Mark Cuban: Super Bowl or Bust?
It wasn't exactly as declarative as when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones injected his all-or-nothing expectations into the season a month ago, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes his team is as good - actually, better - than the one that went to the NBA Finals in 2006.
"The feeling and the buzz in our locker room is off the charts, literally the best it's been in a good five years," Cuban told me and Newy Scruggs on 105.3 The Fan yesterday morning. "Every guy here that was a part of that Finals run thinks we have a much better team. It's not even close. If you compare rosters we're a far better team than that Finals team. We're deeper. More athletic. Defensively and offensively we have more flexibility. This year it's like 'Oh my goodness.' Guys are fired up. It's a whole different feeling. I'm excited."
The holdovers from the '06 team are again the nucleus of this year's team - Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Josh Howard and Erick Dampier. Howard's coming off off-season ankle surgery. Dirk's new look - shaggy hair, headband - makes him one of those GEICO caveman. Jason Kidd-to-Shawn Marion should be fun to watch.
But it's a looong way from Friday's pre-season game in Washington to June. It's not, however, a stretch to see the similarities between Jones and Cuban.
They've teamed up to host the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. They're both unfathomably shrewd and relentless marketers. And they both recently appeared on HBO's Joe Buck: Live.
Their surprising consensus about spending millions and maintaining successful, high-profile franchises in this treacherous financial climate?
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.