Well, I haven't been writing much about the Mavs as they're still such a 
sorry collection of individuals and I haven't had much desire or 
motivation to write reports (I actually have info from all the games since
January 13).  Pick a game, here's likely the summary: they played like 
crap.  Or in one of the few wins: the other team played worse.  There were
a couple flashes of good play but the San Antonio game is still too fresh 
in my mind.  It was the third game this season that I've wondered why I do
this to my self and spent most of the game with my head in my hands 
(Atlanta 12/17 and Orlando 1/15 being the others).  There is no hope for 
this team.  All during the 90s, the Mavs have had crappy teams but I 
always saw a glimmer of light and a bright star in the future.  This year
has destroyed the team and there is no hope.  The only potential bright 
spot is fading fast.  Per Don Nelson's pushing, Chris Gatling started in 
last night's game vs Golden State.  Chris was not happy.  He was suspended
a game before the All-Star break for gripping about minutes and the only 
way he will consistently get 35 minutes a game is to be a starter.  How 
did Gat respond to starting?  He sulked during the team intro and he 
sulked to the side during the pre-game huddle.  It seems that all that 
Gatling really cares about is winning the 6th Man award.  It is an 
individual award and has little to do with team.  This team needs Gat 
both body and mind as a starter.  He should not selfishly be focusing on 
obtaining an individual award.  One of the radio guys (I believe Mike 
Fisher who was sitting as the scorers table for one of the games) said 
that before one of the games, PA announcer Kevin McCartney introduced the 
mascot as "and now the Mavs 6th man, Mavs Man" and Gat later went to 
McCartney and very seriously said, "I'm the 6th man." There is no hope.
Expect the Mavs to signed Erick Strickland to an 10-day contract in the 
next day or two.  Strickland, who was with the Mavs until just prior to 
the guaranteed contract deadline, was on a plane for Dallas Thursday 
night instead of being with his Quad Cities CBA team in Sioux Falls for 
a game.  Samaki Walker is expected to be out another week with a gimpy 
The trade deadline is next Thursday (Feb. 20) at 5:00 CT.  Expect either 
or both Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn to be gone by the time the 
deadline comes around.  Most of the Jackson rumors are centering around 
JJ to Cleveland for a draft pick (or picks).  Cleveland is one of the 
few teams far enough under the salary cap that can take on Jackson's 
salary.  Cleveland does have the rights to Phoenix's draft pick this 
year, but Jackson's value is currently not worth that much.  Speaking of
Jackson, what in the world has happened to him???  I can not believe 
that the player wearing #24 on the court is the same that averaged 25.7 
points and once scored 50 in a game just 2 seasons ago.  And if you think
his offense has gone south, his defense has totally disappeared.  He 
still seems to be a great guy off the court (he's always signing for all 
the kids before the game), but he's just not the same on the court.  I
haven't heard any new Mashburn rumors.  The other rumor is that Houston 
wants Derek Harper.  Charles Barkley said that he will do everything he 
can to see that Harper leads them to a championship.  Word is that Harper
would not mind the trade (Nelson said that for Harper to be traded it 
would have to be with Harp's blessing).  Houston is over the cap, so for 
this trade to work the Mavs would have to trade Harper ($1,300,000) for 
Brent Price ($1,600,000), Kevin Willis ($1,500,000), or Mario Elie 
($1,400,000).  Everyone else with Houston is either the big three or 
playing for minimum wage.  One of those 3 would _have_ to be included in 
a trade for Harper.  
In off the court news, Donald Carter is selling 12% of the team to
developer Richard Rainwater.  Rainwater receiving part of the team as
part of a much larger real estate deal with Carter's company.  Rainwater
also has a minority ownership percentage of the Texas Rangers (baseball).
The 12% sale of the Mavs will have to be approved by the league.  Carter 
is retaining about 4% of the team.
In a surprising move, Don Nelson fired equipment manager Ben Carter.  
The move angered many of the players.  Carter, who is 21, had been with 
the team for 11 years and got along very well with a lot of the players 
(he was a very close friend of Jason Kidd - the management was said to 
have sometimes gone through Carter with messages for Kidd during the 
summer's turmoil).  The only explanation I've heard for the firing is 
that Nelson said he wanted a full-time equipment manager.  Carter is 
attending SMU.  Assistant equipment manager Chad Lewis was promoted to 
equipment manager.
Former Mav update: Toronto signed Oliver Miller for the rest of the 
In older news:
2/9 Chris Gatling had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes in the 1997
All-Star game.
Gatling on making the All-Star team: "I have to give a lot of credit to 
the guys who were really behind me, the guys on the team that really 
pushed me in practice as well as off the court, especially Derek Harper."
2/8 Michael Finley finished 3rd in the Slam Dunk contest.  Finley missed
both of his dunks in the final round, but in a sharp contrast to the
usual they were very creative attempts.  His first dunk was lob the ball,
do a pseudo-cartwheel, and dunk.  To all who saw the pseudo-cartwheel and
thought that he had just messed up the cartwheel, he demonstrated a few
days later that he could make that dunk and did the cartwheel the same
way.  For his second dunk, he took two balls, lobed one of them, jammed
the one in his hand, and tried to jam the lobbed ball - the lob wasn't
high enough.  Finley said that the dunk he had planned on doing first
was the same one that Kobe Bryant did right before him (Bryant won the
contest with that dunk) and he had been practicing it for a couple of
2/7 Dallas released Oliver Miller.  Nelson sited Miller's comment a few
weeks ago of "I just don't care anymore" as the reason for releasing him.
2/7 Dallas hired Don Nelson as GM.  Nelson was last seen coaching New
York last season (he was fired March 8).  Nelson was also coach and GM
for Golden State the previous year.
[Yeah, I'm down right now (I'm so down that I've spent the last 3 hours
listening to my Dreams tape).  I'll eventually get a little more
oppomistic - I always do - but right now I just don't see any hope.]

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.