DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mark Cuban’s idea to celebrate an NBA championship with something other than a ring is being soundly rejected by his players, his coach and the top guy in the front office.
“We’ve got to talk to him about that,” said Dirk Nowitzki, the finals MVP. “I don’t think the last word has been spoken yet. We know he always wants to do something different, something bigger. But the ring is just so classic. I think I would vote for a ring. I mean, I’m a man. I don’t know how I’d feel about a bracelet.”
Donnie Nelson, the president of basketball operations, even made a bold offer.
“I’ll pay for them,” he said. “Now, they might have to be plastic.”
Cuban called rings “old school … done,” adding that he wants to “take it to the next level and do something different.”
“He was talking about a five-finger ring,” Jason Terry said. “I don’t know if you could do that yet. We’ve got one championship.”
Jason Kidd, the team’s elder statesman at 38, jokingly took offense to Cuban calling the concept of rings old-fashioned.
“I’m old-fashioned,” Kidd said.
Winning a ring has been a topic of conversation all season for this club because none of the 15 players had ever won one. They’d played a combined 133 season without any of them being crowned a champion.
“As a player and a historian of the game, you want the ring,” Terry said. “You look at the Sports Illustrated cover of Bill Russell holding those rings. You’ve seen Phil Jackson’s rings. You want that ring. That means a lot. That’s a thing you can go to your grave with.”
Coach Rick Carlisle won one as a member of the 1986 Boston Celtics, and is looking forward to another. He said if Cuban also wants to give another piece of jewelry, that’d be fine, but it has to start with the traditional piece of jewelry.
“I don’t know what he’s thinking,” Carlisle said, laughing. “You win an NBA championship, you’ve got to have a ring.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)