Mavericks exit interviews tell stories of camaraderie and off-season plans

Mavericks Fans will likely be familiar with the team’s mobile background, a royal blue fabric with the team logo and company sponsor strewn across it in a consistent pattern that’s always behind players’ heads when watching press conference streams and spotlights on the post-match interview. It serves its purpose well when one person sits in front of it, eliminating any boring background that might be behind it, creating visual harmony in any setting. It does not mean multiple NBA Athletes stand in front of him.

Last Friday, at the team’s last media session after exit interviews, the players insisted anyway. It was mostly an adverb. Spencer Dinwiddy It was several minutes of answering questions when a quartet of Mavericks burst into boisterously. “I think you’re done,” one reporter joked. Dinwiddie answered a few more questions before compromising the background – and attention – first Tim Hardaway Jr. And the Theo Bensonthen to Dorian Finney Smith And the Reggie Bullock.

We don’t often see Mavericks players react organically in these otherwise written media situations. While some teams send multiple players to the post-season podium – remember to wear your backpack Kevin Durant And the Russell Westbrook? – The Mavericks never did. Scott Tomlin, the team’s head of public relations, told me he thinks it’s easier to ask questions to the media when there is only one person represented at a time. (He’s right, and it’s appreciated.) He also trusts players individually to answer any questions they are asked. But on rare occasions players have come together this season – Benson Pause after the match after match 5 It was another recent example – providing clear reminders that this team truly loves each other.

These indicators are visible everywhere. Multiple fines occurred for bench partying too much, social media cheating on each other, and how often the players themselves express their mutual appreciation for their teammates. “Man, this team, we had a really good time together,” Benson said. “No one team has more fun together.” But if you need another reminder, this camaraderie was visible when Dinwiddie asked for one word to describe the team, to which he replied “exciting.” And how happy his waiting colleagues were after he said that. And when Theo Benson half-jokingly broke off when many questions were directed to Hardaway, not him. It’s visible everywhere, even more than I’ll ever see in public.

Teammates like each other are not required to win basketball games. Many of the locker rooms have quarrels and quarrels even during the tournament rounds. But it is always worth noting when they do, when the office space becomes fraternity.

The only thing this chemistry rejected is that bad background. But who knows – he might have been enjoying all this, too.

Here are some other things said during exit interviews that I found compelling enough to highlight:

The team will rest. Most guys spend weeks off the field, catching up with family members and taking vacations while maintaining conditioning only in the gym. “It’s time for them to run,” Jason Kidd said. Luka DonjicWhen asked what moves he might be working on this summer, he said he wasn’t even thinking about basketball. It has a packed summer schedule, featuring two events for the Slovenian national team, the most important being the EuroBasket competition in early September. Slovenia, the defending champion since 2017. We will see how far he can lead the team in defending the title.

These exit interviews were not conducted like previous interviews. “I don’t believe in year-end meetings,” Kidd said. “We’ll keep talking all summer.” Where Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson preferred to sit down with each player individually, Kidd has shown throughout the season that his approach is more hands-off, and that it is all about trust and accountability. He plans to visit Dončić in Europe, and will keep up with other players through Call and FaceTiming while they are away from Dallas.

Galen Bronson Not thinking about the next free agency decision yet. He said his agent, CAA’s Drew Morrison, called him Thursday night after the team’s season ended, and Morrison told him to take time off before they began to think seriously about his future. I was told there was a mutual interest on both sides to re-hire him, and Mark Cuban told Bally Sports that the Mavericks could give him more money than anyone else. It is a statement indicating intent. Kidd, for his part, feels that the team’s ground for staying here has been not just through the Western Conference Finals but the entirety of the season.

Nico Harrison doesn’t want to build this team with any specific vision. “Really good teams are very versatile; they can play different styles,” he said. “If you only had one style of play and someone took that away, where would you go?” Kidd, at one point, mentioned that the team could increase its offensive tempo. But Mavericks decision-makers know that they are eventually building a roster around Dončić, and will engage him in off-season talks. “It’s two-way conversations with Nico (Harrison), Finn (Michael Finlay) and Ji (Kidd),” Donjic said. That’s what Reasonable Franchises do with their co-stars. “From a leadership standpoint, you want your best player and you want your coach to be involved in making decisions,” Harrison said.

Harrison has become more comfortable doing interviews throughout the season, and in doing so, he may have picked up the wrong direction and half-truths that nearly every GM uses. When he said, “Getting people to match Luca, I think that’s more important than getting all the stars,” I think. But I also understand that the team believes that another All-Star player would be the preferred path to build around Dončić. “It all starts with Luca and how you build around him players who complement him,” Harrison said. This is the smartest approach: looking for elite talent but not at the expense of any weakness on the field.

And yes, the Mavericks are almost certain to get another spot. “If you look back at the series (which we played), we lost a few games on the board,” Harrison said. “We need to get someone who can help us with the rebounds. Get an rim guard, we need to know that.” the same value maxi clipper This was a postseason, there are various reasons – age, injuries, inconsistency, ineffectiveness when playing in the heavy minutes – that rule him out from being a realistic starting position in a team aspiring to the title. Getting someone to complete it is the team’s undisputed priority this summer. Anything else they can do to improve this list is a bonus.

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(Photo: Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images)