Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/6/12

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 12: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the NBA All-Star celebrity game presented by Final Fantasy XIII held at the Dallas Convention Center on February 12, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

When the Dallas Mavericks returned home for Game 3 of this first-round series, they

greeted fans with royal blue T-shirts bearing the slogan, "All-In." It was a take-off on

owner Mark Cuban's question to Lamar Odom in the halftime locker room during a game in

Memphis in early April.

In truth, many of the players didn't believe the owner was "all in" from the start when

he decided not to bring back last season's championship team. Cuban said the new

collective bargaining agreement made it impossible to re-sign key free agents such as

Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson.

After the Mavs were swept out of the playoffs Saturday night 103-97 by the

up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder, on the strength of a 35-16 fourth quarter led by

Thunder guard James Harden, Jason Terry said Cuban didn't give the club a fighting chance

to defend its title.

"Yeah, he knows it, the city knows, we all know it as players," Terry said. "But with

the team we have, the nucleus we have, the core group of guys, we feel like we can beat

anybody, that's just us as competitors. But, again, you have to have the personnel. You

have to have the personnel to get it done."

Dirk Nowitzki also lamented the fact that the defending champs did so with only half

their title team intact.

"We would have loved to keep the troops together as players," Nowitzki said. "We would

have loved to get the guys back and give it a true shot to defend, but Mark and Donnie,

they made a business decision to really go for cap space for the first time really since I

can remember being a Maverick. We never had cap space, so they made the decision to go for

that, and we'll just have to wait and see what comes out of that."

It will be a long wait until July 1, when the free-agency period opens and the Mavs

begin to remake their team.

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