HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — If you’re not a big believer in signs, the Heat and Thunder losing their first game of the season on the same night means little to you.
But if you’re as fixated on these sorts of things as we are here at the hideout, those two teams losing on the same night makes us feel stronger than ever that our preseason prediction that they will battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy is on the money. (Yeah, we’re reaching a bit but the whole Mayan calendar thing has us a bit spooked.)
The Thunder losing to the Mavericks and the Heat losing the Hawks won’t rank as the day’s top news, however (sorry T-Mac). That honor goes to the fine folks in San Antonio and the Spurs, who suffered a much bigger loss last night when Manu Ginobili broke his hand in a loss to the Timberwolves.
Catch up on all of last night’s action in the Daily Zap:
Whatever struggles the Mavericks might be experiencing early on this season, Dirk Nowitzki seems to be immune.
He was at his championship best in the win over the Thunder, looking a lot like the unstoppable force we saw in the playoffs last season during the Mavericks’ run to the title:
And we’ll let you decide whose reverse, alley-oop dunk you liked better between Derrick Williams (from Ricky Rubio) and LeBron James (from Mario Chalmers), after you watch the Top 10 Plays from Monday night::
— COUSINS UPDATE —
In the name of fair play, we felt a responsibility to update you on the DeMarcus Cousins trade-gate saga from the weekend. Cousins has rejoined the team and insists that he did not demand a trade, while the Kings insist that he did.
Neither side is budging on its claim following a meeting Monday involving Cousins, his agent, John Greig, and Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie.
After the meeting, Petrie decided Cousins would join the Kings on their flight for tonight’s game against Memphis. Cousins was sent home by coach Paul Westphal before Sunday’s game against New Orleans.
Westphal said that during a meeting after Saturday’s loss to New York, Cousins asked to be traded, a demand the coach said the center also made Dec. 24. Westphal added that there had been multiple issues with Cousins that had not been publicized.
Westphal said Cousins was told if there were more incidents there would be “less protection” from the team in not disclosing them.
Cousins issued a statement Monday: “I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don’t agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team.”
Cousins will dress for tonight’s game but will not start, Westphal said.
“We still hope DeMarcus will be here to continue to mature and progress and reach his potential with the Kings,” Westphal said.
Asked what he needed to see from Cousins to know if he is changing his ways, Westphal said: “We’ll know it when we see it … . His attitude has a long way to go. It will be up to coaches, teammates and most fans (to see a change).”
We told you it wouldn’t be easy making sense of this mess!