As the Mavericks continue their Eastern Conference cakewalk through Philadelphia, Detroit and New York, they’ll be met Monday night not with a question about their rosy present. But rather their potential past.
Dallas dominated the Sixers and Pistons over the weekend to improve to 17-8 against the meek East (compared to 17-15 vs. the West). But against the Knicks they’ll be confronted with a blast from their glorious past: Tyson Chandler.
There remain Mavs fans defiant than Dallas could have repeated its 2011 NBA Championship if Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson would have kept the team together. I doubt it, given the stark deterioration of players like Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Kidd since then. I don’t think the Mavs would have won another title with that roster but, then again, it’s hard to argue them being any worse than the path the Mavs chose: Zero playoff wins the last two seasons.
Of all the players the Mavs let loose in Plan Powder Dry, Chandler hurts the most.
The defensive backbone during Dallas’ title run, he left for the Knicks and a $55 million contract. But while the Mavs have floundered without Chandler, New York hasn’t exactly flourished with him. As the Mavs’ brass suspected, he remains injury-prone, has played in only 32 games this year and has led the Knicks to one playoff series win.
As you watch Mavs-Knicks tonight and lament what could have been if Chandler had remained in Dallas, think of it this way: Tyson Chandler is the hot, crazy girl with whom you enjoyed a glorious one-night stand, and should be thankful that you didn’t marry.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.