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.
James Harden has been on a Wilt Chamberlain-level streak the past few weeks, it’s unlike anything we have seen in the modern NBA.
Wednesday night he topped himself.
James Harden scored 61 points against the Knicks. That would be:
• Harden’s career high.
• Tied with Kobe Bryant for most points scored by an opponent in Madison Square Garden (Carmelo Anthony holds the overall record at 62).
• A Rockets’ franchise record.
• His 21st consecutive 30-point game, tying Chamberlain for fourth-longest such streak in league history.
Oh, and Harden had the seal and dunk that sealed the win.
Harden also had 15 rebounds in the game. The last player to have 60+ points and 15+ rebounds in a game? Some guy named Shaquille O’Neal back on March 6, 2000, with the Lakers.
Harden is playing like an MVP — and the banged-up Rockets need him to if they are to have a chance to win every night.
The Washington Wizards have won 7-of-10 and have climbed up to the nine seed, just a couple of games out of the playoffs in the East. Without John Wall, the Wizards are making a push to get into the postseason.
Which impacts whether they are willing to trade players at the deadline.
The Wizards are not trading Bradley Beal — the most coveted of their stars — but might be open to Otto Porter trades if the team slides back, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Wizards star guard Bradley Beal is not going anywhere, which Washington has made adamantly clear, league sources told The Athletic. Depending on how the next week to two weeks shape up, the Wizards could look more aggressively toward moving Otto Porter. The Utah Jazz have been an interested suitor for Porter, league sources said.
History suggests the Wizards will not be sellers. The pattern for owner Ted Leonsis and GM Ernie Grunfeld has always been to think short term and make the playoff push, even when it was not the smart thing to do. We should expect that again. Maybe Washington crawls into one of the final playoff slots in the East, but is that the smart play?
Don’t expect the Wizards to move Porter, even if they wanted to finding a team to take on his $26 million for 13 points a game this season would be difficult (although Utah would be a good fit), plus Porter is owed $27.3 million next season and has a player option he very likely will pick up for $28.5 million two seasons from now.
Let’s hope this is not as scary as it looks.
Pacers’ All-NBA, All-Star guard Victor Oladipo was trying to defend a length-of-the-court pass to Pascal Siakam when Oladipo went down with a brutal knee injury were his kneecap was clearly not in the right place. Oladipo had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. The video is below, but be warned this is not pretty.
The team’s official announcement called the injry “serious.”
Oladipo is the Pacers’ best player and was a lock to be an All-Star reserve averaging 19.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists a game this season in Indiana. His efficiency had dropped his season as teams game planned more for him. Beyond that, you’d be hard pressed to find a kinder, more genuine person around the NBA than Oladipo.
Quickly the NBA community rallied on social media to Oladipo.
Things have seemed like they are burning down around the Grizzlies the past few weeks: The team has lost 12-of-13 games and now long-time franchise stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are on the trade block.
Now the franchise is on fire — literally. They had a locker room fire in the FedEx Forum, which fortunately was small and no one was injured.
Fortunately, there were no injuries or serious damage.
But this seems about right for the Grizzlies lately.