Friday, July 07, 2006

Ode to 'Quis

Nevada Refinance
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He started out as the Mav who looked like he was stoned. And three years later, he became the most expendable Mav. It's a trade that makes so much sense, but it still doesn't seem right. Could you imagine that Mavs without Marquis Daniels? Now, we have to. We have known since the end of the season that this day would come, but it hurts just a little bit more now that it actually has. So instead of mourning 'Quis' departure, I'm going to celebrate him as a Mav and try to convey to everyone why he will go down as one of my favorite Mavs of all time.

Marquis came to the Mavs in 2003-2004 season, better known as the season where Antoine Walker came to training camp with a bomb strapped to his chest like a terrorist and proceeded to obliterate the Mavs in any way possible. Everyone was beaten down and getting beat down. The Mavs, despite a bizarre overhaul, were still getting beat up. Then 'Quis came out on the floor. In the previous few seasons, the Mavs had so many white guys and pansies playing that they probably would have gotten beat up playing the Houston Comets. You knew there was something different about these Mavs with 'Quis out there. He was unlike anyone else the Mavs have ever had. He had tattoos, he had dreadlocks, and he looked SO HIGH. There's a saying about fighting guys with tattoos, "If it's on his leg or arm, don't worry. If it's on his chest or back, you should probably run. Face or neck, don't bother running because he will find you and kill you and your family." 'Quis had two on his neck! TWO! And with the emergence of Josh Howard, the exile of Steve Nash, and finally the entrance of Avery Johnson, the Mavs were badasses.

You can laugh at this all you want, but I truly believe that Marquis Daniels' image helped bring the Mavs to the level of grit they needed. Dirk wasn't looking across the locker room at Steve Nash, Raef LaFrentz, Shawn Bradley, Evan Eschmeyer, or Tariq Abdul-Wahad; he was looking at guys who looked like they would punch you in the mouth, then spit on you while you lay on the ground shaking like you're having an epileptic seizure. I'm talking about guys like Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry, and the most thuggish looking, Marquis Daniels.

I don't know if 'Quis is/was a thug, and to be honest, I don't really care if he is or isn't. His presence gives the Mavs credibility. He gets rebounds, slashes, and plays hard. And let's not forget his unselfishness. Once the Mavs realized how good he was and that he would be a free agent after his rookie year, Marquis said that if the Mavs offered him the best they possibly could under the rules (38 million over 6 years), then he would accept it without looking around. And that's exactly what the Mavs did before a team like the Hawks could offer him 45 million or before Isiah Thomas could offer him 467 billion.

So that's why I absolutely Love Marquis Daniels. He may not have been the smartest guy on the team, but he looked like a badass, and he played pretty damn good too.

Good Luck in Indiana. The weed's not as good there, but I'm sure you know a guy.