The best Mavs social media moments of the season

Dirk Nowitzki has a well-deserved reputation as one of the funniest players in the NBA, but as it turns out he’s had some pretty stiff competition this year in his own locker room. Following the Mavs players this season on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat has been a trip.

Whether Dirk and Zaza Pachulia are going at it, Justin Anderson is retweeting pictures of lions, or JaVale McGee is posting selfies with the latest Snapchat filters, the Mavs haven’t let their off-the-floor talents go to waste. Although the playoffs are right around the corner, we still have some time to look back on the funny moments before things truly start to heat up. Let’s take a look at some of the best posts and exchanges they’ve had this season.

Let’s start with today…

The Mavs won seven of their final nine games of the season, which means Dirk is already in postseason form. And when the playoffs come around, he takes no prisoners… not even yours truly.

2016-04-14 10_39_27-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

Of course, that wasn’t his only zinger of the season, and he doesn’t just pick on lowly scribes, either. When the Dallas Cowboys jokingly submitted a #MavsNewCourt design prominently featuring the famous star logo, Nowitzki didn’t pull any punches when voicing his disapproval.

2016-04-14 10_41_39-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

And there was the time when he hit front rim on a dunk — and although it happened after a whistle and therefore didn’t count, that didn’t keep the world from chirping about it. Dirk’s response:

2016-04-14 10_44_18-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

Or when C.J. McCollum crossed him up, spun him around, and hit a jumper. (The Mavs won in overtime, though!)

Not even Pau Gasol, a fellow European legend, can avoid a little Nowitzki shade.

Then, of course, there’s this, perhaps the best tweet by any player of the entire season.

Backyard Tennis

Chandler Parsons and Nowitzki are good buddies. Parsons says Nowitzki was one of his favorite athletes growing up, and he proudly wore No. 41 jerseys when playing ball on Florida playgrounds. Now that they’re teammates, Parsons can hang out with his idol. Sometimes that means playing tennis…

#tbt tennis with @swish41 #itwasin #hebeatmebarefoot

A video posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…while others it might mean lifting weights together…

#tbt struggling with the 30s!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…while others yet it might mean exploring Southern culture.

@swish41 is ready to hoop!!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

You’re never too old to be a cowboy.

Parsons and his buddy, Coach Carlisle

These two might have a weird, quirky relationship at times, but that doesn’t stop them from posing for pictures together in front of a Rolls Royce…

Congrats Coach Carlisle on the new deal! #5moreyears #iseeyourwalletisalreadyout

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…or from hanging out at the most infamous Halloween party in Dallas history.

Happy Halloween!!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

JaVale McGee, Snapchat superstar

While Nowitzki steals the show on Twitter and Parsons holds the Instagram belt, there’s no question JaVale McGee has the greatest Snapchat of any Maverick, potentially in team history. He’s been a panda rapping along to “Panda” (very meta)…

…he’s relaxed with Buzz Lightyear…

…and he’s worn tropical headgear.

Following along to the adventures of McGee and Raja “The Sphynx” is always a trip, too.

And finally there was the time that he was Charlie Villanueva and Villanueva was he.

Little Mavericks

Villanueva and J.J. Barea both welcomed daughters into the world this season.

Mi vida mi todo Paulina Barea Ortiz 03/31/16 😀😇😜👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🇵🇷

A photo posted by jose barea (@jjbarea11) on

Priceless…….Game Day vs OKC…….#dallasmavs #aliyah #mffl #mavsnation #believeincharlie #proudfather

A photo posted by Charlie Villanueva (@cvbelieve) on

Congratulations to them both!

Dirk and Zaza: An unparalleled rivalry

Dirk and Pachulia don’t back down on the floor, so you’d better believe they’re not going to be shy away from the game. These two go at each other online harder than most guys do their opponents in the postseason.

Dirk doesn’t believe Pachulia can snag a Leonel Messi jersey.

https://twitter.com/zaza27/status/700465922352553988

(Click to see the whole exchange on that one…)

There’s the Great Shoulder Debate of 2015-16.

https://twitter.com/zaza27/status/684965616189595648

And then there’s Zaza taking credit for Dirk’s rise up the all-time scoring list.

