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She_Growls
10-31-2005, 09:07 AM
Article Launched: 10/30/2005 01:00:00 AM

marc j. spears
Ring the thing for Finley
By Marc J. Spears
Denver Post Staff Writer



San Antonio - In the Nuggets' perfect world, Michael Finley would be their starting shooting guard when they start the season Tuesday night against NBA champion San Antonio. In Finley's perfect world, he is coming off the bench for the Spurs.

Finley could have gone to Denver, Miami, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago or New York. The two-time all-star could have gotten more money and a starting position elsewhere.

But in his 11th season, with $15 million in hand after being waived by Dallas, no opportunity looked better to him than trying to win a championship with San Antonio.

"It wasn't nothing overwhelming that swayed me over," Finley said. "This was the only situation I felt that had little unknowns. All the other situations had unknowns as far as how do players fit in, how the coaching situation would be dictated, how management would be. Here, there were little unknowns.

"I knew what team was going to be here. The coaching staff. The core group. I was just trying to come in and help something that was already established. I believe that made the decision even more comfortable."

With Phoenix star Amare Stoudemire sidelined with a knee injury, the Nuggets are the West's second-best team. Had they acquired Finley, Denver had a shot at knocking off the Spurs. Without him, the Nuggets are a star shooting guard away.

Finley has a bond with Denver general manager Kiki Vandeweghe, dating to Vandeweghe's tenure with Dallas' coaching staff. Even so, Vandeweghe couldn't woo Finley. But neither could former Dallas teammate and friend Steve Nash of Phoenix or Miami superstar Shaquille O'Neal. Finley discounted rumors he isn't fond of Nuggets coach George Karl, his 2002 World Championships USA coach.

So why did Finley turn down Denver? Because the Nuggets aren't the Spurs.

"On paper, the situation in Denver was a good one," Finley said. "They have a young team and (are) truly one of the teams to be reckoned with in this league. But at the same time, I just didn't know if I fit in."

Finley, 6-feet-7, 225 pounds, played nearly nine seasons for Dallas. He is the franchise's all-time leader in 3-pointers and fourth in games played and points. He averaged 15.7 points last season and shot a career-best 40.7 percent from 3-point range.

Even so, Dallas waived him Aug. 15 to save about $50 million in future contract obligations.

Finley doesn't seem to hold a grudge against his old team, nor does he see his return to Dallas on Saturday as a big deal.

"It's just another game," he said. "The media will hype it up. Even some of my teammates may hype it up. But my focus is just to get the W, get in there and get out."

Finley will be a reserve for the first time in his career. But if he gets a coveted ring, his



view from the bench will be worth it.

"I asked myself, 'What is more important, winning or playing time?' To me, it was winning, hands down," he said.

Ford ready to drive Bucks

It's safe to say Milwaukee Bucks guard T.J. Ford isn't thinking about his career-threatening spinal cord injury. He missed the 2004-05 season with the injury suffered Feb. 24, 2004, against Minnesota. He missed the final 26 games of his rookie season.

But the 6-foot, 165-pounder showed he has moved on by trying to dunk on the Nuggets' 6-11 shot-blocking center Marcus Camby in a preseason game Wednesday. Ford's dunk didn't fall, but his effort and hang time were so sweet, a replay was shown on the Pepsi Center JumboTron.

"Part of my training this summer with (former NBA coach and player John) Lucas was to get my mental stage up," Ford said. "I had to get (the fall) out of my mind and feel comfortable with contact."

