Q&A: Cardinal keeps watch over Mavericks

06/24/2014 6:38 PM

06/24/2014 6:38 PM

Brian Cardinal, known to fans in the NBA as The Custodian, last played in the league in 2012.

He was one of the league’s best at drawing fouls and diving for loose balls.

Cardinal played the final two seasons of his 12-year career with the Mavericks, helping Dallas win its first NBA title in 2011.

Cardinal, who was born in Tolono, Ill., and attended Purdue, played for six teams in the NBA: Memphis, Minnesota, Golden State, Detroit, Washington and Dallas.

Cardinal remains close with the Mavericks franchise.

“I keep in contact with Dirk [Nowitzki], [Mark] Cuban and Rick [Carlisle], all those guys,” said Cardinal, who was in Frisco last week to take part in the Dirk Nowitzki Heroes Charity Celebrity Baseball Weekend.

Dallas made the playoffs last season after a one-year absence and was eliminated by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in seven games.

What are your thoughts on the Mavericks this past season? I thought they were all right. Like everyone else, you wanted them to be a little better, go deeper in the playoffs. It was great to see Dirk have the season he had. Monta [Ellis] is a stud, and Rick is one of the best coaches in the league. They’re always enjoyable to watch.

How do you see the Mavericks next season? Hopefully, they’re better. Any time you have consistency and bring the same guys back, they have a better understanding of playing together, understand the system that’s in place. It’d be great to see them add a few pieces.

Did you watch the NBA Finals? Yes, I cheered on the Spurs. They put on a clinic.

Who did you want to see come out of the East? Pacers — might as well. I’m an Indiana guy.

Who will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft? I think [Jabari] Parker, he’s my guy.

Are the one-and-done players hurting the college and professional game? It doesn’t help. It would be nice for them to go to college for an education, but for a lot of them, it’s a steppingstone. I’d like to see them there for a couple of years so they can get a better understanding of life, but it’s tough to tell a kid to stay and not make a million bucks.

Do you see the game changing to a guard/forward-heavy league? As the game continues to evolve, guys that are bigger and stronger can do more things. I think you’ll see more people like Dirk, more taller guys that make shots. Look at [Chris] Bosh this past year.

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