DALLAS -- In case anyone didn't know it or didn't notice him, Calvin Booth was back at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night.
Booth is the player who hit the series-clinching basket when the Dallas Mavericks battled back from an 0-2 deficit to win three straight games and defeat the Utah Jazz in a best-of-five series in the opening round of the 2001 playoffs. Owner Mark Cuban always rave about the importance of that critical basket by Booth, who is now the director of player development for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"I'm always reminded of it, so it’s a big moment in my NBA career, so of course I remember it,'' Booth said before Minnesota's 123-122 overtime victory over the Mavs. "I would say (it’s the biggest shot he's ever hit) because it helped propel us to the second round and it was good for the organization.
"I've talked to Mark about it before about how Dallas, that team, and (Michael) Finley and Dirk (Nowitzki) and (Steve) Nash and those guys. That was kind of like their first step into getting where they ended up going.''
Booth in his his first season with the Timberwolves. A journeyman who played for seven teams from 1999-2009, Booth was more than delighted to move into a front office position which helps him keeps close tabs on the players.
"I scout, do personnel and I work with our rookies a little bit,''the 37-year old Booth said. "It's been really good -- I'm enjoying it.
"It's an opportunity to be around day-to-day and stay around the game, so it's great.''
Ultimately, Booth is hoping the Timberwolves can accomplish what the Mavs were able to accomplish in 2011 when they captured the NBA title.
"I think Mark Cuban has done a good job of establishing a winning culture here,'' Booth said. "Everybody knows what it takes to win, and it resulted in a championship, which is huge.''
-- Dwain Price
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