After the Miami Heat cashed in on their third championship in franchise history and after the Cleveland Cavaliers went all-in and pulled a rabbit out of the hat to draft UNLV forward Anthony Bennett, comes the much awaited NBA off-season. Summer in the NBA is similar to the non-stop action found in a Texas Hold’em poker tournament where everything revolves around money and strategy. During this period, teams court valuable free agents, assess the probability of a deal, and formulate new tactics to bolster their line-up for the upcoming NBA season. On the other hand, free agents look to build on their future in the league by picking the best team that will suit their needs and demands both money-wise and career-wise. However, for other players who are not on the chopping or trading block of a franchise, the off-season marks the time of the year where they get to enjoy quality time with their families and engage in other leisurely activities like playing poker, golf, and/or surfing. But for German basketball superstar Dirk Nowitzki and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban they may have to put their plans aside, because this off-season is crucial to the future of their franchise.
Last June, Dirk Nowitzki blew the candles out on his 35th birthday cake. He comes one step closer to grasping the harsh and the inevitable reality that he only has a couple of more good years left in the tank. This means, franchise head Mark Cuban should now make drastic measures to give Dirk and his franchise a second championship ring. And knowing Mark Cuban’s brash personality, one would think that he can be a notoriously cunning gambler. Not the partypoker or World Poker Tour type of gambler, but more of a gun-slinging, horse-back-riding, and in-your-face maverick capable of making huge risks in order to improve his franchise. Basically, this off-season is not only important for Germany’s Nowitzki, but for the whole Dallas community as well.
Forming the Dallas Mavericks’ Royal Flush this off-season – with Dirk Nowitzki serving as their ace – should not be a tough task for them. They still have a promising line-up even with a handful of key players opting to test their stock in the free agent market. More importantly, Mark Cuban was always ready to bet a huge stack of his chips to acquire the best possible players for the franchise to replace last year’s flustered roster. To say that Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle’s brand of structured basketball did not work out well with last season’s roster is a huge understatement. That is why the franchise must look for young and versatile players who are able to quickly adjust from set plays to a more run and gun up-tempo action. With former NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki nearing the twilight of his Hall of Fame career, there is still no doubt about his ability to carry his team behind his aging back. But on second thought, no one can consistently win a major poker tournament, much more an NBA championship, with only an ace high-winning hand.