A wonderful scene it was. The Dallas Mavericks once again endured a roster overhaul this summer. The environment at the American Airlines Center seemed plenty lighter and full with excited anticipation for the nine newly incoming Mavs.
The presser primarily held for seven players, also was an opportunity to formally introduce new front office addition and team GM Gersson Rosas.
Devin Harris, Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Brandan Wright and DeJuan Blair were the guys presented to media members and loyal Mavs fans. Wright returned to Dallas by re-signing for two seasons.
Tons of great material covered in the press conference which lasted about 30 minutes. Onto the Quoteboard!
Opening statements from owner Mark Cuban:
“All of people speculated about a lot of different things for this summer, and I kept on telling everybody it’s probably going to work out better than anticipated and I gotta tell everybody it worked out better than I anticipated it’d work out.”
“I mean we’ve got a great group of guys here that are coming ready to play, I think we’re gonna have a great team. I love the fact that everyone is kind of throwing us under the bus and thinking we’re nothing and we don’t have anything put together, but I gotta tell you…we ain’t done yet, we got a lot more to do. It’s gonna be a fun, fun year.
Donnie Nelson introducing new GM Gersson Rosas:
“Mark told me this summer that we needed to get out there and find a basketball Jedi…I didn’t know what a Jedi was I’m not a Star Wars guy, but anyway we went out and made an incredible hire one of the top guys in the industry. We’re really excited about him, he’ll work closely with Keith Grant and myself, with Mark and Coach.”
GM Gersson Rosas talks about joining the Dallas front office:
“First of I want to thank the Dallas Mavericks organization and all the fans here today, I feel very humbled and blessed to be here. This is a very special place and to realize to come in a new GM as myself with such a dynamic group.”
“You’ve got championship experience, an owner in Mark who’s as passionate as any owner in this league, an individual in Rick who is a top coach in the league, then you have Donnie…if it wasn’t for Donnie I wouldn’t be here today. His (Donnie) track record speaks for itself, a basketball genius.”
“To me this is a very special opportunity, there’s championship aspirations here. It hasn’t been too long since championship memories were made here and last time I checked this was the last Texas team to win a championship (crowd roars). So the focus is to get back there in the not-to distant future and let those celebrations happen again.”
Rosas concluded by thanking those who assisted him along his way to Dallas from his family to Houston Rockets front office members Leslie Alexander and Daryl Morey.
Head Coach Rick Carlisle on Rosas and opening statement:
“I want to welcome Gersson, he’s going to be a great addition to our franchise. Our goal every year is to be an NBA champion. That hasn’t changed since Mark bought the team several years ago, but our goal this year is to get back to winning in the playoffs and that’s going to be our #1 focus to return to that championship level.”
Monta Ellis on the transition from Golden State to Milwaukee and now the Mavericks:
“The years I had in Golden State I had to do 60-percent of everything so it was a load on me, coming in with a lot of young guys as well, but with a team like this, the players that we have like Dirk, the way that Coach wants to run the pick and roll is going to open it up for me, Dirk and other guys so it’s a great opportunity…a new beginning, looking forward to it.”
Ellis asked if he’s ready for Dirk (Nowitzki) to be his sidekick:
“Well, I think everybody at this table, everyone else we’re going to work together, Dirk been here longer than me I’m coming to be his sidekick, but at the same time we come here to win games and that’s all.”
Fan asks Ellis if he can return to his ’07 “beastmode” in Carlisle’s system:
“I think I can, as said I think the system is a great one for me. Like I said, in Golden State I had to do 60-percent of everything, but here I don’t think I have to do that much with the team that we have so I think I can get back to that.”
Carlisle talks Ellis’ role with the team:
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a guy, certainly since I’ve been here, who’s as fast a player as Monta Ellis. I said this a couple weeks ago, I think he’s probably the fastest player that’s ever put on a uniform in Mavs history. So when you add that kind of speed at his skill level and he’s an experienced scorer.”
“The other thing about Monta is he’s also a very good playmaker. When you play with a guy like Dirk, there’s going to be more space on the floor which is going to help Monta and his speed is going to compliment Dirk well and this rest of our team.”
“It’s exciting to have this kind of new blood on your roster, but there’s a lot of work to make sure we analyze these guys for exactly what these guys can do in the right system for them to be successful and us to be successful.”
Devin Harris thoughts on his Dallas return:
“It feels great, it feels like I’m home. Just excited to be back, obviously with these guys every year…unfortunately I had to leave…seven years ago. But I always knew I’d come back at some point so I’m just excited to be back and ready to contribute.”
DeJuan Blair on being in a Mavs uniform instead of a San Antonio Spurs uniform:
“It feels good, right down the street and with the team we got, especially with Cube from Pittsburgh, that’s a real relief just knowing I got somebody from home who I connect with and play for so it’s better.”
Asked about falling short in Finals last year and motivation:
“Of course I want to get back. I don’t think we would have come up short if I had played. It was a lot of motivation though, very exciting two weeks of my life, definitely want to get back, I think we have the team to do it. We just need to work together and get there, they’ve got the experience and I think we have some soldiers that will get us there, we have to play hard.”