Footnotes

Word is the Nuggets and the Bucks talked about a trade including Nuggets forward- center Nene for former Milwaukee swingman Desmond Mason. It never approached completion despite significant interest from Milwaukee. Instead, Mason, a first-round pick and cash were sent to New Orleans/ Oklahoma City last week for center Jamaal Magloire. A rule of thumb in the NBA is never trade a big man without getting a big man in return. But the Bucks told the Hornets their key bigs were off limits, and the Hornets didn't make a counteroffer. ... Believe it or not, Lakers center Chris Mihm got a shoe deal with Pony. "The Lakers are the most visible basketball team in the country, and we are excited to partner with such a standout player and individual as Chris," said Killick Datta, CEO of Pony's majority owner Global Brand Marketing Inc. Hey, Pony, what were you thinking? The Lakers didn't make the playoffs last season, and the five-year veteran has never averaged more than 10 points a game. And big men historically don't help shoe sales. ... How good will the Indiana Pacers be? Said the Pacers' Stephen Jackson: "The biggest thing is keeping our emotions together. We're emotional. ... If we're healthy, the sky is the limit."
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Thought I would share this with my fellow Mavs Fans...since I now live in Denver. I went to the Nuggets Pre-season game against the Bucks and they looked slowed, but Melo looks good; he has lost 20 pounds.

Drbio
10-31-2005, 09:43 AM
I spoke to a writer in Denver who said that Kiki V. did nothing but praise Finley for his honesty and integrity during their talks. It's nice to see an amicable contract discussion for a change.

BTW...get ready for all the "This belongs in NBA forum" posts.

alby
10-31-2005, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: She_Growls

With Phoenix star Amare Stoudemire sidelined with a knee injury, the Nuggets are the West's second-best team. Had they acquired Finley, Denver had a shot at knocking off the Spurs. Without him, the Nuggets are a star shooting guard away.

i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif

FilthyFinMavs
10-31-2005, 11:31 AM
I've never seen Finley recieve such much praise in a offseason. Its definately well deserve. He had the chance to start for a lot of contenders and decided to choose a ring over playing time. We need a league full of these players.

DubOverdose
10-31-2005, 01:12 PM
Whatever, Finley cared more about PT than winning when he was here. If he cared more about winning, we'd probably still have him.

DelNegro
10-31-2005, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by: DubOverdose
Whatever, Finley cared more about PT than winning when he was here. If he cared more about winning, we'd probably still have him.

So if that's true, then why the sudden change of heart? His decision to go to San Antonio certainly wasn't about playing time.

Also, he was going to get cut regardless of what he did last year.

chumdawg
10-31-2005, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by: DubOverdose
Whatever, Finley cared more about PT than winning when he was here. If he cared more about winning, we'd probably still have him.Crap, man, we won 58 games with him as starter!

alby
10-31-2005, 01:49 PM
Finley started the games, but when AJ was coaching, he had Stackhouse and Van Horn closing games out not Finley and Dampier.

Finley is a great player but I really believe that he pads his stats when the game is already out of reach. Either when we are up big or down big, but I could be wrong. I just remember a few games last year when he would drive to the basket or make a tough shot late in the game and I would ask myself "where was that earlier?"

I have a few of these games taped if you want them.

mary
10-31-2005, 01:50 PM
Is it just me or do Mav players receive more media praise the second they wear a different uniform?

Maybe I focus more on the criticism when the player in question is still current.

Oh well. Fin isn't the only Spurs player that I like.

You still won't find me rooting for anyone in a black and silver uniform. I just can't do it.

Murphy3
10-31-2005, 02:14 PM
My biggest gripe with Fin is his reluctance to do the little things once some of his FGA's were taken away.... I was extremely disappointed in that last year with Fin. Honestly, I never thought that I'd see the day when Fin had to be called out on multiple occasions for not giving much effort on the court. It was definitely time for him to move on. I just wish the Mavs wouldn't have lost a usable player for absolutely nothing in return.

Dirkenstien
10-31-2005, 03:47 PM
"I asked myself, 'What is more important, winning or playing time?'

Usually, for impact players at least, playing time and your team's success go hand in hand. Looks like Fin backed down from a challange and took the easy way out.

Enjoy the view from the bench, Fin.

DelNegro
10-31-2005, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by: Dirkenstien

"I asked myself, 'What is more important, winning or playing time?'

Usually, for impact players at least, playing time and your team's success go hand in hand. Looks like Fin backed down from a challange and took the easy way out.

Enjoy the view from the bench, Fin.

That must be why the Mavs never land impact free agents. They just don't want anyone who's backing away from a challenge by wanting to join a good basketball team.

