Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban reacts during their NBA basketball game against Oklahoma City Thunder in Dallas

Cuban thinks Nowitzki can help recruit stars to play in Dallas


He’s no John Calipari, but is Dirk Nowitzki enough of a recruiter — is the chance to play with him enough of a draw — that elite free agents will come to Dallas to play and win with him?

Mark Cuban is counting on it.

This summer — and likely next summer — Dallas is going to be courting free agents and Cuban told the Dallas Morning News Nowitzki will be part of the effort.

“Yeah, obviously,” Cuban said. “He hasn’t been shy to make calls in the past. He just hasn’t been in the country. He’s happy to text and make calls. He just hasn’t been here. Dirk will do anything. He’s a team player from top to bottom.”

What is the first factor in attracting a free agent? Money. It’s also the second and third most important things. Dallas will have cap space to offer a max deal if they find a player they like, so that is not a problem.

After money come the other issues such as weather, state taxes, if the team/city have a good reputation among players, roster makeup and playing time, and is the team a contender. What order those go in and how much they weigh depends on the player and the stage of his career.

It’s on those issues that having a player call and do some recruiting helps. Cuban had a great line about that.

So is Nowitzki a persuasive sort of guy?

“He got somebody much hotter than him to marry him,” Cuban quipped.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.