Frustrations are mounting with Mavericks
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks are wandering in uncommon ground – floundering and in danger of not making the playoffs for the first time since 1999-2000, the season owner Mark Cuban purchased the team.
The frustration is everywhere.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle threatened to suspend players for not doing what they’re supposed to on the court, then thought better of that idea, realizing that is pickle neither he, Cuban, the league office or the players’ union want to handle.
Cuban, who recently celebrated 13 years as owner, returned from vacation in the Cayman Islands, watched the New Orleans Hornets beat the Mavericks 99-96 and Tweeted, “Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 yrs to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help.”
That Tweet earned him a $50,000 fine from the NBA.
After a recent victory – their only win in the past 10 games – All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki said, “The locker room is miserable (and) the coaches are miserable when you lose.”
Lots of losing for Dallas – 13-22 and in 12th place in the Western Conference and turning into a longshot to make the playoffs with every loss.
“It’s been frustrating. Like I’ve said, losing is not something we’re used to in this franchise,” Nowitzki said. “The fans aren’t used to. Heard a couple of boos there when we lost to San Antonio by 25. Rightfully so.”
The offseason looked OK for the Mavericks, signing guard O.J. Mayo, acquiring guard Darren Collison in a trade, signing big man Chris Kaman and picking up forward Elton Brand after the Philadelphia 76ers used the amnesty clause on him. The Mavs still had Nowitzki, forward Shawn Marion and guard-forward Vince Carter. It wasn’t a great roster, but it was a one that looked like a playoff team.
But for the Mavs, it’s been a struggle before the season even started, beginning with Nowitzki’s knee surgery in October that sidelined him for the team’s first 27 games. Delonte West was released because he was a problem in the locker room. Derek Fisher came and went. And the losses … [For more on Frustrations are mounting with Mavericks: NBA A-Z, click here.]