Hardly anyone thought the Dallas Mavericks would be four wins from the NBA championship.
But Jason Terry believed, and he made sure to put it in ink.
He had the Larry O’Brien Trophy tattooed on his right biceps during a preseason party at teammate DeShawn Stevenson’s home.
Pretty gutsy considering the Mavericks, who open the NBA Finals on Tuesday at the favored Miami Heat, have never won a league title.
“When he first got the tattoo, I said he was crazy,” Stevenson said, according to ESPN.com. “Wow. And he got that tattoo in October, and it means a lot with what we’ve been through.”
Many fans hope the Mavs upset league villain Miami. It won’t be easy because the Heat appear on the verge of beginning a long title run.
When he took his talents to South Beach, LeBron James said seven titles wouldn’t be enough. He might be right, even if it wasn’t written in tattoo ink.
■ PIPPEN PIPES UP — On the subject of James, former Michael Jordan sidekick Scottie Pippen, while speaking on an ESPN radio show, caused a stir when he compared James to The Greatest Player Ever.
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game,” Pippen said. “But I may go as far to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.”
Pippen took to Twitter to clarify his remarks but didn’t back off completely. “Don’t get me wrong,” Pippen tweeted, “MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday.”
At least Jordan isn’t one to hold grudges. Uh, right.
■ NO LONGER TRAILBLAZERS — The Portland Trail Blazers used to be one of the NBA’s model franchises, but who can understand them now?
They might ask 26-year-old Brandon Roy, who on bad knees dropped 18 points in the fourth quarter of a game against the Mavericks this postseason, to retire. The Blazers would still owe him $68 million over the next four seasons but wouldn’t have to pay the luxury tax.
Considering what Roy has given to the franchise, it’s a lot to ask. “You can’t reasonably predict what the Blazers will do,” Oregonian columnist John Canzano wrote. “There’s a fracture between the smart, hard-working people who run the day-to-day operations … and the wild-eyed schemers who call the shots from the circle around (owner Paul) Allen.”
Sounds like the Clippers.
■ WHO’S THE IDIOT? — James Harrison in many ways epitomizes the toughness of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense.
But Harrison is also opinionated, and some of his views have landed him in trouble. This week, he tweeted that the NFL’s rule makers were “idiots” and accused the NFL brass of singling out the Steelers in their efforts to improve player safety.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook took Harrison to task, and the player tweeted Friday that fans should “feel free to email Ron Cook and let him know how you feel about him and what he said about me in this article.”
Maybe Harrison doesn’t realize that columnists crave any reaction, even negative, and that driving more traffic to the Post-Gazette website would only make Cook and his editors smile.
COMPILED BY MARK ANDERSON
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL