Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 2.26.21 ...
*KP “not worried, and that’s good. But which issue is Kristaps Porzingis “not worried” about?
“It came out and it is what it is," Porzingis said on Friday in the Dallas Mavs big man’s first remarks about trade rumors. . "I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, and I shouldn’t be too worried about it. It can only distract me at the end of the day. I try to focus on being in the moment.”
That’s good - though it’s well short of KP confirming the denials issued by Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle.
Meanwhile, on the injury front, where KP has missed three straight games with back soreness?
I felt pretty good already yesterday," Porzingis sad. "But they wanted me to have a practice before I start playing again. Hopefully, I'm ready to go tomorrow."
That can mean KP in the lineup for Mavs at Nets. They could use him ... and he could use catching a break.
"I just haven't had the best luck in that sense," Porzingis said of his injury history. ... which is an understatement.
*Russell Wilson having the Cowboys on his wish list is a potential game-changer. He’s unhappy in Seattle, has a no-trade clause and would consider only moving to the Cowboys, Bears, Saints and Raiders. As I wrote recently, Wilson is only 32 and is on the short list of quarterbacks that will still be better than Prescott in three years.
READ MORE: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Lists Dallas
There are cap problems for Seattle here, as Fish points out. But me? Always thought Wilson would wind up in DFW as a Texas Rangers’ infielder, not the Cowboys’ quarterback.
There is another DFW driving force here.
His show-biz wife Ciara seems to have a lingering affection for our fine community.
*Oops. Remember all that stuff I spewed about how Luka Doncic should shelve his step-back 3-pointer? Edit: He is, from here forward, green-lighted to shoot them in the final minute of any close game.
His two, back-to-back, breath-taking bombs Tuesday night ripped the heart out of the Celtics, and also set us skeptics straight. With the game on the line, that shot is – against common sense and advanced metrics – indeed a good shot.
For numerologists, his playoff buzzer-beater last Summer came on Aug. 23; most recent heroics Feb. 23. Here’s hoping Mavs have a Game 7 on June 23.
*The longer it drags on, the more I feel as though the Dallas Cowboys will again settle on using their exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott on March 9. He’ll either get a long-term deal before then,or play in 2021 for $38 million.
I’m all for “hopefulness.” But .. Put me down for the latter.
*A prominent Dallas publicist tells me she was fired this month by the Colonial golf tournament’s long-time public relations firm for simply following CDC guidelines. I’ve known the firm – the Todd Company – for years and they’re great folks. But the publicist has the receipts, in the form of an email chain. Bad optics for a PGA tournament to be terminating sub-contractors that simply refuse to attend indoor, mask-less meetings in the middle of a global pandemic.
*Travesty of all travesties: Dirk Nowitzki was never voted an All-Star starter. Luka is now the only Dallas Mavericks player to be elected twice to the West’s starting five.
*My family has forever owned and operated a farm in rural Johnson County. Lots of cattle. I’ve always thought of them as simpleton, dumb animals. But last summer I saw them strategically gather under a shade tree in 100-degree temps and last week they all huddled behind the barn and out of the bitterly cold north winds. Hmm.
Not so dumb after all.
So it kinda made me sad when I heard that one of them froze to death. Wandered into the tank for a drink of water, fell through the ice, got stuck and died what must have been an excruciating death. Dumb or not. Turns out Super Bowl V MVP Chuck Howley’s grandson deals with the same type of feelings.
*Humans also succumbed to the blizzard 2021. A 67-year-old Lakewood man slipped on the ice, hit his head and, yep, died.
*Wait, somebody is going to pay Xavier Woods in free agency? The same Xavier Woods we saw alternate bouts of inability and unwillingness during a dreadful Dallas defensive season?
Just please don’t tell me the team willing to pay is the Cowboys.
*Life hack with urgent relevance in DFW these days: Quik Trip provides free air. Just pull in, push the button, fill ’em up and – presto – that annoying tire pressure sensor on your dashboard disappears. Serious question though: Why is it “Quik” Trip and not “Quick”?
