First of all, Happy Birthday! You're 28 today. Wow, seems like just yesterday you were a middle-schooler growing up in The Colony just north of Dallas as a champion … a state wrestling champion.
Yes, we remember when you were here. And, more so, we yearn to have you back.
Consider this your birthday present: 28 wick-lit reasons Dallas is the place for the peak of your star-studded NBA career.
28. You're the Mavs' main target, but not the only one. General manager Donnie Nelson says there will be multiple offers made when free agency starts Sunday morning. Potential targets? Roy Hibbert, Josh Smith and maybe Brandon Roy. Remember, this is the first time in the Mark Cuban regime that the Mavs actually have money to play with under the salary cap. Says Jason Kidd, "I really think Cuban is going to put the pieces together to give us an opportunity to get back to win it. He put himself in position to go get two more studs."
27. We here in the Bible Belt appreciate your commitment to your faith. You were baptized a Christian in 2010 and your wife, Amy's father, Nick Young, is still the pastor at Church of Christ in Carrollton. Amen.
26. The Mavs' have the 17th pick in Thursday's NBA draft. The Nets don't have a first-round selection.
25. Your favorite baseball team is the Texas Rangers. I smell season tickets and perhaps even a suite as part of your new Mavs' contract.
24. We heard it with our own ears. Recently you were asked via Twitter your favorite NBA city to play in and you answered "Dallas."
23. Mavs' billionaire owner Mark Cuban is hands on, a Big Ten guy and he just last week put Skip Bayless in his place. Nets' billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov went to only 3 of your games last season because he was busy trying to be the president of Russia. Communist!
22. Remember when you dressed up as white-faced Cal Ripken for Halloween in 2009? Yeah, that was awesome!
21. Let me see, would you rather play with Dirk Nowitzki and Kidd or on a Nets' team which, as of today, has signed to contracts only guys named Anthony Morrow, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Williams and Johan Petro?
20. You're about as quick as Tony Parker, about as strong as Russell Westbrook and about as clever as Steve Nash. I saw you score 41 on the Mavs in '07. You've had multiple 20-assist games and last March we watched as you dropped 57 points on the Bobcats. Teamed with Dirk, the Mavs would have 2 of the NBA's Top 10 players.
19. One of your best friends – Jerrance Howard – just got hired as an assistant coach at SMU. Can't hurt.
18. In Utah you had the pressure of being the next John Stockton. In Jersey you were the whole damn organization. In Dallas, we just want you to be a 20-point, 10-assist star to supplement Dirk's legendary scoring. Here there's more potential, yet less pressure.
17. There's no place like home. You met your wife here in the second grade. Your mother still lives here. Your aunt and uncle are in Forney. Your family's "home" is Dallas. You have four children. They could attend school at the prestigious prep school Hockaday, alongside the daughters of Cuban and Rick Carlisle.
16. Said Dirk last weekend, "I'd love the chance to play with Deron. He's one of the best point guards in the league. And I think we've got a shot to get him." One of the most influential voices in Dallas is officially endorsing you.
15. Roughly speaking, the cost of living in Brooklyn is 40 percent higher than in Dallas. So that $229,000 house you bought your mom in Dallas in '07 would cost you about $100,000 more in New York.
14. Your agent – Jeff Schwartz – is also the agent to Kidd. Smell the symmetry?
13. You have a gold medal from the Olympics in '08, but you didn't win a title in high school and you lost the NCAA Championship Game to North Carolina while playing for Illinois in '05. It's past time to get you a ring.
12. I hear the Nets parked a "Happy Birthday" truck in front of your rented Manhattan apartment this morning. How cute. Bet it was robbed or towed within 4 minutes.
11. I watched you and teammate Bracey Wright play together in a playoff game at SMU when you were at The Colony. Didn't think you would lose a game. Ever. You went 61-4 your last two years in high school but lost in the state semifinals in Austin both times. Time for unfinished business in this state.
10. I know the Thunder are here to stay, but think about this: Kobe's getting older. Tim Duncan's already old. The West is softening and, like it or not, the Heat may just be getting started in the East. Avoiding them ain't the worst idea you've ever had.
9. If you think you might miss the Brooklyn Bridge, lookie here! We just built ourselves the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge over the Trinity River. It's got some fancy schmancy trusses and it's brand spanking new, not like that rickety old thing up north that was built back in '83. 1883!
8. Let's be honest, Dallas is and always will be a better TV family drama than The Sopranos.
7. Close as you've even been to an NBA championship was when your Jazz lost to San Antonio in the '07 Western Conference Finals. Trust me, the Mavs routinely beat the Spurs. No biggie.
6. Because of you, Cuban is planning on skipping one of his annual favorite events – the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game Saturday night in Frisco. If I were you I'd expect him on your doorstep at 12:01 a.m. July 1. Enjoy!
5. Remember the uniform you wore in high school? No. 5? That was, of course, because you idolized Kidd. Guess who has already agreed to be your backup in Dallas? You guessed it.
4. The Mavs' coach is Carlisle. He has a championship ring and a new 4-year contract. The Nets' coach is Avery Johnson. He is control-freak jerk. But don't believe me, just ask Devin Harris and Dirk and Kidd.
3. Lamar Odom won't be here. Or his annoying wife, Khloe Kardashian. He'll either be traded or released by the end of the week or, ideally, immediately after you sign here. Promise. And don't worry about Brendan Haywood dropping your assists. He'll be amnestied outta here for even more cap room.
2. Sure the Nets can offer you a bigger contract (5 years, $98 million compared to Dallas' max of 4 years, $73 million). But New York also has a state income tax of 8.6 percent. Do the math.
1. Earlier this month you said, and I quote, "I want to go to a place where I feel like they will have a chance to build and build fast. I'm not really in the mood for being part of a rebuilding process. I'm getting older. I'm about to be 28. I want to win. I want to win now. Also, I want to live in a place where I want to live and my kids will enjoy living. That's pretty much it." As for the winning? The Mavs won a ring last summer, have two Hall-of-Famers in the mix and boast a management team that has consistently produced squads that win 50-plus games and contend for titles. As the living? You grew up here, and your entire family is still here.
See ya soon!
MFFL (Mavs Fan For Life)
(© Copyright 2012 CBSDFW.COM, CBS Local a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Also Check Out:
for more features.