They’ve yet to reach the All-Star break, but the Dallas Mavericks are already using the D-League’s Texas Legends more than they have at any time since Rick Carlisle became the coach in 2008.
Rookie guard Ricky Ledo has already been there four times, and rookie guard Shane Larkin has been there once.
The Legends are located in Frisco, which is about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas. It’s close enough to where a player can play for the Mavs on a Friday, play for the Legends on Saturday and then be back with the Mavs on Sunday – which is exactly what Larkin did last weekend.
“The luxury is that [Frisco is] close and it’s in a nice place,” Carlisle said. “The bad part is that it’s close and it’s in a nice place.
“A lot of times we want guys to experience hard. But it’s a really great franchise from everything I’ve gathered from it. They do a great job of running it, a lot of family attractions to it. ... the team is good, they get good players and work to get good players.”
On Monday, Carlisle said rookie guard Gal Mekel will spend some time with the Legends once he returns from his right knee surgery.
“I wouldn’t want to trade it, because the proximity does give you more benefits than if it was in some other kind of place,” Carlisle said. “To be able to send Larkin there to play a game one night then come back to practice the next day, that’s really a good thing — without having to get on a plane to do it.”
Sitting around his home Sunday while watching the Super Bowl with his family, owner Mark Cuban decided to have some fun.
So he sent out a tweet to his more than 2 million followers that said: “I HAD SAFETY ON THE FIRST PLAY IN VEGAS!!!!!!!!!! 1MM TO 1, $20MM BABY. #Unbelievable.”
Cuban was referring to the safety the Seattle Seahawks scored against the Denver Broncos on the first play.
About five minutes later Cuban sent out a second tweet that said: “psych.” He let the second tweet stand for two hours before deleting it.
“I wanted people to know it was a joke,” Cuban said. “Then I deleted [the second tweet] because I was just curious once it was out there that it was a joke, what people would pay attention to.
“So it was more just a learning experience. Just curious what would happen.”
Owners are not allowed to gamble, and Cuban knew the folks at NBA headquarters wouldn’t take his tweet seriously.
“Who the hell offers a million to one odds?” Cuban asked. “Not even an idiot test.
“Just a twitter reality test; how does viral stuff work and can I kick something off like that, knowing that it was the heaviest tweet day of the year, how big could it be? Oh, it was a prank, yeah, for my own entertainment.”
Marion out again
Forward Shawn Marion sat out his second straight game with soreness and contusions in his right shoulder and upper ribs.
The injury occurred Jan. 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers, although Marion did play eight games while dealing with the pain after sitting out four games.