It’s natural to reflect on all the good and bad things that happened when one year ends and another begins. We all decide ourselves whether the year was one to remember or if it was one we can’t wait to forget.
2011 was easily a memorable year for Mavs fans, as it was one that brought the team’s first title and immense adoration for Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks were media darlings, and they were champions.
2012, meanwhile, is a year we’d rather not discuss. The Mavericks were swept in the playoffs and the roster was disassembled and reassembled twice over. A certain celebrity husband struggled in Dallas, Dirk got hurt, and Deron Williams chose Brooklyn.
So now we’re here, ringing in 2014, looking back at all the weird things that took place and trying to determine which bin to place 2013’s memories in. At first glance, the year seems like one we will look to move past as soon as the clock strikes midnight. The .500 beards happened, O.J. Mayo happened, missing the playoffs happened, and Dwight Howard and Chris Paul didn’t happen.
But look again, and there are plenty of reasons 2013 deserves to be remembered.
2013 brought us Monta Ellis, a player unlike one we’ve ever seen don a Mavericks uniform. He’s already earned every penny of his new contract, forming a powerful and dynamic pick-and-roll duo with Dirk.
In 2013, The Mavs signed DeJuan Blair, whose undying motor powers a playing style that does not allow taking a possession off.
2013 saw Jose Calderon, with his smooth jump shot and veteran know-how, sign with Dallas. After spending a year watching turnover-heavy play, seeing a player as mistake-free as Calderon helps us all rest easy.
In 2013, Brandan Wright was introduced to the basketball community, and now he’s considered one of the most efficient – if not the most efficient – player not named LeBron. His return from injury also made 2013 end on a sweet note for Vince Carter, who, alongside his bench mate Wright, has carried the second unit with style after a rough patch in early December.
Just a couple of days ago, we were reminded that Shawn Marion is still an extremely valuable piece to the team. He scored 32 points, the most he’s ever scored with the Mavericks, and was responsible for the game-clinching defensive stop.
In 2013, Rick Carlisle did some of his finest work, taking a team mostly made up of one-year contracts to 41 wins despite spending almost 30 games without Dirk to start the season. Now, he’s developing a system that gives Ellis the freedom he needs, but also one that is helping Monta shed his reputation as an inefficient shooter. Ellis is playing at an All-Star level, and Carlisle has had a lot to do with it.
Oh yeah, Dirk is still here, too. All he’s doing is playing near-MVP-level basketball, flirting with a 50/40/90 season, closing out games with ease, and passing legend after legend on the all-time scoring list. And despite his injury that sidelined him for the first-third of last season, Nowitzki’s Mavericks went 47-35 during 2013 and are on pace to win 47 or 48 this season, far more than most media types ever guessed they’d win.
Although there was no playoff magic, no parade, no national affection, no pomp, and no circumstance, 2013 was still a good year to be a Mavs fan. Here’s to a good 2014.