Mavericks’ Marion will play on, but not until he’s 40

Posted Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Shawn Marion thought about his NBA mortality Saturday and was able to admit one thing.

He won’t do what former Dallas Mavericks teammate Jason Kidd did and play until he’s 40.

“No way, no, no way,” Marion said while shaking his head furiously.

Marion, however, would like to stick around the game long enough for another special season like the one he helped the Mavericks produce in 2011 when they won the franchise’s only NBA championship.

Other than that, the 6-foot-7 small forward won’t hang around just to pick up a few extra bucks.

“When the season is over with I’m going to evaluate everything I’ve got going on and see what’s what,” said Marion, who turns 36 on May 7. “At the same time I would love to have another championship.”

Marion becomes a free agent on July 1. He would love to return for his 16th season — and fifth with the Mavericks — if the financial numbers can be worked out to his liking.

“He’s been a fantastic player in this league,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s constantly molded his game to the team that’s he’s been with — there’s no better example than with us, because he’s changed a lot of things.

“He’s made a lot of sacrifices, so my level of respect for him is extremely high, which is no secret. He’s got more good years left in him if he decides to keep playing, but that’ll be his decision and we’ll see what happens with that.”

Marion is one of those rare athletes who can guard every position on the court but the center spot.

He has quickness, exceptional hand-eye coordination and the physical skills and footwork it takes to defend some of the game’s best marksmen.

“When you have guys like [Kevin] Durant coming in here, he guarded Durant, he guarded [Blake] Griffin, he guarded [Chris] Paul,” Carlisle said. “You have guys who can do all those different things, and it’s an important tool to have in the toolbox.

“He’s got the physical ability to do it, but more importantly he’s got the mindset and the understanding of how to approach guarding all those guys. That’s one of the things that makes him very unique.”

As far as playing until he’s at least 39 years old, Marion is not against that notion, saying: “Anything is possible. So we’ll see.”

Crowder’s hitting

Aided by some extra time in the film room, Mavericks forward Jae Crowder has gotten into a nice shooting groove lately.

Over the past four games before Saturday’s contest against Sacramento, Crowder had converted 14-of-21 field goals, including 8-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc.

It was one of his two best four-game stretches of the season.

“I’m just being aggressive and taking the shots,” Crowder said. “I’m not worried about the results.

“I’m just stepping into it with confidence. I’ve been working hard on it, so I’m just stepping into it.”

Carlisle noticed something mechanically wrong with Crowder’s delivery on his 3-point shots, pointed it out to him on film, and the change has made a world of difference.

“When he saw that [on film] I think it unlocked something in him,” Carlisle said, “and kind of reminded him of the importance of rhythm.”

Of course, 3-point shooting is a new art to Crowder.

“He didn’t even shoot that many 3s in college,” Carlisle said. “We took his game out to the NBA [3-point] line and his stroke from the 3-point line is different than his mid-range stroke by virtue of the distance.”

Mavs festival

The Mavericks will host their sixth annual Latino heritage celebration — Festival de Los Mavs — from noon-5 p.m. Sunday on the AT&T Plaza outside American Airlines Center.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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