OpinionFebruary 15, 2008

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By George, I Think I’ve Lost It!

By Chris Hamm

It always makes me laugh listening to fans of other teams. Abe, in the last article, questioned his team, the Warriors, who counteracted the various trades made by Western Conference GMs with the relatively harmless signing of Chris Webber. It was a no-risk signing, really. He was signed in order to give a veteran presence to a team whose goal is to reach the second round of the playoffs. I remember the days when my team had such lofty goals, and any veteran leadership he provides should only be seen as a plus.

On the flip side, my Mavericks are a perpetual trade rumor machine. This past week is notable for a trade that almost occurred. The most unlikely person kept such an enormous deal from being completed – Devean George. Who would this seemingly trivial Mavericks veteran to play such a pivotal role in determining their fate? He explicitly asked for a trade earlier in the year with an eye towards wringing maximum value out of his impending free agency, only to back off from his demands when such a deal was arranged. Depending on whom you talk to in Dallas, he is either public enemy number one, or the newest fan favorite. It is comical to watch the drama unfurl. On a side note, I am thinking of adding George to all my fantasy teams just so I can repeatedly drop him. Now, I have to sit through another week of Kidd-to-Dallas rumors.

Sports websites and newspaper columns trumpet the Mavs’ involvement in talks for Jason Kidd, Jermaine O’Neal, Mike Miller, Andre Miller, Reggie Miller, someone, anyone that would improve a Dallas team that has, to put it lightly, floundered the last two years in the playoffs. The Mavericks are in a predicament at this point. Sell the future in Harris for a couple years of Kidd, and the team is expected to win, which is not exactly new territory. However, if Harris’ development stalls, the Mavs will be retroactively criticized for standing still while other favorites in the West took risks in an attempt to bolster their playoff chances.

From a fan’s standpoint, I am as frustrated with the failures of my team as the next guy. Of course “failures” is a relative term in this case. The Mavs have been to the playoffs seven straight years, and have been to the Conference Finals twice in those seven years along with, of course, the lone Finals appearance. Failure was once almost expected, but is not tolerated anymore. Sometimes, I wish the team would go back to the entertaining, flashy days of the Three J’s. That’s how bad it has gotten. Imagine being rejected by 17 different girls on the same day. That’s how it feels to be a Mavs fan after the failures of the past few years. Give me a team full of hopeful optimism, and I will trade you one that has experienced the absolute worst emotions known to man in the last two years.

Please, continue with the rumors and the columns, though. While I may seem worried and confused about the future of my team, which is in limbo at the moment, I’m just reading for the laughs.

Chris Hamm is an English major at UTA and is kind of bored at the moment. During those times when he's bored, you can catch up with Chris in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of buckets.
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