Scouting Report: Your New Dallas Mavericks

If you are a Dallas Mavericks fan, you’ve no doubt heard the big weekend trade (Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson) dissected over and over again, at least how it will affect the Mavs on the court. I won’t add to that. Here, instead, is a scouting report on potential off-the-court matters of interest, for whenever beat reporters have a slow day.

Caron Butler: Becomes the only Maverick to have appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s couch. Why? He had a troubled childhood (arrested 15 times before the age of 15) and basketball saved him from a further life of crime. His semi-official nickname: Tuff Juice. He likes to chew straws (preferably from McDonald’s) and used to be addicted to Mountain Dew.

Brendan Haywood: Pretty non-controversial player, unless Etan Thomas is on the same team. Haywood and Thomas got into at least three fights with each other during practice while Washington Wizards teammates. And he also probably shouldn’t blog ever again. Extremely unofficial nickname: Brenda.

DeShawn Stevenson: Lots of material here: Has some really interesting tattoos, even by pro athlete standards. Once called LeBron James “overrated,” then aligned himself with Soulja Boy in an astonishingly one-sided “feud” with James and Jay-Z, which did little more than make James get the giggles. Was involved in a beard-growing contest with now-former Mav Drew Gooden. Those are just the highlights.


  • Nabob

    Zac – did any of you folks attend the All-Star festivities? Pics? Reports?

  • JS

    Here’s one report — Cowboys Stadium may be an engineering marvel but execution there sucks. We were required to go in one door instead of the door closest to our seats. After waiting in line for 40 minutes (we were there 2 hours before tip), we finally got in. One reason for the delay — a pat down that would have found contraband only if that contraband was a bazooka. Then we get into the stadium — no signs directing us to our section. Ask a person with an “event staff” tshirt on where are seats are and head the indicated direction until stopped by the Stadium Club gestapo. Directs us the opposite direction, so we fight back through the crowd until we are stopped by more Stadium Club gestapo and told to go back the way we came. When I pointed out that we had just done that, I got a shrug of the shoulders. Then asked two more “events staff” folks — no help. Finally someone told us that we had to go all the way to the top of stadium, walk across that level, and then take the other escalator down. So we head to the top, only to have an event staff person up there tell us that the escalator will not start going down until after the game starts! When I ask how to get back down to my section, he said we would have to wait. So I ask if I can take the stairs right in front of him down to the bottom level — “Oh, that would be a good idea,” he says. Which it was, but for the fact that I had to fight our way through everyone who paid for a party pass and had camped out on said stairs to watch the game. Finally made it to our seats 15 minutes before tip off. As a test, when we left the stadium I asked several events staff people whether I was headed toward Collins Street (I knew I was). Not a one knew the answer to that question. I hope out-of-towners weren’t relying on any of these folks for help.

    Contrast the above with opening weekend at the new Yankees stadium, where they had dozens upon dozens of people outside the stadium to help you get to the right place and then inside the stadium to help you find your seats (the inside people were not even needed due to adequate, clear signage).
    I won’t be going back to Cowboys Stadium any time soon! Or compare it to the extremely helpful people at the AAC.

  • Freeze

    I had a much different experience at Cowboys Stadium. The wait to get through the patdown and metal detectors was long, but that was an NBA-mandated thing. That same line at Cowboys games moves faster. Once inside, I saw clear signs indicating which direction to go to get to my section, and every staff member I encountered was polite and knowledgeable. The concession line was a huge time waste though. That part sucked. But other than that, I thought everything was great.

    • My experience was probably somewhere in the middle. A lack of signage held me up from getting to my seat with alacrity, and led to a strange, Spinal Tap-like sequence where my traveling party and I seemed to be going in circles, as we went through unmarked doors that it seemed as though we weren’t supposed to go through, despite event staff’s instructions. “Rock and roll!” And the fan shop — based on reportage from our team — was a confusing mess that looked as though it had been thoroughly ransacked by early in the second quarter.

      That said, it never felt like there were more than 100,000 people there, at least to me. And the game presentation was really smooth, as far as these things go. Points to whomever tapped Mavs play-by-play man Mark Followill for P.A. duties.

  • JS

    Let me add that we had fun at the game, the concession stand in our immediate area had relatively short lines (but a limited selection), and I concur with Zac re Followill.

    Seriously, though, that pat down was a huge time waste. I literally could have snuck in anything I wanted to short of an AK-47.

  • MIssing Dots

    I hope they didn’t embarrass the city by allowing Chris Arnold to do his boring routine at any the events.

    • @Missing Dots: Sadly, he was there, at least at ASG, doing his thing. As was Ali Dee.

  • Nabob

    Did you or your colleagues go to anything besides the game?

    • @Nabob: I went to the Jam Session, which I posted about, and the game. Couldn’t make the Rookie-Sophomore game on Friday (was coaching). I believe we had some folks at some parties, so I’ll get them to chime in.

  • Cameron

    Watch the video of Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on the Floor of the house of Representatives officially congratulating the Dallas Mavericks for winning the 2011 NBA Championship. Watch HERE>>