By the time the Dallas Mavericks missed out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes last summer, a few weeks went by and the only quality center remaining was ...
“He was the last thing on the board, so he was the only bargain,” said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks president of basketball operations. “Honestly, that was one of the things [last summer] — we’re looking at him and he’s looking at us.”
Nelson said the Mavs wanted to convince Dalembert to sign with Dallas, but he was in Africa and they had a difficult time locating him.
“The problem was getting him off the fishing boat,” Nelson said. “We couldn’t find him for a week. He just disappeared from the planet.”
The Mavs eventually signed Dalembert to a two-year contract that guaranteed him $3.7 million this season and $3.8 million partially guaranteed next season.
“We have a great relationship with Sammie and we all spend time in Africa together,” Nelson said. “I’m like, ‘Sammie, come on, let’s just do this thing.’ ”
Cuban recalls epic prank
Tuesday was the 10-year anniversary of an April Fools’ prank that fooled Mavs assistant coach Del Harris, even though he knew of the prank beforehand.
During a timeout of the Mavs’ April 1, 2004, game against the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center, owner Mark Cuban walked onto the court and started pushing a referee. On the Mavs’ bench, Harris saw the commotion and appeared upset, while the sellout crowd was stunned.
But it was all an April Fool’s joke, with the three real referees also in on the shenanigans.
“Matt Fitzgerald, our marketing guy, just asked me if I would do it,” Cuban said. “I said as long as you ask the [real] refs first so they wouldn’t get [upset].
“He did, we did it, we told everybody on the bench don’t freak out. It went in one ear and out the other with Del.”
During the prank, Cuban was hoping the crowd wouldn’t overreact.
“The minute I stood up and there was the first shove, I could just feel the whole place,” Cuban said. “I felt a hush.
“And then we went at it and I could just hear everybody going nuts. Then I started laughing, and I blew it.”
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said it’s clear that former guard Dell Curry and his son, Stephen, are the best father/son shooting duo in NBA history.
When told that Rick Barry and his two sons, Brent and Jon, could give the Currys a run for their money, Jackson said: “That’s not even debatable. And that’s with all due respect.
“Rick Barry was a great, great scorer, all-time great, great basketball player. I think Jon and Brent were great shooters, too. These two guys, meaning Steph and Dell, unbelievable.”
Briefly• Because of an agreement ESPN has with the Texas Rangers, the Mavs’ games Friday at the Los Angeles Lakers and April 12 against the Phoenix Suns will be broadcast on KLIF/570 AM.
• Due to recurring pain, Cuban is contemplating right hip replacement surgery. Cuban had left hip replacement surgery seven years ago.