Finally, here’s our entry for tweet of the year…

What a season it’s been for the Mavs, both on the floor and off of it. There certainly is something charming about these guys being so funny away from the game, especially in how they interact with one another. The players really enjoy each other’s company, and that’s a pretty important thing given the amount of time they spend together. The group has talked up the importance of chemistry and togetherness all season long, and down the stretch of the playoff race we learned just why that’s so important.

Los verdaderos Ángeles de Charlie (The Real Charlie’s Angels)

Cuando Charlie Villanueva llegó a los Dallas Mavericks lo hizo con un contrato para el training camp y en una plantilla en la que, aparentemente, todos los huecos estaban cubiertos. Sin embargo, su entrega y su juego durante aquella pretemporada de 2014 obligaron a los Mavs a abrirle un hueco como fuese. En muy poco tiempo, se había ganado la confianza de entrenadores y compañeros, al mismo tiempo que admiraba el funcionamiento de una organización de primer nivel.

“Desde el primer día esta organización me ha dado la bienvenida a mí y a mi familia con los brazos abiertos.” explicó Villanueva en su blog. “Sentí una hermandad inmediata con mis compañeros. No tengo nada más que respeto para Mark Cuban y Donnie Nelson. Esta gente dirige una organización de primera clase.”

En el momento en el que Rick Carlisle dice su número y entra en la pista, la labor de Charlie está muy clara: ser una amenaza constante para la defensa rival, especialmente con la posibilidad del lanzamiento exterior. Por decirlo de una forma visual: Villanueva tiene luz verde para lanzar en cuanto se vea en posición, y a ello ayuda su rápida mecánica de lanzamiento. Por eso no extraña que durante la campaña pasada liderase la NBA en triples intentados por 36 minutos con 11.7, que además acompañó de un buen 37.6 por ciento de acierto. Su presencia ayuda a mejorar el espaciado ofensivo.

Si hay algo por lo que destaca Carlisle es por saber colocar a sus jugadores en situaciones favorables para sus características, algo en lo que también ha encontrado sintonía con Charlie.

“Me he probado a mí mismo y a los demás que aún pertenezco a esta liga y puedo contribuir para ayudar a producir victorias.” dijo Villanueva. “Y sobre Coach Carlisle, qué puedo decir de un hombre que quiere lo mejor para mí y que, más importante, cree en mí. Un entrenador que es también es duro conmigo cuando debe serlo, algo que también me encanta.”

Una vez está en posición de lanzamiento las defensas saben que tienen que llegar a puntear rápidamente, y en ocasiones el interior de los Mavs aprovecha para amagar el tiro y penetrar. Aunque con una muestra aún pequeña, esta temporada también hemos visto a Villanueva aprovechar sus oportunidades en el poste especialmente cuando está emparejado con un rival de menor tamaño, utilizando ganchos o lanzando por encima del defensor. Sus habilidades en ataque y su presencia positiva en el vestuario le ayudaron a ganarse el sitio en Dallas, y los Mavericks no dudaron a la hora de hacerle uno de los jugadores fijos de cara a la temporada actual.

Cuando un jugador está contento en un lugar se nota porque, juegue más o juegue menos, siempre está dispuesto a sacrificarse por sus compañeros. Para Villanueva fue muy importante romper su maldición con los Playoffs el año pasado. Después de estar acostumbrado a luchar por campeonatos en el instituto y en la universidad, esa adrenalina que genera pelear por lo máximo le había eludido durante sus primeras nueve temporadas en la NBA. A la décima llegó la vencida. La voluntad de volver a vivir esa sensación y la acogida que él y su familia habían tenido en Dallas, le llevaron a renovar con los Mavericks en cuanto pudo. El interés fue mutuo.

Pero a veces nos olvidamos de que el baloncesto es un juego. Uno que nos apasiona y que puede influir mucho, sí, pero un juego al fin y al cabo. Y cuando salimos del baloncesto y vemos cómo se relaciona el juego con la realidad, es cuando nos damos cuenta de que ahí Charlie es un All-Star.

