DALLAS -- American Airlines Center will be filled with bling tonight.
That's because the Dallas Mavericks will receive their gaudy rings from owner Mark Cuban for winning last year's NBA championship. The ring ceremony will take place 15 minutes before the game against J.J. Barea and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Cuban said he spent between $1.4-$1.5 million on the rings, which will be awarded to players, coaches, support staff and front office personnel. In all, more than 140 full-time employees will receive rings, with players and coaches getting the more expensive version.
"I just want everybody to enjoy it," Cuban said.
Peja Stojakovic, who played on last year's championship team but has since retired, will be on hand. Barea, who plays for the Timberwolves, will receive a ring.
"That's why we did it on that day -- just so it could be for J.J.," Cuban said. "Because of all the players who aren't here, he'd been here the longest and obviously was a big part of who we are.
"It'll be really nice. I'm sure it'll be emotional for him, I'm sure he'll get a standing ovation and I look forward to it."
Guard Jason Terry is also looking forward to tonight -- for many reasons. Terry plans to purchase a ring similar to the one the players receive and raffle it off through his foundation to some lucky fan for $10 per raffle ticket.
"I'm taking my girls [youth basketball] team to China this year, so we need to raise some funds and I think that'll be a great way," Terry said. "And it'll give a fan a unique experience that they wouldn't ever necessarily have."
Terry said the raffle will last a month. For more information, go to www.jasonterryfoundation.org.
The other three Mavs who were on last year's team but are playing elsewhere -- Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), DeShawn Stevenson (New Jersey Nets) and Caron Butler (Los Angeles Clippers) -- will receive their rings the first time their teams come to Dallas to play the Mavs.
Cuban's Dodgers bid
Mark Cuban now is going after a World Series championship.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Cuban was one of at least 10 people or groups who placed an opening bid Monday to purchase Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt.
Others who placed bids include groups headed by Magic Johnson, former Dodgers manager Joe Torre and former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.
McCourt expects to sell the team for at least $1.5 billion.
Cuban has failed in previous bids to purchase the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760