DALLAS - Tonight is a hallmark in ways that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with on the court ... though the inspired Dallas Mavericks customarily allow it to impact them on the court nevertheless. It's "Seats for Soldiers'' night at the AAC. Here comes the Orlando Magic ... and here comes the inspiration.
Tonight's 7:30 tip (see our Magic-at-Mavs preview here) will mark the Mavs' 15th annual ‘Seats for Soldiers’ game. The concept is a lovely one, season-ticket holders giving up the best seats in the house to members of the United States military and their families who have sacrificed so much. It's heartwarming in every single way, as Mavs owner Mark Cuban has often noted.
“Our annual Seats for Soldiers game is a reminder that we don’t get to enjoy the game we love without the incredible sacrifices our soldiers make,” Cuban recently said. “This game is one small way for the Dallas Mavericks and our season-ticket holders to say thank you and acknowledge the bravery of the men and women in uniform.”
There are about as many reasons as ever to support the Mavs, reasons led by the MVP-level play of 20-year-old Luka Doncic. (See our recent coverage of Luka, complete with raves about him and Kristaps Porzingis from LeBron James ("Luke is a bad MF'er!'') and Anthony Davis and more, here and a "rare-club'' note here.) But this? This is special.
Dallas Mavericks season-ticket holder Neal Hawks originated the concept, which amounts to a donation of nearly $400,00. The program is bolstered by supporters like "Nick and Sam's Steakhouse.'' And while "Seats for Soldiers'' is all about the cause, it has another impact: The Mavs - presently 4-2 - have a 12-2 record on these special nights.