Lamar Odom Accuses Mark Cuban of Kicking Him During a Game

Lamar Odom alleges that Mavs team owner Mark Cuban kicked him in the shin during a game (and was verbally abusive) in a newly-released autobiography.

Odom—who mainly came off the bench during a disastrous 2011-12 stint in Dallas, averaging career-lows of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 50 games—writes that veteran teammate Vince Carter held him back from violent retaliation.

Cuban didn’t deny the incident when questioned by a reporter, saying only that he wishes Odom well.

Per The Dallas Morning News:

“During one homestand, I was having possibly the worst game of the season. Head coach Rick Carlisle subbed me out, and I looked for a seat near the coaches, but none were available. So I went down to the only open seat at the end of the bench. Right next to Cuban.

“Cuban extended his right foot and kicked my shin. … I was stunned. This wasn’t a tap. I felt it. That was the last straw. It was painfully clear he did not respect me as a man. I felt the adrenaline rush through my body. In an instant I was transported back to Linden Boulevard, where the slightest act of disrespect could be fatal. As I sprang up, Vince Carter, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my arm tightly and leaned in.

“… What if Vince, who I had the closest connection to on that team, hadn’t been sitting there? What if he had been paying attention to the game and hadn’t seen the incident? I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Vince Carter saved me from catching a charge and ending my career in disgrace.”

After months of saying how hopeful the organization was that Odom would turn around his season, Cuban’s frustration level hit the breaking point April 7 in Memphis. Cuban went into the visitor’s locker room at halftime and asked Odom, who had played four pitiful first-quarter minutes, a simple question: Was Odom all in or was Odom out?

“I didn’t take kindly to it,” Odom said in his book. “Once again, he didn’t treat me like a man. That’s not how you handle something in front of the entire team. Man, it was heated. I had fantasies about decking him, but that wasn’t the way out. I never played another game for the Mavs.”

Related Lamar Odom: ‘Trade from the Lakers Basically Ended My Career’

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Fantasy Basketball: 2019 Dallas Mavericks Preview

The Mavericks finished just above the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference last season. The future, however, is so bright that they need sunshades, as the roster now boasts two of the top young stars in the Association. ESPN has Luka Doncic listed as a SF and Kristaps Porzingis as a PF, but talk to any real basketball savant and they will tell you they both defy positional description. KP is built like a telephone pole but shoots like a shooting guard, while Doncic is built like a tight end but passes like a willow the wisp PG. Mark Cuban can’t wait to see how their skill sets merge on the court, and we can’t either. There is not enough talent around them to make the playoffs, but their development as a duo will be must-see TV.

Having given up this year’s first-rounder to move up to draft Luka, and having traded 2nd rounder Lithuanian Deividas Sirvydis to the Pistons, the Mavs have no drafted rookies in camp. But youth still abounds in developing players Justin Jackson, acquired in the Harrison Barnes trade, Delon Wright, acquired from Memphis in a sign-and-trade deal, and last year’s 2nd round rookie, Jalen Brunson.

It will definitely be a wait and see season for the Mavs. Wait and see how healthy KP is. Wait and see how all the pieces mesh. Wait and see if Rick Carlisle can meld these pieces into a reasonable team.

Will the Mavs better last year’s 33-49 record in a decidedly stronger Western conference? We will have to wait and see.

Unconfirmed Dirk Nowitzki Tribute Appears In NBA 2K20

Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks court

While there has been no formal announcement that the Dallas Mavericks will honor Dirk Nowitzki in this way, the future Hall of Famer’s silhouette has been spotted on the American Airlines Center court in NBA 2K20.

The Mavs’ public relations department told me that they couldn’t confirm that the homage would end up on the team’s court in real life and Brad Townsend of the Dallas News didn’t have much better luck when he contacted franchise owner Mark Cuban.

Images of the court blew up on Reddit when a Twitter user popular for publishing concept designs, @SkylerInDallas, said that the feature would be included on the team’s new-look home turf. He also included what appears to be an Instagram story screenshot of the court with mats covering where the new Nowitzki silhouette would appear and where the team’s secondary logo appeared last season.

The Nowitzki tribute was not included in the batch of leaked court designs that we wrote about last month but neither was the team’s secondary logo. Several of those designs have since been formally confirmed by their franchise’s.

Related: The Sixers have revealed they’ll be honoring franchise great Charles Barkley with a statue

This wouldn’t be the first time that the design plans of an NBA team have been leaked through a video game but its inclusion in the game doesn’t mean that this will be an official, permanent feature either.

Regardless of what the eventual status of this idea is, Cuban and the Mavericks have been vocal about honoring their franchise legend and have already moved to have part of a nearby street renamed to Nowitzki Way.

So until we hear official word regarding this one way or another, we’ll continue to hoist jumpers with our 68-rated MyPlayers from the iconic Nowitzki silhouette for as long as 2K lets us.

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Luka Doncic: ‘We’ll Make the Playoffs. We Must’

Luka Doncic says the Mavericks “must” make the playoffs next season.

The NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year is confident in Dallas’ chances despite the Western Conference having become even more brutal over the summer.

Doncic, 20, got in tip-top shape this offseason and feels he’ll show a marked improvement on the defensive end.

Per Mavs.com:

Will this be the season the Mavs qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016?

LUKA: “It’s going to be difficult. I think the West is much stronger than the East. It’s more difficult in the West, for sure. But we have to do our jobs, so we’ve got to make the playoffs.”

Are two of the more meaningful keys to reaching the playoffs centered on sweeping all the bad teams and holding your own against the better teams?

LUKA: “I would just say beat everybody you can. Every game is a different game. If you win one game, win another one. Just go game-by-game.”

Related Luka Doncic: ‘I Would Say I’m Faster Now’

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Luka Doncic: ‘I Would Say I’m Faster Now’

Luka Doncic has spent the summer getting into better shape, and says he is “faster now.”

Last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year anticipates an uptick in his defensive ability as a result of the weight loss.

Doncic, 20, concedes “it’s going to be difficult” for the Dallas Mavericks to reach the playoffs, but hopes to “do a lot of damage” with new teammate Kristaps Porzingis.

Per Mavs.com:

Millions of us saw that photo of you on social media where you posed with a flat stomach while holding your dog, Hugo. How much weight did you lose, because we heard you lost as much as 20 pounds?

LUKA: “Yeah, but I didn’t check it. I just lost it, so I don’t have to worry about it, so that’s the key.”

What has been the immediate results of the weight loss? And do you believe that’s going to help you going forward, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

LUKA: “I would say I’m faster now. So (my defense is) going to get better, for sure.”

Related Luka Doncic, Trae Young Headline 2019 All-Rookie Team

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