*As most of you know, I’m not a big Tiger Woods fan. I admit that my initial reaction to news of his one-car accident this week was a confluence of “Oh, no!” and “Uh-oh!”. But here’s hoping the greatest player to ever swing a club he recovers to merely walk again, much less play golf.
*History, forgotten: In 1960, when the newborn NFL team paid its players $5,000 a year, the Cowboys practiced at Oak Cliff’s Burnett Field. They worked out there because it was one of a few practice fields available along with old P.C. Cobb Stadium, which is now the Dallas Infomart. Burnett Field, according to former long-time team exec and Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, was infested with rodents.
“Guys had to hang their jerseys on pipes,” Brandt says, “so the rats didn’t eat them.”
Burnett wasn’t torn down until the minor-league baseball Dallas Rangers moved to Arlington Stadium in 1965.
Today, it’s just a vacant field.
Meanwhile, 60 or so years later - and on the week of the anniversary of Jerry Jones’ 1989 purchase of the franchise, the Cowboys are probably worth $6 billion.
Not enough Super Bowls.
*If you were/are a fan of Breaking Bad (and, really, who wasn’t/isn’t?), you should head to Dallas’ Whippersnapper Bar for a pop-up homage to the series. Costumes “encouraged”, but not sure you can get in wearing only Walter White’s trademark tighty whiteys.
*As Dallaska thaws, it’s heartwarming to know that those that need help are getting it from those fortunate enough to offer it. The Mavericks are donating $1.25 million in emergency grants to help mitigate the effects of the recent weather, in the form of aid to homeless shelters, rehousing families, meals and help with utility costs.
Our own Mike Fisher noticed DallasCowboys.com media folks Kelsey Charles and David Helman raising $1,900 for women displaced from a DFW shelter ... and Fish and Marcia matched the total with their own $1,900 donation.
*I prefer my science to be sciency instead of approximates and estimates. To that end, this week in DFW we enjoyed three consecutive days of sun-splashed temperatures in the 70s. How then, did I drive into a parking lot Thursday morning and see piles of snow remaining ... piles of snow and not melting into puddles of water? Last I checked, 70 was way more than 32. Does not compute.
*Quick, name the Mavs’ best free-throw shooter.I’m betting you didn’t blurt out Maxi Kleber. But you should’ve. He’s made 19 of 20 for a team-leading 95 percent. That said, with the game on the line I’d like to see Josh Richardson at the stripe. He’s missed only three of 50 (94 percent), and his stroke just looks so smooth, effortless and repeatable. Luka, meanwhile, has already missed 56 free throws.
*Sentence I came across this week that reaffirmed how out of touch I’ve become with the cool kids: In the last 72 hours, a trader has bought two cryptopunks for a total of 600 ETH, which, as of this moment, is worth $996,000. I’m familiar with neither cryptopunks nor ETH nor, for that matter, $996,000.
*Mavs just finished a stretch playing 10 of 11 at home with a record of 7-4. Not great. But not surprising. Sans fans, NBA home courts just aren’t advantageous. Only four teams – Jazz, Sixers, Bucks and Nets – have lost fewer than five home games.Dallas is 8-8 at American Airlines Center and 7-8 on the road.
*For what it’s worth, the Chiefs (7) and Cowboys (6) have used the franchise tag most often in the NFL. The Packers have yet to tag a player.
*Government leadership’s proposed stimulus recovery package is supported by 70 percent of Americans. It includes legislation intended to help speed the delivery of vaccines, send direct payments of up to $1,400, extend key pandemic unemployment programs, provide aid to struggling small business owners and dedicate nearly $130 billion for K-12 schools to reopen. Who in their right mind – free from political tribalism – could vote against that?
*The Mavs haven’t been above .500 since Joe Biden’s Presidency was two days old (January 22).
*Whitt’s End will be on vacation next week for our annual guys’ golf trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. With any luck and a lot of social distancing, I’ll return to this regularly scheduled time and place March 12.
Also in Arizona?
We’ve got ourselves a Texas Rangers’ pitching rotation.
*This Weekend? Saturday is for indoor tennis. Sunday let’s catch up with Big Brothers Big Sisters lil’bro Ja Ja. As always, don’t be a stranger.P