When we're not hating the Spurs, Dallas Mavericks fans are generally fuming about the Los Angeles Lakers, the last in the triumvirate of Western Conference teams that have reached the NBA Finals in the past twelve seasons. The checkered past of Kobe Bryant, the shady, lopsided Pau Gasol deal, the Lamar Kardashian media circus--what's not to hate, right? And that's just the team--we haven't talked about the city yet. So when Phil Jackson cracked wise about the Mavs' losing Caron Butler to injury a couple weeks ago--OK, he just said that Butler's absence might create a vacuum, but whatever, he still deserves our hate--Mark Cuban responded with typical gusto, saying, "I love that Jeanie Buss' boy-toy had something to say about us." Zing! Both the Mavs and the Lakers already had something to prove in their match-up this Wednesday, with both teams struggling at times despite their lofty positions in the Western Conference standings. Throw in this friendly Cuban-Jackson mini-feud, and we could have quite the game on our hands. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at the AAC. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Wed., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., 2011