Saturday, July 16, 2011

Distance Makes the Heart Grow...Fonder?

After the Dallas Mavericks captured their first NBA Championship in franchise history, the celebration lasted over a month.

A parade through downtown Dallas was culminated at the AAC by the singing of ‘We are the Champions’.  The team was featured on The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as The George Lopez Show.  And finally, the world-champions were showered with awards at the 2011 ESPYs, capturing the awards for ‘Best Team’, ‘Best Male Athlete’, ‘Best NBA player’, and ‘Best Coach’.


But now the players will inevitably go their separate ways.  JJ Barea has already made his much anticipated return to Puerto Rico.  3300 miles away, Tyson Chandler returned to his West coast home in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. And Caron Butler will venture back home to the Washington D.C. area, three time zones away.

While a typical offseason would have seen free agency begin on July 1, the likelihood of a long lockout threatens to push this date well into 2012.  Ignoring the potential terms of a new CBA, is it possible that a delayed free agency might damage the Mavs chances of retaining their key players for their title defense?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

Fresh off of the greatest season in franchise history, the Mavs were in a favorable position to keep the core of their team intact.  However, after a prolonged lockout, the magical feeling will fade.  The incredible memories will become more distant, and the strength of the always-important dollar may prevail.

Mark Cuban will open his pocket book wide to bring back the core of this Mavericks team, but even he will have his limitations.  Will Chandler, Barea, Butler and DeShawn Stevenson chase the highest payday?  Or will the fading memory of their month-long celebration win out?

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