Apparently the All-Star Weekend buzz — we’re going to assume that’s what the buzz is from — has not worn off for Mark Cuban. And when you’re buzzed, some wild ideas come out of your mouth.
Like the Dallas Mavericks playing a few home games in Cowboy Stadium.
“There would be a lot of strategic reasons, in addition to potentially economic reasons, to play a game over there,” Cuban said before the Mavericks’ road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “You could bring in twice as many fans, so economically it’d probably work out, and it’d be a unique attraction for people who wanted to come play for the Mavs.”
Cuban, who said regular season or playoff games are possibilities for Cowboys Stadium, has been thinking about the idea since Sunday’s All-Star Game there. That game was attended by 108,713 fans, shattering the previous record for a basketball game.
The NBA All-Star Game experience is something people are willing to pay for, even if the people in the top seats essentially paid to watch the game on a big screen larger than the basketball court itself. But an NBA regular season game? Not sure anyone does that, even if it is the Lakers and Kobe in town. First round playoff game? Pretty much the same thing.
As for the second round of the playoffs and beyond… Dallas should make sure they get that far first and foremost.
Dallas has sold out 341 consecutive games at American Airlines Arena. The fans are loyal. And under the right circumstances, they could sell more tickets in a larger venue for a game. But right now Dallas has a nice home court advantage, and Cuban should be careful not to tinker with that too much (especially if we are talking about a playoff game).
Cuban sometimes talks to the media, then goes and talks to David Stern or Jerry Jones or any of the other people who should be in on his thinking. But that’s what we do when we’re buzzed.
In 2016, both the Pistons (who agreed to trade for him) and the Rockets (who agreed to match his offer sheet from the Nets) failed Donatas Motiejunas on physicals. He finally signed a prorated minimum contract with the Pelicans for 2016-17. He has spent the last two seasons in China. It has been rough for him.
Now, Motiejunas is somewhat surprisingly returning to the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a deal with veteran Donatas Motiejunas, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
San Antonio needed another big man after buying out Pau Gasol, who signed with the Bucks. Motiejunas provides depth behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl.
The 7-foot Motiejunas is capable inside and out. But NBA centers have gotten so good at 3-point shooting so quickly. I’m not sure Motiejunas remains ahead of the curve on the perimeter.
Whatever his current ability, he should at least fit well with the Spurs. They maximize skilled bigs.
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
He missed more than five weeks.
Maybe he should have sat even longer.
Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:
Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.
Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.
Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.
There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.
What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?
The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.
The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.
Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.
With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.
He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.
The Lakers have had a rough season.
Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.
The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.