One day you're getting your finger sized for a championship ring; the next, you're on a plane headed down the standings into the lottery. Anthony Johnson, traded from the Mavericks to the Atlanta Hawks last week, returns to Dallas tonight with a new, and not even close to being improved, perspective.
With the Mavs, Johnson was the third-string point guard on a team that has won 11 straight, 19 in a row at home and is making a run at the best regular season in Dallas sports history. The last time the Mavs lost at American Airlines Center (December 7), you hadn't even started your Christmas shopping. In Atlanta, AJ is seeing how the other half lives. The Hawks are 22-34 and without a prayer of making the playoffs.
With the Mavs, Johnson didn't get off the bench the last three games before the All-Star break. With the Hawks, he played 34 minutes in his first game, producing 17 points and five assists. Hard to believe now, but a decade ago the Mavericks were the Hawks. Dallas has won 11 in a row, but once upon a time they only won 11 games the whole season. --Richie Whitt
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.