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Good News Dallas
by Mike Fisher    Mon, Jul 21, 2008, 09:32 AM
A good way to start the week: Fish name-drops Ron Artest, Terence Newman, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Romo, and, representing the distaff side, Jessica Simpson and Willa Ford:


Artest and Josh and birthdays: We’ve just got to get this cleared up, after reading a weekend full of “the Mavs would be risking getting too old’’ and “mortgaging their future’’ stories.

For the record, Ron Artest is 28. He turns 29 on Nov. 13.

For the record, Josh Howard is 28. He turns 29 on April 28. … so Josh will throw his crazily inappropriate birthday party just 23 weeks after Ron-Ron throws his.

Darius Miles. Another Reclamation Look: We’re amused at anyone who is casting a vote for or against the signing of Darius Miles without access to any real information about the guy. His $18 mil deal will have to be paid by Portland, his new team will be on the hook for just the minimum, and he was, after all, once Kevin Garnettesque as the third overall player taken in his draft.

Generally, we’re in favor of collecting every possible ex-Lotto discard, especially when the only real cost is bus fare. But. …

We’re going to rely on the Mavs to do their due diligence here. Does he really want to play? Is he fat? How is his knee? Marc Stein says workout reviews were “mixed.’’ Does that mean some of the performances were “bad’’? And how culpable is the guy for once-upon-a-time having been ordered to the ground at police gunpoint while being filmed, “COPS’’-style?

We’re cool with embracing Josh Howard, we’re glad Gerald Green turned out to be a good kid and we’re coming around on the idea of Ron Artest. Miles? We look forward to hearing more Mavs voice issue some “yea’s’’ or some “nay’s.’’

Josh Smith for Josh Howard?: Speaking of our friend Marc Stein. … He rather casually tosses out a note suggesting that Dallas should piece together a Josh-for-Josh deal, Smith coming here, Howard going to Atlanta.’s David Lord throws up a Yield Sign here:

“I respect Stein, but I don't buy this as a possibility,’’ D-Lord says. “I don't think he's done enough homework (or thinking) on this idea. In such a scenario, Smith would be a Base Year player, making the matching on a Smith-for-J-Ho trade very difficult. (My analysis says the Hawks would have to find a way to re-sign Childress first to a moderately reasonable deal, and renounce their MLE and BAE, in order to have any ability to make such a swap.)

So Josh-for-Josh is sexy. … but unlikely.

Willa Ford in ‘Friday The 13th’: Before the sultry singer-actress became Mike Modano’s roommate, yours truly shared a bunk with the Stars’ star. (We’re hetero-jealous, yes.) We see that Willa is really taking on an iconic role (no, not Anna Nicole Smith; that iconic role didn’t turn out so well). This iconic role will have her waterskiing – and, we assume, dying -- on Crystal Lake in the new “Friday The 13th’ movie.

We assume she’ll feel at home with the role; don’t both Jason Voorhees and Mike Modano wear hockey masks?

Terence Newman and Andre Gurode – The Duet: We did not attend the Friday night “pre-camp party’’ at the exclusive Ghost Bar, located atop the W hotel. For one thing, we’re afraid of heights. For another thing, we’re afraid of $20 cover charges.

Our spies who did attend, however, report to us that the two veteran Cowboys were only slightly over-served when they decided to climb atop go-go platforms and perform impromptu rap songs. … and that they are only slightly terrible rappers.

We’re sure they looked in football-shape atop those go-go platforms, though.

Devean George, or Curious George:  Honestly, we really don’t care. But we are amused at George’s situation being used as criticism of the TOT. Critics will rip the Mavs if Devean leaves. … AND they’ll rip the Mavs if he stays.

And like we say, while we obviously want all assets to be maximized to their fullest. … we really don’t care either way.

Reyshawn Terry, Devean Redux?: We just find him to be very polished in the way he conducts himself. Example, this quote from the North Carolina product-turned-Mavs property: “I can be an energy guy, playing the three and four, depending on the team's lineup. I'll give great energy, knock down open shots and just defend my ass off.’’

And if he’d hurry up and fulfill that promise, Devean would be even more free to leave.

Frugal Felix Jones: We’re told by a behind-the-Cowboys-scenes “75-Member Staffer’’ that Felix Jones, the rookie Cowboys running back out of Arkansas, is patiently waiting for his first-round money. … and that he has been wisely frugal during the wait.

