Jerry Jones is fast becoming the Kevin Bacon of the sports world, laying down intricate, unlikely connections to absolutely everyone who ever made a buck off some other guy throwing a ball.
A few weeks back it was Steinbrenner, and Thursday evening it was Mark Cuban who smiled and introduced "my new partner" before wrapping up the old lug in a big bear hug. Jones handled it well, quickly shrugging off that indignity, and telling Mavs fans how much they're going to love watching basketball in Arlington.
This was the super-secret announcement for the night: Your Dallas Mavericks will be hosting the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, only they'll play in Your Dallas Cowboys' new stadium.
Cuban joked that he'd never expected he'd see Dallas host an all-star game, because there wouldn't be enough room for all the fans. He set a high bar for attendance, projecting a turnout of 100,000 fans. Said the Maverick: "We're gonna make this the biggest event the country's ever seen." Imagine Arlington's luck.
The well-choreographed event with streamers, sharp new logos, cheerleaders and ceremonial T-shirts, drew plenty of political and business firepower. On stage with Jones and Cuban were Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, NBA commissioner David Stern and Mavericks president Terdema Ussery. They even landed Marv Albert to emcee. Local pols in the crowd included Dan Branch, John Wiley Price and Dwaine Caraway.