The Atlanta Braves won just one World Series (1995) in a run of 14 postseason appearances from 1991 to 2005. The Chicago Bears won just one Super Bowl (1985) despite a defense that changed the game, arguably the greatest two-way back in NFL history (Walter Payton) and swagger unsurpassed in any sport, by anyone, at any time.
And now, joining those underachievers among sports’ memorable one-and-done champions, we have the 2011 Dallas Mavericks.
With the surprising news Thursday afternoon that veteran point guard Jason Kidd was leaving Dallas to sign with the New York Knicks, that Mavericks team is officially over. There will be no retooling, not with Kidd gone, Jason Terry off to Boston, Tyson Chandler winning hardware for his defensive work in New York and Deron Williams sticking with the Nets for their move to Brooklyn.
Williams was the addition that was going to revive the Mavericks’ title hopes – and possibly lure Dwight Howard to town. Now those hopes have been doused and, fact is, the Mavericks themselves filled the water bucket.
Not since the 1998 Chicago Bulls broke up its golden core of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and coach Phil Jackson has a defending champion so surrendered with a “No mas” fit for Robert Duran. If Dallas wasn’t built to be a one-and-done champ, owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson sure behaved that way.