DALLAS -- Now comes the hard part for the Dallas Mavericks.
While winning one NBA title is difficult, winning two in a row is more challenging.
That's the task facing the Mavericks, who stunned the Miami Heat and won their first world championship in June.
"We're one of those franchises that's always going to have the goal of winning a title as the No. 1 goal at the beginning of the season," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's just how we operate here.
"I've been involved with teams that have won championships before. I was in Boston in '86 when we won it, and the next year we got back to the Finals, but we were unable to get it done."
Carlisle knows the Mavericks will have the proverbial target on their backs all season.
"It's very challenging coming off a championship, because you're going to get everybody's best game every night," Carlisle said. "Just ask the Lakers the last two years, and Boston the year before that."
Before the Los Angeles Lakers won NBA titles in 2009 and '10, the most recent team to repeat as champs were the Lakers, who also won titles in 2000, '01 and '02.
"But that kind of challenge is something that you look forward to," Carlisle said. "Going forward, we're going to keep the same high standards and the same high goals. But we're not going to get ahead of ourselves in terms of talking about results."
Changes in the wind?
It would be unrealistic for Rick Carlisle to think he's going to have the same group of players this season that he finished with last season, especially with six free agents.
Still, Carlisle acknowledged that whoever shows up to play for the Mavericks this season, nothing will change in the way he operates their program.
"We're very process-oriented here," Carlisle said. "That's what got us a championship, and we're going to continue to be vigilant about that. The approach is going to be the same. Look, we're not going to have the identical team back."
Numerous teams are vying to sign free agents Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea. The Mavericks' other free agents are DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic and Brian Cardinal.
Other than the 10 players under contract, Carlisle has no idea what to expect when training camp opens Friday.
"In time we'll find out exactly what the roster's going to look like," he said. "In the meantime, there's a lot of anticipation."
Forward Shawn Marion is excited about the world champion Mavericks raising the championship banner on opening day against the Miami Heat.
"I'm anticipating it, and it's kind of exciting not to be on the opposing side watching somebody else raising it, but to be there and you be the one that's raising it," Marion said. "To have that banner being raised and to get your hardware, I guess, it's the best feeling in the world."
The Mavericks won't get their championship rings until another day.
"When you put your jersey on every year, everybody's goal is to win a championship," Marion said. "We received that prize and it was fun doing it."
Tickets go on sale
Individual game tickets to see the world champion Dallas Mavericks this season will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased simultaneously online at www.mavs.com, at the American Airlines Center box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 214-747-6287.
Team officials said a lottery system will take place for anyone who decides to purchase their tickets at the AAC. Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, each person who arrives at AAC will be given a lottery number. Around 9:30 a.m. a drawing will occur to determine the first person in line.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760