Found October 11, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Elton Brand started in Dirk Nowitzki's place as the Mavericks wrapped up their European Vacation earlier this week. While the power forward switch had to do with Dirk's swollen knee, it meant some extra work for Brand with the first unit.
That's where Brand feels the most comfortable, though he knows that won't be his role in Dallas. He's a backup now, at least for this season, behind Nowitzki and center Chris Kaman.
"I'm going in there playing just to prove that, hey, I deserve minutes, whenever those minutes come," Brand said. "I think I'll enjoy especially playing with Dirk, whenever I get that chance, because most of my career I've had the best big defender defending me."
Brand has been a focal point of the offense in Chicago and with the Los Angeles Clippers. He's carried the load down low, averaging at least 20 points per game in six different seasons and double-digit rebounds five times.
That's not his job anymore. He's ready to be a tough guy. Something the Mavericks haven't had much of in the past outside of Tyson Chandler.
"I'm definitely going to have to anchor the defense, bring toughness," Brand said. "I'm not proud of it, but I think I led the league in flagrant fouls last year. You have to bring that. In order to win, you have to do those kinds of things. Protect that paint."
Brand actually led the league in flagrants in 2010-11, but his point is made. He does join the Mavs with some familiarity having spent five years with Kaman in L.A.
"When Brand and Kaman are out there together, they're in lock-step with what they're doing," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "When one guy zigs, the other knows to zag. They know how to play together and that's going to be something that helps us."
There's obviously uncertainly and pressure playing in Dallas. One-year deals abound and nothing is promised for those on the roster not named Dirk.
But that's also an opportunity. Brand isn't above auditioning for a job, considering where the Mavericks will sit next summer.
"I don't think there are too many teams that have more cap space than right here," Brand said.
Brand arrived in Dallas under less than ideal circumstances. He wasn't a marquee free-agent signing or part of a blockbuster trade. He was dumped by Philadelphia or, in politically-correct NBA speak, amnestied. The Mavericks landed Brand with a winning bid of 2.1 million.
That's for a guy who's been made north of 10 million annually for the last nine years.
Brand wasn't surprised by the Sixers divorce. General manager Rod Thorn was open about how the franchise felt about Brand. They liked him; he just wasn't worth the money. More importantly, Philly won one playoff series in Brand's four-year stay.
"I'm a realist. We didn't get it done," he said. "Second round in 2012 and we get to the Eastern Conference finals, we win Game 7, maybe it would have been different.
"The part that was tough was waiting to see who claims you off waivers. You don't know. So any team under the cap Charlotte, Sacramento. There were a lot of teams that could have claimed me. That was the toughest part -- where are you going to go? When it was Dallas that was great."
Brand wouldn't have been an option had the Mavericks bagged a pair of big fish this summer. Losing out on Deron Williams and, at least for now, Dwight Howard changed the plan of attack for Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Co.
Cuban has since said several times that the Mavericks are better off financially and talent-wise without D-Will. Howard also doesn't appear a realistic option now that he's sporting Lakers' purple and gold.
Brand isn't trying to live up to who could have been in Big D. And like Cuban, he's high on these Mavs.
"We as a team, with the pieces we've put together, I feel we could match or get close to matching what they would have brought," Brand said of Deron and Dwight. "But individually, I'm not Dwight Howard anymore."
Lucky for Brand, he's not expected to be.
BEST OF MAXIM
Dirk Nowitzki went through a full practice with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday after having his swollen right knee drained for the second time in a month.
Nowitzki said he doesn't know why the swelling keeps coming back and that arthroscopic surgery remains an option if it keeps happening.
''I'm not going to play on a swollen knee all season,'' Nowitzki...
DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki went through a full practice with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday after having his swollen right knee drained for the second time in a month.
Nowitzki says he doesn't know why the swelling keeps coming back and that arthroscopic surgery remains an option if it keeps happening. He says he won't play on a swollen knee all season.
It is the same...
The Dallas Mavericks are on a European tour as part of their preseason. They took on Alba Berlin last Saturday and took on FC Barcelona Regal yesterday. Yesterday, they were without star Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki has been battling a sore right knee since Monday and sat out the game against FC Barcelona Regal.According to Chuck Cooperstein of ESPN Dallas, Nowitzki saw his right...
Newly signed Dallas Mavericks shooting guard O.J. Mayo has had a tough first two games of the preseason, his first in preparation for a debut season with the Mavs. Those two games might be already getting underneath his skin, showing signs of frustration at practice this week. Mayo had to restart his shooting drill several [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website...
One of the worst kept secrets in the Association last season, was that the Dallas Mavericks were going to make a full-court push to sign Free Agent point guard Deron Williams this past summer. That is the reason that the report from the “New York Times” earlier this week was so surprising; as Williams revealed that the Mavericks Team Owner Mark Cuban was not present when he met...
For a while it looked like Deron Williams could sign with the Mavericks this past offseason, but he wound up back with the Nets. Earlier this week, Deron explained that Mark Cuban’s absence from his free agent meeting with Dallas helped him choose to re-sign with Brooklyn. When asked about Williams’ comments, Cuban couldn’t resist responding with a little mind game.“I’m...
Mark Cuban was too busy on the Los Angeles set of his TV show "Shark Tank" to come to a July meeting with then-free agent Deron Williams in New York, costing the Dallas Mavericks any chance of landing him, according to the Brooklyn Nets point guard.Williams had two teams in mind when he become a free agent this summer his hometown Mavericks and his previous team, the Nets...
Dirk Nowitzki will wait a few days to see if the knee, which bothered him last season season, improves.
Dirk Nowitzki has been battling a swollen knee for a few weeks now. The Dallas Mavericks' star had to have the knee drained for a second time, but he was able to participate in a full practice yesterday. Despite the practice, though, Nowitzki has not ruled out the possibility of surgery.Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News says Nowitzki is optimistic about the knee after...
The Associated Press A swollen right knee kept Dirk Nowitzki out of the Dallas Mavericks' 99-85 loss at FC Barcelona Regal on Tuesday, with Pete Mickeal and Juan Carlos Navarro each scoring 19 points for the 17-time Spanish champions.
After only leading by two points at halftime, Barcelona outscored the Mavericks 32-16 in the third quarter to open up an 18-point gap. Chris Kaman...
Forward Dirk Nowitzki missed the Dallas Mavericks' exhibition game in Barcelona on Tuesday due to a right knee injury. Nowitzki was a late scratch due to swelling in the knee. Without him, the Mavericks lost 99-85 to FC Barcelona Regal. Dallas defeated Alba Berlin 89-84 on Saturday in Germany, with Nowitzki scoring eight points during his return to his home country. ESPN...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- A swollen right knee kept Dirk Nowitzki out of the Dallas Mavericks' 99-85 loss at FC Barcelona Regal on Tuesday, with Pete Mickeal and Juan Carlos Navarro each scoring 19 points for the 17-time Spanish champions.After only leading by two points at halftime, Barcelona outscored the Mavericks 32-16 in the third quarter to open up an 18-point gap. Center...
Before there was Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Garnett, there was Karl Malone.
For 18 years he poured his heart and soul for the Utah Jazz and became an unstoppable force in the paint. He, along with John Stockton, made the Jazz a perennial playoff team and even guided Utah to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. And though he never won an NBA title, he is considered...