The Mavericks' feel-good story has far-reaching angles. You know a lot of people are getting a vicarious thrill if Don Nelson is rooting for Mark Cuban.
The former Mavericks coach is in town and believes Dallas has a legitimate chance to do something it has never done -- win it all.
It's something Nelson would love to see. He still holds the Mavericks close to his heart. And truth be known, he helped build the franchise into what it is today, although many others also had a hand in it, including his son Donnie.
"If you're in professional basketball, I think it's the hardest to do -- win a title," Don Nelson said. "They haven't been the most dominant team through the season. A lot of people would say they're not the best team.
"But I think they can win it. I think things have to break right for them, and they have to continue to play at the level they've been playing. But why not?"
Why not, indeed.
Like everybody else, Nelson has been impressed with the way the Mavericks have played in the postseason, especially taking down the mighty Lakers in a four-game sweep.
Nelson retired from Golden State after the 2009-10 season. He was with the Mavericks from 1997 to 2006. He's returned to live part-time in Dallas while keeping his residence and real-estate ventures on Maui.
Nelson knows what championship basketball looks like. And he's seeing signs that the Mavericks are capable. He still has the utmost respect for Dirk Nowitzki and believes the superstar is playing the best basketball of his life.
"I'm just so excited for the Mavericks, for Dirk and the fans in the area," Nelson said. "I've been the Warriors' biggest fan first, and the Mavericks' biggest fan second. I love what they've done.
"I love the pieces they've put together and love the way the team has pulled together and learned how to win together and play together. I don't think it's the best team the Mavericks have ever had. But they might very well play as well as any team the Mavericks have ever had."
Everything from the chemistry to the addition of Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood "has given Dirk a great chance to win a title," Nelson said. "Dirk has been playing fantastic basketball. He's so good now, it's scary."
And Nelson believes history will be on the Mavericks' side. The 2006 loss in the NBA Finals to Miami, when Avery Johnson was coach, and the 2007 first-round playoff loss to Nelson's Warriors can be looked back on as good, albeit extremely tough, learning experiences.
"They've been on both sides of that ass-kicking," Nelson said, comparing the Game 4 122-86 whacking the Mavericks gave the Lakers on Sunday to the 2007 Warriors upset.
"We gave it to them in Game 6 (in '07), and I have a picture when it was 100-80 on the scoreboard. We were making shots like crazy. And that's what they did to LA."
Nelson has won more NBA games than any other coach in the league's history.
As Rick Carlisle said Tuesday, Nelson is a Hall of Fame coach who should already be in the Hall, even though it has yet to happen.
Nelson said a big chunk of the credit for the Mavericks' ascension up the Western Conference ranks this season should go to the coach.
"Carlisle has done a great job," Nelson said. "He's a big-time human being and has evolved into a big-time coach."
Similarly, the success the Mavericks are enjoying is a reflection on Cuban.
For years, Nelson siding with Cuban would have been like putting ketchup on ice cream. It just didn't happen.
But that's what sports can do. The Mavericks can act as a bonding agent, even for guys who weren't on speaking terms.
That, by the way, is no longer the case.
"I'm really happy for Mark Cuban," Nelson said. "I think we're doing OK -- as well as we can be doing. We're texting back and forth. And it's pretty cool. I hope those guys get it done."