Earlier this week, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will permit college student-athletes in his state to earn money off endorsement deals and also hire agents.

From a personal perspective, Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith believes that move is a game-changer.

“I think that’s a great deal, especially with people in my situation,” Finney-Smith said. “I had a baby in college, so I could have used some extra money to send back home.

“My mama got six kids, so it was tough for me to even go to (college in) Florida. That’s why I originally stayed close to home because I wanted to make sure my mama was straight.”

Newsom signed the Fair Pay To Play Act while a guest on LeBron James’ HBO show, The Shop. The legislation will permit student-athletes who attend college in California to profit from their name, likeness and image.

Under the bill, student-athletes in California colleges can also obtain shoe deals or any other endorsements, as well as get paid for signing autographs. In addition, they can collect money from social media deals, and can also hire an agent to help facilitate other ways of making money.

Present NCAA rules forbid student-athletes from getting paid for the bill that Newsom signed. But Finney-Smith, who grew up in Portsmouth, Va., and played three years at Florida after spending his freshman season at Virginia Tech, believes the Fair Pay To Play Act is a good one for student-athletes.

“I think they’re doing a great thing,” Finney-Smith said, “and hopefully the other states can follow their lead.”

The Fair Pay To Play Act doesn’t go into affect until Jan. 1, 2023.


Forward/center Kristaps Porzingis will be the first to admit that he and Luka Doncic have some pretty big shoes to fill.

Big shoes that used to belong to Dirk Nowitzki.

Nowitzki, who retired last spring after spending his entire 21-year career with the Mavs, is the owner of most of the team’s franchise records and led the Mavs to their lone NBA title in 2011. He also is beloved by many around the world.

Now that Nowitzki is enjoying retirement, Doncic and Porzingis are the Mavs’ new centerpieces. And they know that comes with a lot of responsibilities.

“All I know is we’ve got huge shoes to fill – me and Luka – with Dirk being gone now and what he created for this city and for this organization,” Porzingis said. “We don’t have to over-think anything. We just have to play our games and represent the city the right way and represent the organization the right way.

“Dirk is a special human being. What he did for this place and how loyal he was, that’s not something easy to replicate. But we’re excited. We’re excited and it’s an opportunity for us.”


From the time he arrived in Dallas last week, center Boban Marjanovic has been having a great time.

Not only is one of the newest members of the Mavs living life to the fullest, he stepped right in and donned an outfit similar to the one Big Tex wears at the State Fair of Texas.

“I dressed like Tex and it was a lot of fun,” Marjanovic said.  “You guys are supposed to watch the video soon, and I hope you guys enjoy it.”

Last month Marjanovic helped Serbia to a fifth-place finish in the FIBA Basketball Word Cup. That includes a 94-89 victory over the United States national basketball team.

Marjanovic, who signed a two-year, $7 million free agent contract with the Mavs this past summer, said he felt a closeness to Dallas as soon as he arrived in town.

“I got here a little bit late because of the World Championships,” Marjanovic said. “But when I come into town and practiced, I was like, I get a breath of fresh air and I was so excited to be here. I feel good vibes and I feel good people, and how they treat me I treat them. I feel comfortable (here) and I feel good from the first moment.”


The Mavs will be back at work on Saturday when they resume practice at the Lympo practice facilities.

After opening training camp on Tuesday, the Mavs practiced that day, Wednesday and Thursday before taking off on Friday. Following Saturday’s practice, the Mavs will host an Open Practice on Sunday at American Airlines Center.

The practice is free and open to the public. It will feature an hour-long scrimmage, and entertainment from the Mavs ManiACCs, Drumline, Champ and MavsMan. Merchandise discounts, and ticket and meal specials will also be available. Fans can park for free in the Lexus Parking Garage,

Entry to the event is available through the East doors of American Airlines Center.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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