Some basketball was discussed at Monday’s Dallas Mavericks practice. So, too, was some baseball.
The Mavericks were eager to talk about the accomplishments of the Texas Rangers, who won the AL West title with Sunday’s 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
"Last year I threw out the first pitch (in a Sept. 10 Rangers game against the Angels) and just getting to know those guys and hang out with those guys, it’s fun,’’ forward Chandler Parsons said. "It’s fun to support the city you live in.’’
The Rangers open the AL Division Series on Thursday at Toronto.
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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has met and gotten to know Rangers manager Jeff Banister. In just his first year on the job, Banister took the Rangers from last place in their division to first place.
"You can’t help but feel great for the Rangers, but Jeff Banister’s story is a very compelling one,’’ Carlisle said after Monday’s practice "He came in as a guy that was given an opportunity, and (Rangers general manager) Jon Daniels had a hunch about him.
"They had the tough start early, but Jeff’s a guy, he’s an energetic believer. He kept those guys going and it’s been remarkable, and they have a real chance.’’
Carlisle was referring to the Rangers possibly winning their first World Series. But they might have to go through Houston to reach that goal.
And that could pose a problem for Parsons. Or, will it?
Parsons played his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets before signing a three-year, $46 million free agent contract with the Mavericks last year. The Houston Astros have a one-game, wild-card playoff game at the New York Yankees Tuesday.
Parsons put to rest any doubts about where his loyalties reside.
"I cheer for the city that I live it that cheers for me,’’ Parsons said. "The last time I checked, Houston doesn’t cheer for me any more.’’
In other words, Parsons is all-in when it comes to backing the Rangers.
"Those fans support us and it’s cool when guys like (pitcher Derek) Holland and (shortstop Elvis) Andrus, they come to our game,” Parsons said. “So any time we get a chance we support them, and I’m obviously happy with the success they’ve had so far.
‘I’m definitely going to try to get to the playoff games.’’
As far as Banister is concerned, Carlisle said, "He came to a couple of (Mavericks) games last spring before they got going with spring training. I was extremely impressed with him as a person.
"He’s a guy that really savored the opportunity to get the shot and he’s made the most of it.’’
Parsons is amazed that the Rangers lost 95 games last season, but won 88 this year to go with capturing the AL West championship.
"Especially their team, a lot of those guys were in the minor leagues last year, too,’’ Parsons said. "Not big names, not heard of.
"But they play together. They’ve been playing really, really well, and like I said, it should be fun to watch.’’
Dwain Price can be heard every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. on dfwiradio.com.