Friday, May 27, 2011

What if Dirk Nowitzki Were Black?

What if Dirk Nowitzki (White Guy from Germany) was Derrick Nelson (Black Guy from Anyhood, USA). Let me start by saying this is not a referendum on unfair treatment of a white German. With that said what more can you say about Dirks performance in this years playoffs? He has hailed more praise and respect in one playoff than analysts much older than me can remember last. All this acclaim earned over a body of work that has flown under the radar simply because the media would not acknowledge its greatness due to playoff shortcoming after shortcoming. Their was a trust issue there. A trust issue that both had Mavs fan skeptical to buy in to a playoff run this April and kept analysts from singing his praises the past few years regardless of his efficiency and talent. So, what if?  What if Dirk Nowitzki from Germany was Derrik Nelson from say Georgetown(fictional black guy alter ego). I caution you again, this is NOT a racist filled rant but simply a scenario of how things could have gone different for Dirk with a more familiar NBA background.  Derrick Nelson from Georgetown would not have had half as much ridicule as Dirk did being taken so high in the draft over formerly with us Tractor Traylor for starters. I assume Derrick Nelson would have had automatic "street cred" within "the community" (see italics, think exclusive). This would have meant stronger relationships with the majority of what the NBA is, young black males. Maybe Nelson would have been with Chris Paul at his birthday this year. Or Lebron may have taken his talents to South Dallas instead of South Beach. Regardless because of being an introverted white foreign raised player I believe Dirk has excluded the Mavericks from a possible higher chance at sweepstakes for major free agency due to lack of relatability. Current stars with the Mavs are second chance seat fillers here by trade or lack of demand. Ask any NBA player if on paper they wouldn't want to play with someone who has Dirks stats. Insane that Dallas has never landed a major free agent considering the city, no state tax, lower cost of living, loyal franchise fans and facilities and the fact that it is major market. I know Cuban doesn't help but really guys have not truly even bat an eye at coming to Dallas. And this is what hurts Dirk, his lack of "fitting in" (remember italics). When he hosted the All Star weekend in Dallas he came off as a rich kid who supplied the party and sat isolated while everyone else enjoyed his party for him being that none of his guests were his actual friends. That's the kindve left out I'm talking about. The questions that begged to be asked are: Would analysts be so quick to call him soft or so fundamentally sound over purely talented? This is not a Chris Bosh apples to apples comparison. Dirk is head and shoulders a more valuable player and look what Chris Bosh got recruited into 2011! Would Derrick Nelson have the work ethic like Dirk Nowitzki has? (Racist?) Could Derrick Nelson have recruited a Robin similar to the way others have recently (ie.Melo LeBron Bosh Paul Boozer) earlier in his career? Have these things hurt Dirk? I propose that at the same timethis has possibly made it harder for him it has made his pilgrimage to win a ring that much more impressive.

As "hood' as Dirk gets

So what is the upside to Dirk?  The upside is Dirk Nowitzki is a white foreign born introvert with a work ethic I believe we still fully don't comprehend. He has limited distractions in his life, and short of being a black guy, could not be more positive for his team and community. Despite the fact that the current Mavs have such a large group a veterans I do not find it to be of coincidence that the Mavericks may be the only team in this playoffs that were not mentioned as having "trust" issues on the floor or anywhere else for that matter (see Pau Gasol Lakers). I attribute so much of that to the fact that Dirk never talks about "getting his" or "shine" or anything of the sort, he is about solely winning. His teammates know that and I don't know of another NBA playoff run team with more cooperative role players with more trust and focus from former #1 options like Marion, Peja and  Kidd all together unwavering in their contribution towards the team goal. That's just one major intangible contribution to the franchise from Dirk. Not to mention the fact that Dirk is the furthest thing from a distraction for his franchise. He's old school in the way that the ONLY dividends he's interested night in and night out is getting better and  winning an NBA Championship ring.

The 'Heatles' courtesy of @TheBlackAriGold 
So in this Finals I am more than ever rooting for Dirk to beat the "The Heatles". The Overdue crew vs. The Entitled Big 3.  Good vs. Evil as my favorite local radio calls it. I have been watching the Mavs long before The Big 4 Blow Up (number four being Toni Braxton).  I've been around long enough to KNOW this is a special run for the Mavs, with a special superstar with a blueprint and background that favors an unorthodox approach to the game and hopefully the rare outcome of the first to four wins in these NBA Finals. Enjoy.

NOT Finished Yet...

Monday, May 2, 2011

White House Swag

Gentlemen when it's time to get it done, here's a head start for inspiration>>> Esquire

Roadside Prayers

I'll never forget one Saturday  when I moved a family into Towne Crossing Apartments in Mansfield, TX back when I was in the business of leasing apartments. The husband had just landed a great job close by and decided to uproot his wife and two kids from Oklahoma. On the way up his pickup truck's tire blew out. In a hurry to get finished moving and paying movers by the hour he left his truck to change the tire afterwards. So after hours of unloading he and his family's belongings he got his brother to take him back to his truck to change his tire on the side of the highway. As he finished and was loading up the tools a car veered off the highway and smashed him between his truck and the charging car causing him to be in critical condition. The next Monday  morning the family made me aware of what had happened and that he had lost his arm and leg. Mind you he was off the shoulder in the grass and was still hit. When I found out about this it really bugged me and I felt for the guy and his family. All of their plans would immediately change before they even spent their first night in their new plans. Wife didn't work and dad was everything. 
So all of that to START this... Since then EVERY single roadside tire changer, hood checker, smoke fanner you name it gets a quick pray from me. I won't ever forget seeing how happy and hopeful that guy was days before and then finding out that all of his intentions and ambitions were taken away from him by some unfortunate idiot. What's cool to me, is that now that I work out on the open road daily with a route the past 2 years that has extended from Denton to south of Waco I've said a whole bunch of prayers for sidelined drivers. I feel a responsibility to do that little bit to pray for their protection. Maybe that's why I have this job right now so that I can be this for many people. Happy to be it. 

The Fine Art of the Car Deal

Oh the car buying process! What an American tradition of an overly drawn out pissing match of stand offs and eye brow raising. Who will get the better of whom? Just this past week my wife and I purchased our first vehicle as a couple, A 2010 Acura TSX. It was nothing short of the initial description above but being educated about the process makes it feel less like your wearing a blindfold when it's your turn to shoot in the match. I sold cars at an Arlington dealer for month and learned a little about how the leverage and car buying process goes but a resource I found online was perfect for anyone seeking to understand how to protect oneself from that humbling buyers remorse feeling while driving off the lot in your new "sucker wagon". The site is listed here How to Best Negotiate a Car Deal. This sites instructions and advice prepared me and gave me confidence. Made me feel like Gordon Gecko in Wall Street or Baldwin in Glenn Gary Glenn Ross. I was ready to kick ass and take names. Unfortunately my lovely wife took all that confidence from my sales pitch. I felt like the prosecution did when the glove didn't fit OJ.  You see the Acura TSX (The only car her heart desired within our agreement) is made in Japan, Tsunami Japan, where demand suddenly has gone through the roof. The car is made there, not just parts. She wanted black on black non navigation only in model year 2010. This of course meant that any dealer who already understood the value of the vehicle based on low supply and high demand could now hold me hostage for the my specific specifications since we were unwilling to settle for alternative colors. To boot as each vehicles availability would pop online it would disappear within 3-5 days. YEA!!! All my preparation down the drain. But in the end we did get what I considered a great deal on the car and bought from a good honest car salesman (possible oxymoron). He was nice.