01 Oct Before the Mavericks’ training trip in Miami, the EuroMavs …
That’s what the Mavericks almost formed this summer when considering the possibility of a team bonding and training trip overseas.
Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said Monday the players’ trip to Miami in mid-September was originally a plan to travel in July to Europe, where stars Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic spent time this summer and where several other Mavericks call home.
But then came the busyness of NBA summer league — with second-round pick Isaiah Roby debuting and many Mavericks players and staff members in Las Vegas to watch. Along with free agency and individual summer plans throughout July, the potential international adventure fizzled.
“There was so much going on with summer league and all of that,” Hardaway said. “So we all decided to do something in either San Diego or LA, Miami, New York, something.”
Miami was most logical. Hardaway said he and J.J. Barea both have houses in the area and “it’s sunny and nice [so] might as well.”
But those plans hit a snag, too.
The Mavericks were supposed to be in Miami during the first week of September, but Hurricane Dorian hit Florida then, so the players pushed their itinerary back one more week.
Midway through September, the idea finally came to fruition. The Mavericks sent a skeleton crew of assistants and trainers to attend the workouts, and at least Hardaway, Doncic, Porzingis, Roby, Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell, Justin Jackson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Delon Wright attended.
After the team’s first training camp practice Tuesday, coach Rick Carlisle lauded the players’ initiative to hold two-a-day workouts and team dinners and to organize hectic and fluid travel.
“That’s a great step toward getting closer together, learning about each other,” Carlisle said. “And it’s pretty clear that these guys see the challenge of this season as something that they want to take on together, which is the way it’s going to have to be in the West.”
On Twitter: @CallieCaplan