Just like former NBA star Larry Johnson before him, Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks was originally an uber popular forward in the NBA. Johnson had his nickname of ‘Grandmama’ while Marion was given by TNT basketball analyst Kenny Smith the nickname of ‘The Matrix’, which today is still used when referring to him.
While Marion is still an effective player at the offensive end, he isn’t the flashy offensive player he was when he was on the Phoenix Suns. Since he’s been with the Mavericks, Marion has become more of a cerebral player much like Johnson when he joined the New York Knicks late in his career. In order to become this sort of player, a former star needs to put the team first. Former players like Allen Iverson, for instance, were too stubborn to take on less minutes and a somewhat reduced role for the betterment of the team, but Marion has embraced it.
This is a refreshing thing to see in a veteran player. The kids around the world today don’t really know much about Marion. The children know about guys like Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin, because those guys are putting up the points and doing the sort of flashy things Marion used to do. Those players are out there trying to win a popularity contest while Marion is perfecting his versatile defensive approach, grabbing rebounds and rediscovering his three-point shot.
Marion has already experienced the fame and fortune of being a flashy star. He’s already been the ‘cool guy’ amongst the kids. And yes, Marion is still, of course, a cool guy. It’s just that now he’s a cool guy with ‘old man’ strength. He’s cool in a level-headed, philosophical sort of way. It makes him more intriguing to the thinking man (or woman).
Miotch is a Mavericks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Miotch_Report, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your Google Network.