Also, I just want to get this straight, you're bashing Finley because last year he wanted too much playing time and wouldn't take a role on the bench, and now you're bashing the guy for NOT taking more playing time and accepting a role on the bench. Sounds a bit hypocritical don't you think?

alby
10-31-2005, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by: Dirkenstien

"I asked myself, 'What is more important, winning or playing time?'

Usually, for impact players at least, playing time and your team's success go hand in hand. Looks like Fin backed down from a challange and took the easy way out.

Enjoy the view from the bench, Fin.

great stuff

Dirkenstien
10-31-2005, 07:04 PM
Also, I just want to get this straight, you're bashing Finley because last year he wanted too much playing time and wouldn't take a role on the bench, and now you're bashing the guy for NOT taking more playing time and accepting a role on the bench.

If Finley were to have accepted the sixth man position for the Mavs it would have been looked upon as an honorable move.

However, he instead chose to go to a fully intact reigning NBA championship team where his contributions will be minimal compared to what he would have meant to a franchise like Pheonix, Miami, or Denver.

As Robert Frost would say, "He opted not to take the road less traveled." Indeed, Finley took a road where his only worries will be watching out for splinters while riding that piny coattail.

alby
10-31-2005, 07:28 PM
no question he decided to take the easiest route.. all for his "legacy"

Murphy3
10-31-2005, 09:27 PM
As a competitor, how much would you really enjoy winning a championship at such a reduced role when you could make a run at a title playing a more important role for other teams? Are the increased odds of winning a title worth that much? I know it's all about winning, but isn't winning more meaningful if you're playing a more meaningful role?

chumdawg
10-31-2005, 11:17 PM
Interesting set of questions, Murph. As for your first question, I would say that Finley has already been there and done that. He made his runs in '03 and, though abbreviated, last season. So that, I would think, would diminish a stint in, say, Denver. No lateral moves, I'm sure Fin is thinking. You see, on this note Fin differs from a guy like Dampier or Terry. It makes him a lot like Employee #8, actually.

This sortof answers your second question, the answer to which I'm sure is "yes." Guys Finley's age, and especially guys who have done what Finley has done, have but one thing left to achieve.

As for your third question, yes, I'm sure it is. But Finley knows he is on the downside of his career. He probably looked himself in the mirror and came to the realization that the most meaningful role he can play these days--in other words, the most marginal benefit he can provide to a team not named the Dallas Mavericks (I have no doubt he'd have preferred to stay here)--is to be a difference maker off the bench.

So yeah, I'm sure Fin would have loved to have been a starter in Dallas and to have played 40 minutes a game in leading the Mavs to a championship. But he knew it wasn't going to happen that way, so he had to weigh the potential benefits of all the situations available to him. I'm pretty sure he chose wisely. I highly doubt that any team will keep the Spurs from winning the trophy next spring, and I'm pretty sure that Finley will feel pretty satisfied in putting that finishing touch on a career that he is very proud to have had.

Murphy3
10-31-2005, 11:47 PM
I don't know.... I suppose this is Fin's way of letting the world know that he doesn't think that he is capable of playing a significant role on a title contender. It's apparent by him signing with San Antonio that he doesn't think that a team with him playing 30+ minutes a game can compete. So, he decided to go somewhere in which he knew he could ride the pine most of the time and then come off the bench and shoot a couple of threes...go back to the bench and never make a sweat...maybe win a title on the coattails of others..

What a way for a guy to go out....with his tail tucked between his legs..but hey, maybe he'll have a title. It's odd that he was bitched at publicly by the Mavs last year for not giving enough effort...not doing the little things...but, he has no problem riding the coattails of TD and Manu.

EricaLubarsky
10-31-2005, 11:53 PM
It is a very strange day when I look forward to reading kiki's posts, and I think Murphy is the best poster in a thread...

chumdawg
10-31-2005, 11:55 PM
Oh, I don't think it's Fin admission of that. After all, he played a significant role on a title contender just last year. If he's saying that he can't play a significant role on a title contender, what situations exactly are you talking about? I'm sure he could have played a significant role in Minnesota, but are they title contenders? In Miami I'm not sure what role was available to him. Are you saying that he should have gone to Houston or Phoenix? Or are there other contenders I am missing where a significant role may have been available? Indiana, maybe? I'm just trying to piece it all together.

