Special Edition 3 Cheers: Most Awesome Mavs Experience Ever
I've been to some exciting Mavs games in my life. I've seen some games that I will remember forever. For the sake of fairness, I'm going to limit this to regular season, because playoff games will always trump regular season games.
*I remember going to a game back in 1995 where the 3 J's of Jason Kidd, Jimmy Jackson, and Jamal Mashburn took down the defending champion Houston Rockets when they should have been blown out by 42 points.
*I remember being at a game with my best friend Adam where Jason Kidd recorded his first ever triple double against the Lakers and Adam got Nick Van Exel's autograph (when Van Exel was playing for the Lakers, not the Mavs).
*I remember the time I got floor seats against the Timberwolves, and I got Derek Harper to acknowledge me and find me mildly amusing, and I also yelled out, "Hey Garnett, Little Penny from science class says hello!" It was funny at the time, and Garnett looked at me and laughed.
There are plenty that stand out to me, but I've never watched Josh Howard score 47 points from the center court suite of Ross Perot, Jr., former owner of the Mavericks . . . until NOW!!!
1. Josh Howard - It's not a surprise that Howard started off at a quick pace. He usually does. It's not uncommon for him to open up a game with 12-15 points in the first quarter. The difference is that he will wind up with 20-25 for the entire game. He gets his points early to jumpstart the offense, then defers to the rest of the team for the final 3 quarters. In this game, he managed to string together 4 1st quarters. He was like a spider monkey. Inside. Outside. Jumpshots. Dunks. Free throws. 3 pointers. You name it, he did it. And he did it do the tune of a dynamic, exciting, uproarious 47 points on 14 of 19 shooting (he only missed 5 shots all night!), 4 of 5 from behind the arc, 15 of 17 from the free throw line, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.
2. Deron Williams - The local Dallas kid came home and put on quite a show. If it weren't for Howard's stroke of brilliance, Williams would have been the story here. He put up 41 points, 7 assists and 2 steals.
3. Erick Dampier - A good line for Damp is about 10 points and 10 rebounds, but tonight he looked like the center we've never had. Damp had 21 points, 5 boards and 2 blocks.
Dirk's Digits: Dirk was able to take a back seat to Howard without it being a detriment to the team. 16 points, 8 boards, 3 assists, a steal and a block.
Carlos Boozer did some damage, too, until he fouled out. Boozer racked up 24 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists.
Devin Harris also put up a good game. If you are a point guard and you want a career best assists night, keep passing it to the guy that shooting 14 of 19 from the field for 47 points. Harris logged 12 assists to go with 10 points and 3 steals.
Before the game, my dad and I went out to the pep rally outside the arena before the game to take in the sights. One sight in particular hit me out of nowhere, literally. They were firing off balled up t-shirts into the crowd, and I didn't know this. All of a sudden I see a horde of kids charging at me like I was the Chuck E. Cheese mascot handing out free tokens. I look up and see a t-shirt missile not 5 feet from my face. I barely had time to put my hands up before it nailed me in the chest and some kid about half my age (probably 1/3 my age, but shut up about that) picked it up off the ground. If my dad had been much of an athlete, he might have hung his head in shame. As it was, he was probably more impressed that I didn't scream like the shower girl from Psycho and dive to the ground in the fetal position. No offense, Dad, but you know we are cut from the same cloth.
Since it was a corporate suite, my dad was concerned that there might be some big wigs from his company there, so he asked me to do something that I've never done for a Mavericks game before. Dress nicely. So I put on some khaki pants and a fancy sweater from Old Navy, only to find that the other people in the box were amateur hacks like myself that were wearing jeans and Dirk jerseys. Oh well, maybe they thought I was the professional. Probably not, since I still had an enlarged welt in my chest from the projectile t-shirt, but maybe.
The suite to our right was Mark Cuban's, and it was stocked with what looked to be some young, mid-20's-early-30's, dot.com type dudes. The suite to our left was Tom Hick's, and it was stocked with a bunch of college-aged chicks out celebrating one of the girls' 21st birthday. I'll just put it this way. I might as well have been swimming in the ocean between a school of sharks and a gallon of chum. It was quite distracting trying to ignore the loud, obnoxious, cute, young drunk girls on my left and the fraternity of guys on my right that were staring bullets across our suite to Tail City. Thanks to Josh Howard for keeping my focus.
It was a great experience all around, although I wish I had caught that shirt. I can't thank my dad enough, but more importantly, I would like to think his co-worker, Gail, who gave my dad the tickets. See, she was the one that actually won the seats, but she is a fan of 3 Cheers and she offered them to us. I've never been so proud to be associated with someone that doesn't like basketball. So thank you, Gail. You are an honorary 3 Cheers member now. Go Mavs!