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Dallas Mavericks: Not the Role Model Team

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You see it far too often in sports from the NBA to MLB to the NHL to the NFL and any other professional sports organization.  A team does the unthinkable and wins a championship and then the next season their team is so unrecognizable that you can’t even fathom them having a chance to win again.  This concept of management has always bothered me and I just don’t get it.

I look at this from the perspective of a fan, because I’m not calling the shots for any of these teams.  Yet, I would think it is easy to understand the motto “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”  That statement is common sense, but a general manager or owner have the impression that they have to “make the team better” by making pointless changes.

The Dallas Mavericks surprise run to the 2011 NBA Championship was led by their defense.  Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson was the main factors of their run to the title.  Then they had key role players like J. J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic played a part in it as well.  Championship teams over the course of history have star players and great defense, period.  The Mavericks came into the 2012 season thinking they were above the facts, mostly due to their owner Mark Cuban, and changed the look of their team.

The Green Bay Packers went through the same situation this season after winning the Super Bowl the prior season.  The loss of Cullen Jenkins and Atari Bigby, mixed with the aging of future Hall of Fame CB Charles Woodson showed the vulnerability of their defense.  The team still went 15-1, but when it mattered the most the defense could not help them.  Had the team went out and re-signed a force like Jenkins, I easily could have seen them repeat as Super Bowl champions.

As a person in control of a franchise, the mindset should always be to keep the core players in place, while maintaining the chemistry and defense.  This is how you win championships at a high rate, just ask the New England Patriots and San Antonio Spurs of the past decade.  Look at the teams who have won at a high level on a consistent basis and you see the model to go by.  The Mavericks are a prime example of what not to do after winning a championship.

NBA

Kings, NBA Announce Start of Joint Investigation into Allegations Against Luke Walton

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The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced that they have started a join investigation into the allegations of sexual assault made by
Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, in a civil suit filed against new head coach Luke Walton from alleged incidents back in 2014.

“The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” the team and league said in a statement.

The Kings’ investigation will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Jennifer Doughty, a senior associate attorney at the firm, while the league’s investigation will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the league’s senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations.

Tennant held a news conference earlier this week to comment on the allegations to which Walton’s attorney responded by calling the allegations “baseless” and calling Tennat “an opportunist”.

Walton became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings immediately following his dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month.

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NBA

Former NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case, Faces 15 Years in Prison

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Former NBA player and once highly touted young prospect Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm and could face up to 15 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

Telfair, 33, was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York after cops found several weapons in his possession during a traffic stop.

Telfair, a high school phenom, played for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, among others, throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA, but many believe that he never reached his full potential.

Telfair plead not guilty and tried to fight back the charges, but a jury found him guilty on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Telfair, who could face up to 15 years in prison, is scheduled back in court in June for sentencing.

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Golden State Warriors

Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.

According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;

“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. 

“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.

Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.

Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.

Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states. 

Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”

The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.

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