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A Third Party Speaks Up
Steve Rushin
April 29, 1996
The NBA won't be the same when the son of a meddlesome maverick buys the Dallas team
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April 29, 1996

A Third Party Speaks Up

The NBA won't be the same when the son of a meddlesome maverick buys the Dallas team

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Listen up, people.

Beg pardon? You're "all ears," you say? Well, you people are real comedians, you know that? A regular buncha Steve Aliens. You'd rather be Vancouver Grizzlies, is that it? That whatcha want? Didn't think so. But don't try me. I won't hesitate to exercise free trade, if you know what I mean. Now, can I finish? Can I? Will ya let mc finish? That's better.

See, my son, Ross Perot Jr., is buying y'all. That's right. He owns yaw, the Dallas Mavericks. Or he will when the deal is announced, probably later this week. Anyhoo, Junior asked me into this here locker room to light a fire under your fannies. I didn't wanna do it, but it's the will of the people, so here I am.

See, it's time to take out the garbage and clean out the barn. You people just finished the season with 26 wins and 56 losses. Now, that's just sad. That giant sucking sound you hear is you. The good people of Dallas deserve better. They demand better. And y'all are gonna give it to 'em. Simple as that. Easy as pie. Easy as this here pie chart.

See, if the United States armed forces had a .317 winnin' percentage, y'all would be salutin' the Russian flag right now—and your friend in Denver would not be sittin' down during that anthem. If he thinks the Timberwolves play in the NBA's Siberia, he oughta visit Irkutsk at the All-Star break. So let's lift the hood and see if we can get this sucker to turn over.

What's wrong with this team is what's wrong with the two-party system of American government. It's got no center, see. So the first thing we're gonna do is bring in the admiral. You folks like that, do ya? I agree, he is great, a true giant. If anyone can right this ship, it's Admiral James Stockdale. As my runnin' mate in '92, he asked, "Who am I? Why am I here?" He'll replace Coach Motta, who's been sayin' the same thing all season.

That reminds me. We've got another great naval officer as a minority owner. Y'all know Roger Staubach. Quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys when they were America's Team, not America's Most Wanted? Yes, I know he's a Republican, y'all didn't have to tell me that. Criminy. Now, can I continue? Can I? Or wouldja like me to bring back another QB: Quinn Buckner. Is that whatcha want? Then pipe down.

Now, I'm told a couple of you ladies hardly spoke to each other all season. Is that right, Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson? Well, that is sad, sons, just sad. You can't make potluck without swappin' a few recipes, so stop swingin' your handbags at each other. Remember: United We Stand. (Which happens to be the name of my fan club. There's a toll-free number on the blackboard here for those who'd like to join.)

See, you people have a sacred duty to your country to win the NBA Finals next season. Think the American people want the Chicago Bulls to be their champions? Is that what they want? Croatians and Aussies, tossin' American jobs on the barbie? I don't think so. Some tattooed carnival freak in a rainbow fright wig who likes to hold up signs at televised golf tournaments: Is he a good role model for our kids and our grandkids?

Come again? They're not the same guy? Well, what difference does it make? We're not here to mow our neighbor's lawn. We got our own sink to fix. So don't tell me my business. I mean, that's rich. Y'all have been layin' bricks like Jimmy Carter at a Habitat for Humanity site, and you're tellin' me how to do my job. That is precious. From now on it's my way or the highway. I don't know what the previous policy was here. Seems to me it was "Your way or the doorway."

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