This article is sponsored by the Texas Legends.
I left my second-ever Texas Legends media day with a good idea to start this article. It was going to be more awesome than another Fast and Furious sequel. By the time I returned home one of the players I spoke with had already been called back up to the Dallas Mavericks.
I guess you shouldn’t sleep on this team. As the wise Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Truth be told, movement is the nature of this level of basketball. Life does move pretty fast. Like “between leaving media day and returning home to find out that the article intro you thought of while driving home that was going to be more spectacular than hologram Tupac is no longer relevant” kind of fast.
So what are you waiting for? Well, I guess for the season to start. That makes sense. But once it starts, what are you waiting for?
Catch them while you can.
The young gentleman ballplayer who was called up no less than an hour after talking to me (you’re welcome) is Isaiah Roby. He was the Mavericks only draft pick in this year’s 2019 NBA Draft, and they traded to get him. That’s how much they like him.
He’ll most likely move back and forth between Dallas and Frisco this season. The Mavericks have high praise for this guy, so don’t miss an opportunity to see him in person when he’s here in Frisco. Also, his last name is pronounced “row-bee.” If you call him “rob-bee” he will block you on social media and stop sending you Christmas cards.
There are four players on the team that are “two-way players.” That doesn’t mean they play hard on both ends of the court. They do that anyway. That’s what they’re paid to do. The term means that they can also move back and forth from the G League to the NBA team they belong to for up to 45 games. There’s a lot of technicalities, but just trust me when I say it’s a good thing for them.
Two of the two-way players, Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard, are from the Portland Trailblazers organization. The Blazers are one of the few teams that don’t have their own G League affiliate. What’s good for you, the loyal Texas Legends fan, is that Portland gets to decide where to send their players.
They could’ve gone to any other franchise’s affiliate, but Portland chose Frisco which suggests they have a healthy amount of faith in this new coaching staff to teach and develop their players. That’s saying something about the leadership of this team.
Side note #1: Standing next to Moses Brown made me look like a toddler. A very handsome toddler, but a toddler nonetheless.
The two-way players who are connected to your Dallas Mavericks are Josh Reaves and Antonius Cleveland, which is such a great name it sounds like it came from an Elmore Leonard novel.
Also, this is Cleveland’s second tour as a Dallas Maverick/Texas Legends two-way player with a few other stops in between. Basically, these are players the Mavericks think can be NBA-caliber contributors. That means when you watch them, know you’re watching exceptional talent but also know you might not get to watch them for long.
Catch them while you can.
If you’re a long time Legends fan like me, you might notice some familiar faces. Returning are Trahson Burrell, Brandon Fields, Nate Mason, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Burrell brings the dunks and the assists.
Fields, a local Arlington native with a beautiful first name, brings buckets and a team game. Mason can get hot faster than a ghost pepper, and Rathan-Mayes is a Canadian who has already had a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee in the NBA and played in the G League as well as overseas all in just a couple of years.
Side note #2: Burrell and Fields are the only dudes on this team that were born prior to the Clinton administration. Let that sink in. I think seven of these guys were born after I graduated high school.
Speaking of Canadians and overseas, if the current Mavs Euro tandem of Luka and Kristaps gives you a Texas-sized hankering for international players, the team also boasts Madit Tieny Dak from Oklahoma. I’m joking; he played a year of high school ball in Oklahoma but is from South Sudan.
They’re also thrilled to have Japanese rising star Yudai Baba, who is on an Exhibit 10 contract with the Dallas Mavericks.
There is another Exhibit 10 player on the Legends roster, and his name is Chad Brown. (Check out the Hustle and Pro podcast where he sat in with us for an interview.) He’s an Exhibit 10 for the team, but he’s exhibit #1 in our hearts. He will also block every shot he can and then make a player reassess his career decisions.
E 10 contracts are NBA contracts that can become a two-way contract but not a guarantee of being a Dallas Maverick in this case. If these dudes impress you and scouts and coaches, they could be on another NBA team that could use their talents very soon.
Catch them while you can.
The roster is rounded out by Isaac Copeland out of Nebraska, Tra Holder out of Arizona State, and Dakota Mathias out of Purdue, all of whom are looking to flex for the crowd and the scouts.
Again, movement is the nature of this level of basketball. Life moves pretty fast. If a player I talked to was already moved to the NBA level within an hour of talking to me (you’re welcome again), think about the roster by the time this article posts. Or by the time you get to your first game. Or by the time you get back to your seat after buying a hot dog.
I’ve been watching the Legends since their first season ten years ago. I was a season ticket holder for a couple of years. This is my second season covering the team. These guys love the game. I’ll go into it in a later article but these guys aren’t living the life most people assume when you think of a professional athlete.
But when they do what they can do, when they show what they’re capable of, when they get noticed, when they get that chance, then they will have an appreciation for the game even greater than they have now. And you will appreciate them for it when you watch them play.
And that could happen in the time it takes me to drive home. And I live in Frisco just 15 minutes north of Comerica Center where you can watch the Texas Legends play.
Catch them while you can, Frisco. These guys are worth watching and deserve our support. Let’s go Legends!