I do imagine that he could have gone to Phoenix and played a major role, and that they would have been contenders. Houston, who knows. And I'm not sure if the door was open in Indianapolis.

But hey, who's to say what role Fin is ultimately going to play in San Antonio? Maybe he ends up doing more than you think.

MavsFanFinley
11-01-2005, 12:10 AM
Does Stackhouse (or Daniels - depending on who is 6th man) have a meaningless role here in Dallas?

mavs413
11-01-2005, 12:44 AM
What about Doug Christie?
Is he going out with his tail between his legs? If you believe that this team is a real championship contender, how is this any different?

Murph, cant you say the same exact thing about Christie than you did about Mike in your previous post?

I don't know.... I suppose this is Doug's way of letting the world know that he doesn't think that he is capable of playing a significant role on a title contender. It's apparent by him signing with Dallas that he doesn't think that a team with him playing 30+ minutes a game can compete. So, he decided to go somewhere in which he knew he could ride the pine most of the time and then come off the bench and play a little D...go back to the bench and never make a sweat...maybe win a title on the coattails of others..

What a way for a guy to go out....with his tail tucked between his legs..but hey, maybe he'll have a title. It's odd that he was bitched at publicly by the Magic last year for not giving enough effort...not doing the little things...but, he has no problem riding the coattails of Dirk and Howard.

Same situation, but I havent heard anyone here criticize Doug's decision to sign with Dallas when he could have started elsewhere.

chumdawg
11-01-2005, 12:46 AM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
It is a very strange day when I look forward to reading kiki's posts, and I think Murphy is the best poster in a thread...I see no reason to diminish the Murph's contributions. His comments and questions in this thread, as per usual, have been quite thought-provoking.

MFF, that's a good point about the role of the sixth man. I think Murph is coming the point of view that Fin is happy to be something less than sixth man, though. We'll see.

For all the Spurs' success, they still have yet to win titles back to back. At least that's one thing that Finley might be able to contribute to. And hey, Horry can't keep saving their ass forever. (Or...can he?) Maybe Fin picks up where Big Shot Rob leaves off.

Goodness knows that a certain come-off-the-bench-and-hit-threes-and-go-back-to-the-bench guy helped the Spurs along in '03. For that matter, both Steve Kerr AND Stephen Jackson delivered some important daggers!

Five-ofan
11-01-2005, 01:34 AM
Christie is supposedly starting here so its not exactly analogous. I want the mavs to win the title. If they dont I want the suns/nash and raja to win the title. If they dont I want the spurs and Mike and nick to win the title. If they dont, I want there to not be an nba title handed out this year.

Thespiralgoeson
11-01-2005, 03:19 AM
Christie is supposedly starting here so its not exactly analogous.

That analogy also doesn't work because, correct me if I'm wrong, but Christie wasn't getting better offers anywhere else. Dallas, as far as I know, was the only team that expressed any real interest on the other hand. Finley, on the other hand, would've had more minutes and more money with teams like Detroit, Miami, and maybe could've started even in Denver or Minnesota.

alby
11-01-2005, 04:20 AM
In addition, Christie was never the player Finley was during the peaks of their respective careers, Finley going to a contender with an obvious significantly lesser role is a much bigger jump (backwards jump) than that of Christie's.

DelNegro
11-01-2005, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by: Murphy3
I don't know.... I suppose this is Fin's way of letting the world know that he doesn't think that he is capable of playing a significant role on a title contender. It's apparent by him signing with San Antonio that he doesn't think that a team with him playing 30+ minutes a game can compete. So, he decided to go somewhere in which he knew he could ride the pine most of the time and then come off the bench and shoot a couple of threes...go back to the bench and never make a sweat...maybe win a title on the coattails of others..

What a way for a guy to go out....with his tail tucked between his legs..but hey, maybe he'll have a title. It's odd that he was bitched at publicly by the Mavs last year for not giving enough effort...not doing the little things...but, he has no problem riding the coattails of TD and Manu.

