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Mavs savoring title, reloading talk on hold
For Carlisle, it’s the satisfaction of making champions out of guys who’d made millions and been All-Stars but had never won it all.
“There’s a big difference between success and fulfillment,” Carlisle said. “These guys have had incredible success in the league. You go right down the list of guys, Dirk, Jet, Kidd, Marion, Stojakovic, Chandler, all these guys. But the thing that’s eluded them and myself on the coaching side of it has been the fulfillment of achieving the ultimate dream. … Once you’re an NBA champion and you have the ring, you’re a made man in NBA circles.”
Nowitzki and Carlisle emphasized the importance of the way Dallas won, with a “strength in numbers” approach best evidenced by Terry and the supporting cast pulling them through the clincher while Nowitzki struggled.
“They needed each other to be successful,” Carlisle said. “A lot of people are going to reference back to the 2011 Dallas Mavericks as the team that … found a way collectively to achieve the highest achievement.”
That achievement usually is marked by championship rings. Cuban is considering another kind of jewelry, but is being strongly urged to stick with tradition.
“You win an NBA championship, you’ve got to have a ring,” Carlisle said. Laughing, he added, “I don’t know what he’s thinking.”
Nowitzki spoke for the locker room when he said, “We know he always wants to do something different, something bigger. But the ring is just so classic. … I mean, I’m a man. I don’t know how I’d feel about a bracelet. I’d rather go with a ring.”
A parade through downtown is planned for Thursday, with 250,000 people expected. Cuban has offered to pick up the tab, so it should be a doozy of a party, especially after the way he celebrated Sunday night in Miami. He footed the bill at a chic club on South Beach; there was talk of a single, oversized bottle of champagne that cost $90,000.
On Monday night, Cuban, Nowitzki and several others took the trophy to a favorite watering hole. The celebration including a rendition of “We Are The Champions.” Cuban even tweeted a link to a YouTube video of it.
They better enjoy being champions for as long as they can because come next season, it will be used against them by every team they face. Carlisle called it “another challenge that we’ll embrace.”
Another, similar challenge is dealing with talk of whether they can repeat as champions.
“The lockout is the only thing holding this team back,” Terry said. “Hey, you know what? If they lock us out ‘til January, it would be a shorter journey. But I know nobody is going to pick us again next year. … But we’ll love it. We like the underdog role. I believe if we have the same team coming back next year, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
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