Arts & Culture News

Mark Cuban Is Not a Fan of the Luka Dončić 'Send Help' Mural

Artist Preston Pannek and his wife, Adrienne, unveiled a new portrait of Dallas Mavs star Luka Dončić on the side of St. Pete's Dancing Marlin in Deep Ellum.
Artist Preston Pannek and his wife, Adrienne, unveiled a new portrait of Dallas Mavs star Luka Dončić on the side of St. Pete's Dancing Marlin in Deep Ellum. Andrew Sherman
Graffiti artist and Dallas Mavericks fan Preston Pannek seems to have staked out his own spot where he can post his latest feelings on his favorite team.

The artist, who recently collaborated with Modelo and has used the Mavs as a mural subject before, was recently gifted with a prime real estate canvas. Pete Zotos, the owner of St. Pete's Dancing Marlin seafood restaurant on Commerce Street in Deep Ellum, gave one of his restaurant's exterior walls to Pannek and his House of Pannek art studio for another Mavs mural.

The artist's latest work expresses his and a lot of other fans' frustration with the team's inability to find a free agent player that can help Luka Dončić catch his breath.

"Whenever something big happens or something needs to be said, [Zotos] lets me use his wall," Pannek says.

Pannek's latest editorial mural features the Mavs' Slovenian-born star holding up an aquamarine sign that reads, "Please send help," and it's getting a lot of attention — even on a national level. The mural is just a few blocks away from the headquarters of Mavs owner Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drugs online discount pharmacy.

"I'm a big fan of the Dallas Mavericks," Pannek says. "However, like most fans here in Dallas, I'm a little tired of us not being able to get any free agents here. We have arguably the best basketball player in the world and we can't attract a free agent here, and he's doing a ridiculous amount of work, and it's gonna wear him down because we can't get him any help."

The point Pannek is making has nothing to do with Dončić, who is probably having the best personal season of any player in the NBA right now. Last month, during a home game against the New York Knicks, he posted the first triple double in league history with 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. No player has gone past the 50-20-10 mark since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

Pannek's not the only person who thinks Dončić could use an extra set of hands on the court. Even editorials posted and broadcast on national outlets like Sports Illustrated, ESPN and The Ringer have been saying the same thing since November.

"Luka deserves a sidekick," Pannek says. "Bojan Bogdanović would be an awesome pair. They complement each other really well. We need another offensive scorer who can give Luka some help. He can't just play every minute of every game."

Fans and sports pundits are gravitating to Pannek's latest mural to share their own thoughts about the team.

"We've been shared on Twitter hundreds of thousands of times," Pannek says. "Sports is a trigger in Dallas. It's an easy slam dunk, no pun intended there, but you put up a mural that has to do with Dallas sports and you're gonna turn some heads."

Cuban is known for his openness and responsiveness. So Pannek emailed him a picture of the mural expressing his love for the team and how he's "a huge fan of you personally" but also his feelings about the team's free agency issue.

In emails verified by the Observer, Cuban responded simply: "It is disrespectful."

"But it's your choice to do what you want," Cuban added. "If that's the way you want to be a fan. Go for it."

Pannek replied that he was sorry Cuban didn't like the artwork and pointed to his past "Wonderboy" mural portraying Dončić as a superhero and Kristaps Porzingis' portrait as a human unicorn.

Cuban replied in kind with compliments for Pannek.

"I appreciate the murals you have done," Cuban wrote. "You truly have artistic talent. I appreciate you being a Mavs fan."
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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