Fue muy temprano cuando Charlie Villanueva comenzó a ver cómo se le caía el pelo. Era solo un niño. Al ir al médico y realizarle los análisis le diagnosticaron alopecia universalis, una variación de la alopecia areata, una enfermedad autoinmune en la cual el organismo produce anticuerpos contra una parte del folículo capilar y provoca la caída del pelo. Esta variación es la más rara y extrema de la enfermedad, y aunque no pone en riesgo la vida de la persona que la sufre, sí que puede tener implicaciones psicológicas que terminen en baja autoestima y depresiones.

“Llevaba muchas gorras, muchas capuchas. Nunca miraba a la gente a los ojos porque no quería que notasen que no tenía cejas.” contó Villanueva recientemente a SLAM durante la promoción de Season X, el próximo documental que narrará la historia de Charlie. “No tenía nada de confianza. De repente me cansé de eso, de estar deprimido. Me mire al espejo y me dije ‘este soy yo’. Ocurrió de repente. Creo que el baloncesto ayudó, porque me hacía sentir mejor. El baloncesto fue mi terapia. No llevaba gorra cuando jugaba y la gente se fijaba más en cómo jugaba que en mi imagen.”

Charlie V. llegó a ser uno de los mejores jugadores en la nación en su etapa universitaria, y cuando comenzó a ser conocido en la NBA supo que tenía que ayudar a aquellos que sufrían lo mismo por lo que pasó él y ser un modelo para ellos. Desde su año rookie es imagen y portavoz de la National Alopecia Areata Foundation, y también fundó la Charlie Villanueva Foundation. El programa con más repercusión en el que participa con ambas organizaciones es el Charlie’s Angels (Los Ángeles de Charlie), que tiene dos vertientes: en Dallas ofrece tickets para partidos a los jóvenes de la comunidad latina que saquen buenas notas en sus estudios; y cuando visita otras ciudades se encuentra con niños afectados por la alopecia areata. Por ejemplo, este programa recientemente ha cumplido los sueños de numerosos jóvenes en Brooklyn, Milwaukee y Oklahoma City, y tendrá sus próximas paradas en Atlanta, Orlando o Denver.

En otras ocasiones Charlie no puede estar personalmente, pero siempre se puede contar con su ayuda.

“Es importante para mí ser un ejemplo para los niños que tienen alopecia porque yo no tuve eso cuando crecí.” dijo Villanueva a SLAM. “Eso es lo que sentí que me faltaba, eso es lo que sentí que podría haberme ayudado, conocer a alguien que hubiera pasado por lo mismo. Creo firmemente que todo pasa por un motivo, y el motivo por el cual me pasó a mí es para ayudar a otros. Ese es mi propósito en esta vida: ayudar a los otros. Y eso es exactamente lo que estoy haciendo.”

Charlie también intenta ser un ejemplo para la comunidad latina, y la dominicana más en concreto. Aunque él nació y creció en Queens, New York, sus padres son de la República Dominicana, y Villanueva llegó a cambiar su nacionalidad y a jugar para la selección de dicho país en torneos FIBA. Por ejemplo el pasado verano visitó Cabrera, la ciudad de su madre, donde ayudó a acondicionar una cancha de baloncesto e impartió un clinic para cerca de medio centenar de niños.

“Hace siete u ocho años no había muchas pistas de baloncesto aquí. Todo lo que veías eran campos de baseball. Eso está empezando a cambiar.” dijo Villanueva. “El hecho de que haya podido devolver mi ayuda a la ciudad en la que creció mi madre es algo tremendo.”

En el vestuario es una figura respetada y querida por compañeros y entrenadores. En la cancha es un veterano con más de diez años de experiencia, un profesional consciente de cómo puede ayudar al equipo y de cuál es su rol. Fuera de la pista, es un ejemplo de superación y un apoyo para una gran cantidad de personas que sufren su misma enfermedad. Eso es Charlie Villanueva para sus ángeles. Para los verdaderos Ángeles de Charlie.

