You ever meet someone and instantaneously click? It is quite obvious that all NBA players have at least one thing in common…and that's basketball. Sometimes that one thing, although it is a big thing, is not enough to “click”. Professional basketball, professional sports, competing…you have to go to battle with your teammates and it is important to trust one another, but that doesn’t always mean that there is a click or bond between teammates. I have been on a lot of teams and the only team that I have been on where there was this true "instant" brotherhood and bond was when I was playing collegiate basketball at UConn….until now.
I really can’t explain it nor do I truly understand how it happened so fast, but this Mavericks team is connected from top to bottom. Maybe it is because there a bunch of veterans on the team who are all focused on winning? Maybe because a lot of these guys have played together and won before (from the 2011 team we have the Boricua JJ, Tyson Chandler and Dirk)? Maybe it is because of Mark Cuban or Coach Carlisle? I really don’t know, but it doesn’t even matter because the truth is that we get along…ALL of us. I am not saying it to say it and I think people say it all the time, but the truth is we all get along…we really get along. And I don't want to take away from my past teams. I've developed a special bond with my past teammates as well, but I'm talking about that instant click!
And it is everyone. We have a group text that everyone participates in…and you wont believe it lol, but Dirk is the head honcho. He is as involved in the inside jokes as everyone. Most of the time he is the one clowning on the others. We all click. I think it shows on the court. I think it is why we play so well offensively (I know I have said this before, but I am going to write a post just about the Mavericks offense and I plan on getting real basketball nerdy on it lol). We share the ball. We like each other, on and off the court. We stand for one another.
When Monta hit that game winner in Milwaukee (I had an argument with my boy on whether it was a travel or not, no shot that was) we all went NUTS! The things that were done and said while celebrating on the court showcases how much we care and like one another. Yo think about this... we have our franchise owner in sweats and a hoodie, jumping around with the rest of us....how crazy is that? Who does that? Our boss does that! Our leader Dirk, in a nice suit I'll add, was going NUTS too! It shows how strong our bond is….
And I am the new guy who is still trying to fit in. I am still waiting my turn. Going early, leaving late, shooting as much as possible. Mentally trying to prep myself for when Coach calls my number. There is a lot of that going on, but truthfully I am so blessed and happy to be here. I did have other opportunities. I don’t know how the locker room and team atmosphere is with the Clippers, I'm sure is great, but I don't know that. I think I would have played more minutes had I signed with the Sixers, but then again...honestly this is a great fit for ME in more ways than one. Did I tell you guys my financée is from Dallas...her parents live not too far from us now. She's so happy about that. And I am grateful to be a part of an atmosphere as sincere as this one. Go Mavs!!!
Charlie Villanueva #believeincharlie
PS. Catch me LIVE this Friday, December 12, 4:00pm ET on Google Hangouts (video call). I'll be featured on Sportsblog's "Hanging with the Pros"! You'll get an inside access on who I am, feel free to ask me anything ;) WATCH LIVE: https://plus.google.com/events/cl9ri43rqnbd2ripgjg0elnipu4