From World Champs To Completely Lost In A Year

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mavs run at any type of championship is over. It was gone for good the moment Deron Williams decided to stay with the Brooklyn Nets. Did anyone really think we had a shot at signing Williams? And even if we did, does that mean we are back in the title hunt? The answer of course is NO!

But it isn’t over simply because of the Williams decision. The Mavericks decided to do something strange when, after winning their first and only World Title, they blew up the team to make cap room to sign free agents Williams and Dwight Howard this offseason. They never tried to hide their intentions or even come up with a backup plan. For them to survive as a championship-caliber team, they had to get Williams and Howard to sign here.

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Cracks started to form the moment Howard demanded a trade and then backed off that, and then decided to re-op with the Magic, keeping him with the team until the end of next year. Now, the Mavs would have to trade for him. Problem is, they don’t HAVE anything to trade!

But the Mavs never deterred from the original plan. Never came up with an alternative. Never thought about looking at the draft to get younger. Never thought about trying to move up. Instead, they turned all their attention to Williams.

And they got burned.

I hold no animosity towards Williams. Frankly, the Nets are a more exciting organization right now that looks to be building a NEW future. The Mavs are an old team with a big dog that is only getting older. Even if Williams had come to Dallas, what would this team look like? What would they have around D-Will and Dirk to make this team a legitimate threat?

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So what now? Steve Nash? Keep Jason Kidd?

The Mavs will do what they did last year. Sign a bunch of guys to one-year contracts and hope they can land Chris Paul and Howard when their contracts expire and they hit free agency after the season. And fans will suffer through another seventh or eighth seed embarrassment.

But how did that strategy work out for them?

This should prove to Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban that when you have a championship team, you MUST do everything in your power to keep it together. They don’t come along that often. Ask Jerry Jones. Look at what Nolan Ryan is trying to do with the Rangers. Don’t let the players you HAVE go, because you THINK you can get better players in the future.

It’s over, Mavs fans. The parade, Dirk’s rendition of “We Are the Champions,” and the feeling that we shocked the world. But as Cuban and Nelson would have us believe, there is always next year, or next year, or next year, or next year, or…

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