Charlie Villanueva sets out to make a documentary about his career, condition

It usually takes dozens, if not hundreds, of people to make a movie. But Charlie Villanueva, his two brothers, and his manager are in the process of making a crowd-funded feature-length documentary all by themselves, an incredible — and important — challenge that the Mavs forward believes he and his group can overcome.

Villanueva, his two brothers Rob C. Villanueva and Rob E. Villanueva, and Burton Chawla are currently working on “Season X,” a documentary about the player, his career, and his condition. The Mavs forward is the only man in NBA history to play with Alopecia Areata autoimmune disease, which results in hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. Those affected at a young age are often victims of targeted bullying and judgment, Villanueva admittedly among them. But the big man has spent his entire career working to increase awareness for the disease, and has remained extremely active with his own charity, Charlie’s Angels.

The Maverick and his fellow filmmakers put on a sneak preview Wednesday night at the Landmark Theater in Inwood as part of a fundraiser for the project. The goal is to raise enough money to complete the film as soon as possible so that it can debut during All-Star Weekend next February in Toronto. The group has already produced an entire mini-series, “Crossroads,” on a very limited budget — Chawla said they shot the entire thing with cellphones — but in order to produce the picture they truly want to make, it will take a bit more funding from those in the community.

“We’ve got four guys that are just trying to make this happen because we think it’s an important story,” Chawla said at the sneak peek. “We’ve obviously got the subject. He’s the only player in NBA history to have this condition, Alopecia. So we think there’s a lot here.”

He continued: “This is not a moneymaking venture for us or any investor. Anybody who wants to get involved in this, you can’t be thinking there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s not the point of this. The point of this is the actual rainbow: how we get here, the story of it, creating awareness.”

In addition to being an outspoken advocate for those with Alopecia and increasing awareness for the condition, Villanueva is also a proud Afro-Latino and participated in an ESPN mini-movie about pride in his heritage. The 31-year-old forward is certainly proud of who he is and comfortable in his own skin, and he’s using his success to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

Click here to find out more about “Season X” and to donate to the project.

Mavericks re-sign forward Charlie Villanueva

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed forward Charlie Villanueva. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Villanueva (6-11, 238) holds career averages of 10.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 21.7 minutes in 594 games (159 starts) with Toronto, Milwaukee, Detroit and Dallas. Villanueva was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 2005-06 after averaging 13.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 29.1 minutes in 81 games (36 starts). He had a breakout year in 2008-09 when he averaged 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 26.9 minutes in his final season with Milwaukee.

In his first season with Dallas, Villanueva averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 10.6 minutes in 64 games (one start). He shot 37.6 percent (83-of-221) from beyond the arc in 2014-15.

The Queens, N.Y., native was a standout at the University of Connecticut where, as a freshman, he earned Big East All-Rookie Team honors and won an NCAA National Championship. As a sophomore, he led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and was named the team’s MVP. Villanueva declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore season and was drafted seventh overall by the Toronto Raptors in 2005.

2015 Year in Review: Charlie Villanueva

Exit Interviews: Charlie Villanueva

Charlie Villanueva reflects on his 2014-15 season with the Mavs.

Charlie Villanueva’s performance this season epitomized that of a pure three-point shooter. Whenever he stepped onto the floor, his job was simple: Shoot the ball. And shoot he did, to the tune of 11.7 three-point attempts per 36 minutes, by far the highest in franchise history. The last player to even come close was DeShawn Stevenson in 2010-11, but he shot only 7.7 per 36.

His volume attempts was never a problem, though. That’s his job, his craft, and he was lethal from deep this season. On a team that needed shooting, Villanueva loudly filled that void.

SEASON STATS

PTS REB FG% 3PT%
6.3 2.3 41.4 37.6

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

Villanueva

More than 60 percent of Villanueva’s field goal attempts this season came from beyond the three-point line. That’s his specialty, for sure, but rarely do we see an athlete perform at such an extreme. Seventy-six percent of his shots came without taking a dribble, per NBA.com, and a whopping 88 percent came after touching the ball for fewer than two seconds. Again, though, that was his job, and he was fine with it.