So if he's the first swingman off the Spurs bench and plays 20 - 25 minutes a game that's not a significant role? Did Robert Horry play a significant role last year for the Spurs? Did Jerry Stackhouse play a significant role for the Mavs last year?

Meanwhile in Orlando I'm sure some Magic fan is bashing Christie for leaving tail tucked between legs, wanting to ride Dirk's coattails, yet no one here appears to have a huge problem with that.

DelNegro
11-01-2005, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by: Thespiralgoeson

Christie is supposedly starting here so its not exactly analogous.

That analogy also doesn't work because, correct me if I'm wrong, but Christie wasn't getting better offers anywhere else. Dallas, as far as I know, was the only team that expressed any real interest on the other hand. Finley, on the other hand, would've had more minutes and more money with teams like Detroit, Miami, and maybe could've started even in Denver or Minnesota.

So a player should always go for the money and minutes. Got it. Let's be sure to remember that when Stackhouse becomes a free agent. I'd hate to think he's just a coat tail rider.

Drbio
11-01-2005, 11:06 AM
The bottom line on Finley is that there are a several camps of fans that have formed.

The First Camp (Myself included) respects what Finley has done for the Mavericks, wishes him well the rest of his career (except when he plays the Mavs) and will likely follow him by the occassional press review, tv game, etc. as any real fan would. This camp continues to like Finley and respects him but wants the Mavericks to win first and foremost.

The Second Camp is one who is probably laden with those fans who are "team-only-all-else-be-damned" fans. I'm not saying this is bad, but these fans tend to discredit the exiting player by default since he no longer is a Mav even though they may have ridden his nutsack for the previous five years. This camp probably doesn't hate Finley, but he is now the enemy and enemy is to be beaten like a cheap drum at every opportunity. These fans are good fans no doubt.

The Third Camp likely includes a set of equally fanatical "team-only-all-else-be-damned" fans, but unlike those above in Camp two, these fans cannot bring themselves to appreciate what a guy like Finley did for the organization. They are team blind period. This camp is filled with bandwagoners and jackasses. They insist on denigrating a player and will bash that player at every opportunity. These types of fans are the ones you'd like to rap on the head and wake from the fog they are apprently committed to living in.

The Fourth Camp includes those fans who are Mike Finley fans first, Mavs fans second (and possibly Spurs fan now). This camp is similar to Camp 2 in that they are good fans, but their loyalty is to players not teams.

The Fifth Camp likely includes those fans who are just blind to the player. This fan is a "Mike Finley is a God and how dare the Mavs screw him like that?" kind of fan. This fanatical over-the-edge fan is probably comparable to a Camp Three type fan. This camp also has their fair share of jackasses and bandwaggoners.

Did I miss a camp?

So....what Camp are you?

MavsFanFinley
11-01-2005, 11:08 AM
Finley, on the other hand, would've had more minutes and more money with teams like Detroit, Miami, and maybe could've started even in Denver or Minnesota.

And people would have bashed him for taking more money and refusing to accept a role off the bench. How many people here bet that he'd go to Miami simply because they were offering the most money and a starting job? How many people said he refuses to see he's on the back end of his career but his pride/ego will get in the way and he'll go where he can start? How many said he's greedy and will go where the money is? How many were shocked to learn he chose San Antonio because it was a role off the bench and the 2nd less money offered?

Now people are trying to say he's backing down from a challenge by accepting a role off the bench? I guess all 6th men have meaningless roles nowadays.

Nash13
11-01-2005, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by: Drbio
The bottom line on Finley is that there are a several camps of fans that have formed.

The First Camp (Myself included) respects what Finley has done for the Mavericks, wishes him well the rest of his career (except when he plays the Mavs) and will likely follow him by the occassional press review, tv game, etc. as any real fan would. This camp continues to like Finley and respects him but wants the Mavericks to win first and foremost.

The Second Camp is one who is probably laden with those fans who are "team-only-all-else-be-damned" fans. I'm not saying this is bad, but these fans tend to discredit the exiting player by default since he no longer is a Mav even though they may have ridden his nutsack for the previous five years. This camp probably doesn't hate Finley, but he is now the enemy and enemy is to be beaten like a cheap drum at every opportunity. These fans are good fans no doubt.

