What are the two main elements to winning a championship? No. 1: the Will. No. 2: the Way.
The Dallas Mavericks are the last NBA team to bring the Finals title to the Western Conference in 2011 after they beat the Miami Heat, who have won the championship the past couple of seasons. The Heat did defeat the Mavs in 2006 in what was the first Finals appearance for both teams.
Could the Mavs bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Dallas? They most certainly have the will. Now it is a matter of paving the way, and the members of this year’s roster are here to play.
Look at guard-forward Vince Carter, the 15-year NBA veteran who will enter his third season with the Mavericks. “Vinsanity” is so adamant about vying for the championship that he devoted the offseason to be basketball ready.
There are other seasoned players, including the two remaining Mavs from the 2011 NBA Finals Championship. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki, also a 15-year NBA veteran, has played his entire USA career for Dallas. Small forward Shawn Marion follows with 14 seasons, including four with the Mavericks and his first full eight with the Phoenix Suns – joined by former star Mav Steve Nash – that lost to the Mavs in the 2006 NBA Western Conference Championship.
Shooting guard Devin Harris, who was part of that Mavericks 2006 Western Conference Championship team that advanced all the way to win the NBA Finals, is back for his second stretch in Dallas as he approaches the season that will mark a decade for his NBA career.
Another player whose double-digit years with the league may be to the Mavs’ advantage is new center Samuel Dalembert, with 11 years under his belt, most recently with the Milwuakee Bucks. Fellow former Buck Monta Ellis also joins the Mavs as a guard.
More Mavs newbies from the NBA coast to coast include shooting guard Wayne Ellington from the Cleveland Cavaliers and center-forward DeJuan Blair from this year’s Western Conference Champions, the San Antonio Spurs.
Other players from around the globe are coming to Dallas. Guard José Calderon from the Detroit Pistons did reign in Spain this past summer and is anticipated to serve as a facilitator on the floor. International point guard Gal Mekel most recently played for Macabbi Haifa.
However, with training camp starting soon, the roster will fill out a bit for the preseason, and the team may make some adjustments before the season. Center Fab Melo from the Boston Celtics, among others, has the opportunity to train in Dallas.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban could always offer Terrell Owens a contract to make their path back toward World Championship status more interesting or at least a spot on the training squad to get his “feet wet” on the court.