBS Radio’s Play.it Brown And Scoop Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SCOOPB and visitwww.ScoopB.com and www.ScoopBRadio.com