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Wed, 23 Nov 2011 04:01 PM EST

The Dallas Mavericks are waiting. They are waiting to receive their championship rings.

Rings they should have received on November 1 in a ceremony that should have happened on what would have been opening night of the 2011-2012 NBA season. NFL lines

They may be waiting a long time.

The NBA league’s ongoing lockout and accompanying antitrust lawsuit has postponed the Mavericks’ coronation indefinitely, and the players are uncertain if they’ll ever get their rightful respect and recognition for winning last season’s championship title.

A growing number of players, as well as fans, don’t think there will be a 2011-2012 season. Especially in light of the fact that 300 games, almost a third of the season, have already been cancelled. NFL betting lines

Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said recently, “Right now there is just a lot of bad blood and [the owners] keep putting offers out that we’re rejecting. So we’re not going anywhere.”

Stevenson believes the owners don’t realize just how much the players have already conceded in negotiations. However, he also believes someone else shares a hefty portion of the blame, and that would be Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players’ former union.

“I felt like we should have decertified in July,” Stevenson said. “I feel like Billy Hunter is doing a horrible job because basically now [the owners] know our hand. The media knows our hand.”

Jason Terry, the Maverick’s representative for the Players Association, was in New York on Nov. 14 when the union made the decision to disband. He opined that the players had “no choice” but to refuse the latest offer from the NBA and that Mavs All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki was in support of the decision.

Unlike Stevenson, Terry maintains his optimism that there will still be a 2011-12 season, albeit a much shorter one. And that the Mavericks will someday receive their championship rings.

One reason Terry was glad the players rejected the owners’ most recent offer is that under it, he thought the Mavericks would have a difficult time keeping some of their core talent. While Nowitzki, Terry, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd are under contract, the Mavs have a formidable list of free agents that include Stevenson, center Tyson Chandler, guard Jose Juan Barea and forwards Caron Butler, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic.

“Free agency is going to hit us hard,” Terry said. “We don’t know what our team is going to look like.”

For Stevenson, the lockout has so far prevented the Mavs from basking in their moment of glory. He thinks the Mavs haven’t gotten the credit they deserve for beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat in last season’s NBA Finals, and that the lockout has overshadowed last years’ championship winners, robbing them of the respect that they earned.

If the entire season does get canceled, Shawn Marion thinks the Mavs will be able to make one claim for sure: “We’re going to go down as the longest champs in NBA history.”

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