Brandan Wright on his excitement to re-sign and stay in Dallas:
“I’m very happy and excited to be back here, playing in front of the best fans in the world. Throughout the whole free agent process, I never really wanted to leave, I can say I flirted around with other teams, but my heart was always here and to be a Dallas Maverick.”
“Happy to get that call from Mark (Cuban), Coach, Donnie as soon as the clock hit 12 o’clock on free agency. It really meant a lot to me, just excited to get this thing rolling again.”
New Mavs PG Jose Calderon on landing in Big D and his impact:
“Like everybody said I’m very happy to be here, we got a great opportunity to do great things. I think we got to right pieces to play good basketball, we have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things. If we’re on the same page we can be pretty good.”
“As others said, people can say what they want, but we have some pretty good basketball players right here on this team and we’re going to do the right things to be up there competing for everything. Let’s get this great season.”
“I’ve in the league eight years now and I think everybody knows how I play. I try to get everybody the ball in the right positions to the guys who need the ball, that’s what I do. I’m a team guy, I can shoot the ball, sometimes I need to be more aggressive depending what kind of game we get, but I’m a team player and we have a lot of guys who can score. It’s going to be an easy job for me.”
Center Samuel Dalembert shares his thoughts on joining the Mavs:
“First, it’s an honor to be here, such a great team and I want to thank Mark Cuban for the resurrection. Thank you so much and I am ready to go.”
Sharpshooter Wayne Ellington’s initial thought on being a Maverick:
“Very excited to be a part of this organization, a great organization. Just want to let the fans know I’m coming in to work hard every single day, giving a great effort and having a great season.”
FAN HIGHLIGHT OF THE PRESSER GOES TO THIS GUY:
“Hi everybody, welcome. On behalf of all Mavs fans, I’d like you to take the MFFL oath please. Raise your right hand, I solemnly swear to HATE the Los Angeles Lakers, to DESPISE the San Antonio Spurs and to generally PISS ON every other team in the Western Conference!”
Cuban answers fan question about the new lineup:
“I love the team that we’ve put together, first of all there’s a lot of people downplaying Dirk like he can’t play anymore and that’s just not the case. We think Dirk has a lot more to give, he’s working hard to be ready and we think we’ve put a lot of good players around him.”
“Devin when healthy can defend, he can get to the rim and can shoot. Jose obviously is one of the best ball distributors in the game, he was the best 3-point shooter in the league last year, he’ll open up the court so Monta can get to the best as well as anyone in the NBA. Monta is going to have so much space working in the P&R with Dirk, he’s going to be able to get to Dirk or Jose, kick out to Wayne or throw it up to Brandan, Sam or DeJuan.”
“One of the things we didn’t really have last year was a rim protector and that’s something Sam can give us, he’s one of the best rebounders per minute. His whole career wherever he’s been he’s gotten a rebound every three minutes. And if you saw his game against Denver last year he even knows how to go unconscious sometimes.”
“Wayne is a knock down shooter that you can’t leave open. We feel we’ve put together a great compliment of players around Dirk that can fill up specific needs and together with Coach we’re going to be really effective.”
“People say every year we’re not going to be good, but that’s O.K. because we’ve got guys who have something to prove. DeJuan already knows when we’re playing the Spurs and we know what DeJuan is going to do to the Spurs. That will be a beautiful thing.”
Cuban when asked what seed the Mavs will be:
“I don’t and never have made predictions like that, but I will say I’ll be disappointed if we’re not making noise in April and May and later.”
Carlisle on the comparison to the 2011 Mavs and last season:
“This team has more experience than the team we had last year and our nemesis was close games. At one point I think we lost seven or eight overtime games in a row which hasn’t been the history here. A lot of that had to do with inexperience. It’s different with Jose and Monta at the guard positions and Sam at center with rim protection and rebounding.”
“DeJuan was an important late add for us with Elton Brand leaving. We need that physical, tough ass-kicker to put out there and be that enforcer for us.”
“Wayne was a solid addition because having a knock down shooter is key.”
“Devin Harris will return to the fold by December or January as a two-position player who will help us with his speed.”
“The biggest similarity to that 2011 team is the experience, that team was very experienced.”
Ellis asked what area of his game he’s working on:
“For me and my game every area. Breaking down the roster, see the guys I’m playing with. Help this team get back to the promise land on the winning track. With me it’s everything, knowing the personnel on the team with me.”
Wright on what he will bring for years to come:
“Coach said it earlier, there’s guys at this table with a lot to prove, for me personally I just work on my game everyday, my strengths and weaknesses, want to be a better team player. I know I can be a piece on this team to help us win.”
That’s wrap the press conference quoteboard, we’ll leave you with a few other points from the AAC.
1) Devin Harris is beloved by the Mavericks fan base.
2) Wright said Harris never asked for #34, but mentioned that #20 suits the older, more mature Devin Harris.
3) The guys were asked for a game they have marked down on their schedule. There’s was an opening night, Ellis said everybody, but most are ready for the Spurs.