The Dallas Mavericks will have representation at the All-Star Game after all.
Dirk Nowitzki was named to the Western Conference roster for Sunday’s All-Star Game, his 13th appearance, when New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis decided late Wednesday to sit out to focus on his recovery from a sprained right shoulder.
Davis’ injury has caused him to miss the past two games.
Cuban recalls Tark
When he was around former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, Mark Cuban remembers the good times just kept on rolling.
“His UNLV teams with Larry Johnson were legendary, but even more than that he turned Vegas into a fun destination,” the Mavericks owner said. “He had a club that was like the spot in Vegas that we used to go to and, literally, he’d be there.
“You’d walk in there and he’d be there chewing on his towel, saying hi to everybody. And he didn’t know me from Adam.”
Tarkanian, who had a 729-201 record in 31 years of college coaching, died Wednesday at age 84. He coached UNLV to a 509-105 record in 19 years, and coached the San Antonio Spurs to a 9-11 record during the 1992-93 season before he was fired in a dispute with management.
“I always had great respect from afar because his teams played unbelievably hard,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And they were up-tempo, hard-playing, hard-charging teams that played with a lot of attitude.”
Tarkanian becomes the second iconic coach to pass away during a four-day span. Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith died Sunday at age of 83.
“When I did Michael Jordan’s fantasy camp [Smith] was the coach for the team we were playing and I hit a three and he was like, ‘You’re just like Hubert Davis,’” Cuban said. “This was my first year after I bought the team.
“I talked to [Smith] for a little bit — I don’t really know him. But both guys were always really nice to me when they really had no reason to be. They were just good people like that.”
The coaching world has changed a lot in recent years since coaches started using analytics to devise a lot of their schemes. So how does Carlisle incorporate analytics?
“I guess the word would be ‘selectively,’” Carlisle said. “There’s a lot of information available.
“You’ve got to decide what’s important for the particular team you’re having that year. It varies each year as to the things that are most important.”
The point, according to some in the NBA world, is to not lean too heavy on analytics being the be-all and end-all.
“There are tools there that are extremely useful,” Carlisle said. “You just got to make sure you don’t overdo it.”
Tyson Chandler was walking without a limp before the game, but the Mavs aren’t sure when he’ll be able to play again.
Chandler sprained his left ankle early in Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers and did not return.
“We don’t have a timetable yet, but he’s able to put weight on it,” Carlisle said. “He’s making progress.
“We’re fortunate that it wasn’t more serious. It was an awkward fall.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760