As we understand it, Felix has just purchased a very modest home in Coppell, Texas, very near the Cowboys Valley Ranch headquarters. (And when we say “modest,’’ we mean “about-the-same-type-of-house-owned-by-your-standard-sportswriter’’ modest.)

“It’s by far the smallest house in that part of town,’’ says our guy.

Felix was very friendly and approachable with our connection. He might’ve even invited him to sit down and relax in the living room but. …

“All he owns for a TV is one little 20-inch TV, the one he had in college, and his living-room furniture is just some old lawn chairs,’’ our man testifies. “Felix is living humble.’’

The money is about to come. Let’s hope the humble stays.

Gerald Green and Tractor Traylor. Daydreaming: Two pleasing, daydreamy thoughts about two former first-rounders toiling in the S-leagues. … 1, what Green might be able to accomplish when set up by Kidd, both as a jumpshooter and as a finisher off the wing, and 2, what good fortune Mavs have in being able to root for somebody who got traded for Tractor Traylor.

Dirk, Kidd and Donnie in Greece: All three “faces of the Mavs’’ are in the Olympics – and in the same bracket. Brad Townsend with a nice quickie roundup. And some postgame video of Dirk via MavsMoneyball. 

P.S.: Anybody who doesn’t think Mark Cuban is ecstatic about The UberMan achieving this dream doesn’t understand Cuban, doesn’t understand Dirk, and doesn’t understand the relationship between the two men.

Jason Taylor traded: The 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, finally danced his way out of Miami, moving to Washington for a 2 and a 6. If you are a Cowboys fan, this is one of those deals you feel like your team didn’t need to do. … and only have some non-buyer’s remorse after you see the star defensive end land with your division rival.

Keith McLeod’s vacay: He remains Mavs’ property thanks to a make-good contract that will pay him (the vet’s minimum, we assume) if he eventually makes the Big Club. We still contend that McLeod – a former Jazz starter and a guy who played under Rick Carlisle in Indy – represents a defensive-minded answer to what Tyronn Lue (now bound for the Bucks, along with Malik Allen) was for Dallas last year on offense. The Mavs have essentially purchased themselves an insurance policy at backup PG while at the same time committing to JJB as a candidate for the job.

So McLeod, as a veteran, was allowed to back out of slumming in Salt Lake City.

Tony Romo’s “Kryptonite’’: The Cowboys’ QB is being poked at because he’s led Dallas to two consecutive one-and-done playoff appearances. And more, as noted in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in the last three years Romo was the starter at Eastern Illinois, his team lost each of its three first-round games in the Division I-AA playoffs.

The paper says that means postseason games represent Romo’s “Kryptonite.’’

We think it is a notable observation, but a glass-is-half-empty one. Romo has been his college or pro team’s starting quarterback in five seasons. … and he’d led them to the playoffs in all five seasons?

Does that make him a loser, or a winner?

Iverson, Nene and Kenyon: Is Denver ready to do another salary dump?

Ronnie Seibutis and The Big Pond: Our first impression upon seeing Ronnie Seibutis a couple of weeks ago remains our strongest impression: He is build like Shawn Bradley’s little brother. Mavs people keep talking about his “promise’’ and his ability to “make things happen’’ and his versatility. But in Vegas, he appeared unable to accomplish anything at either guard spot. So he doesn’t get to see Salt Lake. Instead, it’s back across the Big Pond for him.

Ron Artest ‘Dead’?: We once again gently caution the reader against knee-jerking – and caution the DMNews to do the same – in regard to the Ron Artest story. Josh Howard’s name will continue to come up in conversations. Brad Miller’s name will soon come up, too. For the paper to state decisively that Artest-to-Dallas is absolutely is. … well, evidence that the paper has a short memory.

It was just about a year ago when Kobe was “absolutely’’ not staying with the Lakers, when KG was “absolutely’’ refusing to go to Boston, when Dallas was “absolutely’’ not interested in Jason Kidd.

As time goes by, Sacto’s motivation (and Artest’s value) will increase. As time goes by, Dallas’ temptation to assemble a starting five of Dirk, Kidd, Artest, Josh and Diop will increase, too.

And they will talk again.

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