“Coach always said to just stay ready and that the opportunity will come, but he just didn’t know when,” Villanueva said during his exit interview. “I just kept working on my craft, stayed sharp, and whenever my name was called, I made the most of it.”

In many respects, he has the ideal physical makeup of a modern-day power forward. He’s a slender 6′ 11″ with a wingspan just north of 7′, he can jump, and he can run. His long arms, athleticism, and extremely quick release make his three-point shot essentially unblockable — the only way to even contest his shot is to be right in his face right as he catches the ball, but he’s quick enough on the perimeter to find an open space to receive the pass. He’s a difficult player to guard.

STANDOUT SHOWING

Postgame: Charlie Villanueva

Mavs F Charlie Villanueva dishes on his team-high 20-point performance off the bench in Friday's win over the Heat.

Villanueva’s instant offensive impact shifted the momentum in several games, but he didn’t turn the tide more in any one game than he did Jan. 30 against the Miami Heat, when he scored 14 points in the second half alone as Dallas breezed past Miami with an incredible 37-2 run.

He finished with 20 points for the night, his highest total in a game in nearly two full years. Villanueva hit an impressive 6-of-11 from behind the arc. The last Maverick to take or attempt more in one game was Vince Carter in 2014.

CONTRACT STATUS

The sharpshooter is an unrestricted free agent this summer and his prolific shooting will surely draw the attention of most teams that play four-out basketball, meaning the power forward stays on the perimeter to provide more space closer to the basket. Villanueva proved he can come off the bench instantly hot, which is a skill in itself.

However, the forward did say during his exit interview that he wouldn’t mind staying here.

“I would love to come back,” he said. “I felt like this organization gave me an opportunity, gave me a chance, took a chance on me. I’m a loyal guy and I would love to be back, but that’s not my decision. Hopefully management and my agent can work something out.”

FUTURE OUTLOOK

Villanueva will be 31 by the start of training camp, but one skill that rarely diminishes too much as players age is three-point shooting, and we all know how well he can do that.

After his level of play took a bit of a downturn toward the end of his tenure with the Detroit Pistons, he took a major step in the right direction this season with Dallas, absolutely breathing life back into his career and essentially guaranteeing him another shot in the league. Big shooters like him aren’t easy to come by.

Crossroads: The Conclusion of Charlie Villanueva’s webisode

So it’s the All-Star break and let me tell you it is more than welcomed. We, as a team, are a little beat up, so we need some time to rest and get healthier. I really enjoyed my first half of the season with this team…I love our organization, my coaches, my teammates. It has truly been a positive experience. Tough win shorthanded last night against the Jazz…we had to fight for that one.

This halfway period of the season had me thinking of how it all started and how I got here. The video webisode series “Crossroads” that we aired here on Sportsblog.com, during my free agency period, captured the off-season journey…BUT…we never showed how the story ended. Obviously, I’m a Maverick and we all know how the story ends, but I wanted to share this BONUS webisode, which concludes my story (so click on the video below after you read this).

Shouts to the team at Tivity Social for helping me put together the whole series from Day 1. I still don’t know how you guys managed to do all this on Samsung smartphones.

Watch the video on Charlie’s blog »

Why Monta Ellis is on Charlie Villanueva’s all-star ballot

Que pasa mi gente!

Getting back into the groove of writing and since last week they announced the All-Star starters and we are less than a week away from hearing who the reserves will be. I want to throw something out there: Monta Ellis deserves to be in New York City!

It is an honor to be in the All-Star game and although I have never played in the actual NBA All-Star game, in the past, I have participated in the Rookie/Sophmore game. To be recognized for your craft, for your passion, and in this case your job is a tremendous honor. And honestly every year I feel like a few guys get “snubbed”. And I didn’t even realize until I started thinking about this post, about how Monta has never been elected to the All-Star game…SMH.

The beauty of our team is that it isn’t one guy, it is truly a team effort, a fine balance. Our team, from management to the coaching staff to the players, are crazy hype about how good we are, how much we can improve, and what that means come April, May and June.

This isn’t about me (I still have a long way to go) but this is my first real chance in my entire pro career to:

Read the full post on Charlie’s blog »