The Dallas Mavericks are in Brooklyn today and will take on the Nets shortly. The Mavs enter the game at 29-39 and 3.5 games behind the Nuggets for the #8 seed in the west. Head coach Rick Carlisle and the Mavs, like any team, are competitors and want to make the playoffs. But is it wort it to max out, grab the #8 seed and extend the season by 4 or 5 games and lose out on the lottery?
Prior to the game I spoke briefly with Mavs owner Mark Cuban and the challenges of fielding a title contender every year.
Jarod Hector: Mark, can you describe the difficulties in consistently fielding a championship caliber team in the NBA?
Mark Cuban: Yeah, it’s tough. Players get old. The Spurs have been the only team to figure out how to consistently do it. Unless we find the fountain of youth, that’s just the reality of life in the NBA.
JH: When Dirk finally retires is that when the full scale rebuild will happen?
MC: We’re kind of doing it now. Look at our record.
JH: But you are only a few games out of a playoff spot. If you make the playoffs you’ll miss the lottery…
MC: Well, if we keep losing we’ll definitely stay in the lottery. At some point you have to learn to win with young guys. We will certainly have to do that.
Cuban is one of the best owners in all of professional sports and an ultra competitive guy. You don’t become a billionaire without smarts and a competitive spirit. Nobody wants to win more than he does. It has to bug him that the Mavs haven’t quite figured out how to develop that Spurs level consistency. Don’t expect the Mavs to be on the outside looking in for too much longer, Cuban and team will find the consistency they seek.
My thanks to Mark Cuban for giving me a few minutes today.