The Third Camp likely includes a set of equally fanatical "team-only-all-else-be-damned" fans, but unlike those above in Camp two, these fans cannot bring themselves to appreciate what a guy like Finley did for the organization. They are team blind period. This camp is filled with bandwagoners and jackasses. They insist on denigrating a player and will bash that player at every opportunity. These types of fans are the ones you'd like to rap on the head and wake from the fog they are apprently committed to living in.

The Fourth Camp includes those fans who are Mike Finley fans first, Mavs fans second (and possibly Spurs fan now). This camp is similar to Camp 2 in that they are good fans, but their loyalty is to players not teams.

The Fifth Camp likely includes those fans who are just blind to the player. This fan is a "Mike Finley is a God and how dare the Mavs screw him like that?" kind of fan. This fanatical over-the-edge fan is probably comparable to a Camp Three type fan. This camp also has their fair share of jackasses and bandwaggoners.

Did I miss a camp?

So....what Camp are you?


And it took me two weeks to figure this out. I wonder how much longer it'll take people from all camps to realize you're not going to win the argument.

FilthyFinMavs
11-01-2005, 11:48 AM
So we are upset with Finley for going to a contender to win a championship now? What does it matter? The Mavs CUT Finley. He didn't leave us and go into the free agency pool he was CUT. He goes to a contender to get a championship and now all of a sudden he's a bad guy.

And you guys really believe Finley would still be here had he took a reduced role? That's comedy. Cuban said he was released due to the amnesty clause. He said nothing about Fin's play on the Mavs.

Arne
11-01-2005, 12:50 PM
Could somebody stop that Fin bashing which is going on around here? Releasing Finley had absolutely nothing to do with his character or that he didn't accept a smaller role on this team. It was a business descission and because of that descission Finley was free to do whatever he wants.

Just remember him as a player who always played as good as he could for this team and just forget about last year. Last year the guy played on one henkle.

Fact is that he had a bad contract, which wasn't his fault and not even really Cuban's fault - and that was the reason why he was released. Now he plays for another team, so get over it. - But you don't have to search for reasons that let him seem like a bad person, in order to make it seem a good descission to have released him. It is what it is. A business descission.

FilthyFinMavs
11-01-2005, 05:23 PM
But you don't have to search for reasons that let him seem like a bad person, in order to make it seem a good descission to have released him. It is what it is. A business descission.

That's been the story for a lot of Mavs fans this offseason. Guys looking for reasons to make the Finley departure seem like a good one. We saved $50 million by cutting Finley. That's enough of a reason for a cut. No reason to go in and make up reasons.

Five-ofan
11-01-2005, 06:05 PM
Doc I am in the first group along with you and despite Dirk being my favorite player and me being as my dad calls me a "Dirk apologist" I dont see how anyone who has been a mavs fan can not have a soft spot for fin. Was he what he once was the last couple of years? No. Will there one day come a time when Dirk isnt what he once was? Sadly Yes. Dirk will still be my favorite player and Fin is still one of my favorite players. Its not like you can only like one player on a given team. The only reason I brought up my dirk fandom is that most people seem to think that you are EITHER a dirk fan OR a fin fan. I was and still am both.

Thespiralgoeson
11-01-2005, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by: MavsFanFinley

Finley, on the other hand, would've had more minutes and more money with teams like Detroit, Miami, and maybe could've started even in Denver or Minnesota.

And people would have bashed him for taking more money and refusing to accept a role off the bench. How many people here bet that he'd go to Miami simply because they were offering the most money and a starting job? How many people said he refuses to see he's on the back end of his career but his pride/ego will get in the way and he'll go where he can start? How many said he's greedy and will go where the money is? How many were shocked to learn he chose San Antonio because it was a role off the bench and the 2nd less money offered?

Now people are trying to say he's backing down from a challenge by accepting a role off the bench? I guess all 6th men have meaningless roles nowadays.

I've never bashed him before, and I'm not bashing him now. I was just pointing out why the original analogy didn't work.