premature ejac. part duex: make or break.

at this point it seems like, for various reasons, the kidd trade will not go through. one way or the other, we still have an excellent team that is capable of reaching our goal of winning a championship (which i truly believe, regardless of what many critics say about the current incarnation of our team...though i am still curious to see how we handle the new suns and new lakers).

however, the thing that worries me the most, and which you've probably read about by now, is how this non-trade effects the team chemistry and mindset from here on out.

cities with successful teams usually take it for granted, but the continuity and longevity of this team has been a blessing, and most times it correlates with how successful a franchise has been (look at how long the guys on the spurs have been together. jesus! that is a family in the truest sense of the word). the mavs as we know them have pretty much been together for almost 4 years now, which means our core guys (dirk, j-ho, jet, dh, damp, stack, and diop) have been through the motions, through all of the ups and downs (and we've been through some major ups and downs...i'd argue more often and more extreme than most teams), and worked through the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears that create teams that want to fight for each other till the bitter end. this is a kind of brotherhood that most people will never be able to understand, and with this non-trade, it has possibly been shaken to its core.

how are they going to treat devean george from here on out?
it's pretty obvious that dirk wants kidd on the team. how does devin feel about that?
will the events of the past week create different factions on the mavs?
can we come back from this drama stronger than ever, or are we just going to doubt ourselves and our teammates for the rest of the season?
if the front office doesn't believe in us, how do we believe in us?

unless this whole trade ordeal was from the beginning nothing more than a very risky yet genius motivational tool orchestrated by cuban (which i highly doubt), i am actually scared about how this could affect the team as a whole. having the specter of almost being traded from the place where you began your career can have a terrible effect on you (ie. devin harris), whether consciously or subconsciously. the strong-minded find ways to deal and come out as impenetrable as ever. the rest, however, can be left with an overwhelming sense of doubt. the past two playoffs have done no favors for building our team's mental strength, and this entire drawn-out ordeal has not been easy for anyone to deal with. how devin, the major player in this trade (this also being his first time dealing with such a topic), deals with this coming back from his injury remains to be seen...

in the proposed trade, no matter what the front office says, it basically sent a message that said "sorry guys, we don't think you can get it done." that hurts. this is only amplified by the fact that these guys have played together, and so successfully, for so long. much has been made about the frailty of this team's mindset, and if the critics are right, and the aforementioned message is the one being picked up by the mavs...well, you get the idea. as sam would say, that's just BNB (bad news bears).

or maybe, just maybe...this is the jolt that the mavs needed. that despite past successes, they need to prove themselves yet again. that they realize, more than ever, they need to come together as a team, move past all this craziness, not give a shit about what personnel moves other teams are making, and just do what in the past they have proven they can do: take care of ourselves, each other, and just win.

there is no middle ground on this. it's either one or the other. make no mistake, we will make the playoffs regardless of which mindset we choose, but the outcome of the 2nd season will depend heavily on which path we choose to go on. it just so happens that all of this comes at a time when our conference is the strongest it has ever been. if we go on to win the championship, this is the kind of cinderella story that people will always remember (a la this year's ny football giants). if not, it will just be another disappointing end to a string of successful seasons that were unfortunately heavily overshadowed by our failures.

thank god for the all-star break, where everyone (except for dirk) can get major rest, both mentally and physically, as well as the opportunity to sort out what is important to them.

mavs fans, this is it. this is our make or break season. we don't have to necessarily win a championship (though it would be nice), but we have to show that this is a team that people can have confidence in, that despite past failures, we can still create something positive. we still have an incredibly bright future, but, depending on how this year goes, it may or may not be with the same mavs team you have enjoyed for the past 4 years. other than dirk (and possibly j-ho, though i'm not even really sure on that), no one on this team is untouchable.

seriously...we need a team/fan therapist.


Justin said...

devean george is lame reagrdless of whether he blocked that trade.

Justin said...

Also, the NBA just needs to consolidate the teams again. Not everybody is supposed to be a superstar, despite what their agents tell them. What happened to the Scottie Pippens of the league?