Don't be surprised if it happens. The workout with 44-year-old Kevin Willis went as well as anyone could have expected yesterday and he's going through another today. From all accounts, he looks like he can play today. And he might. If the Mavs brain trust is convinced Willis can help, he could sign a 10-day contract today and be on the bench against New York tonight.
Talking yesterday to Donnie Nelson, the team pres of all things bball rattled off the reasons why 7-foot, 245-pounder, who last played in '05, would be a great fit with the defending West champs.
They would like to have another backup center, but more than that, Donnie explained that Willis is a strong character guy who wouldn't disrupt the locker room's chemistry, he has championship experience (with the '03 Spurs) and he has the respect of officials. That can't be overlooked around here.
"No question we know he's our kind of guy," Donnie said. "No ifs, ands or buts about it."
So what if he's old.
"People say the same thing about Dikembe [Mutombo] and he's three years younger than Dikembe," Donnie said.
Donnie wasn't joking. While it may be a bit of an exaggeration, the Rockets backup center is listed at 42. Dikembe may hate the jokes about his age, but the general rule of thumb is to add three years to those born in Africa.