Tough to tell how serious Mark Cuban is about forgoing championship rings and getting something else to commemorate the franchise's first title. But he seems pretty committed to changing it up.
"Rings are old school," Cuban said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "Rings are done. It's time to take it to the next level and do something different."
Always the innovator, that Cuban. But this isn't Shark Tank. The guy from FuBu's not going to devalue the franchise if Cuban does something a little ordinary. And for Cuban, now is the time to ride with ordinary.
It's hard to judge the decision without knowing what Cuban will come up with. Watches, the most likely scenario, wouldn't be terrible, and a 2011 Mavs title Rolex certainly would fetch some extra coin on eBay for whichever player winds up broke in a few years (statistically speaking, it's bound to happen).
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But even watches, and certainly anything else he might pass out -- cars, cowboy hats, cuff links, pet chimps, whatever -- will seem cool and novel and fresh and innovative right up until the first time a member of the Mavs' organization winds up at a party where old NBA guys are showing off their rings.
Hey, there's MJ! He has six! And Kobe! He's got five! And there's Bill Russell! He rents a townhome for all his! And there's J.J. Barea! He's got...wait, he's not wearing a ring. I know he won one or two, back when the Mavs...wait, didn't the Mavs win a...hey there's Shaq! He's got four rings. Maybe he'll let me hula hoop in one of them!
Cuban might think they're passe, but they're a major-sports measuring stick that's been in the game way longer than he has, and they'll likely be around way after he's gone. His players, his coaches, his trainers, his staff -- they've all been dreaming about slipping one on for weeks, if not years, if not forever, and they're on the verge of having that dream come true. Now's just not the time to get cute.
Update: Dirk and Rick Carlisle think I'm a genius.