You’re going to hear that around the TV this year. Because Shawn Marion makes himself a presence on the basketball court. Marion first burst into national attention–and burst is the right word–catching Steve Nash’s MVP passes in Phoenix when the Suns were running and gunning and shooting in Seven Seconds. He was probably the quickest man this side of Allen Iverson at the time, and surely the quickest man standing 6’7″. (Apologies to Kobe, et al.) And then there’s the way he shoots. Using a blindingly quick release from near his chest, Marion’s unorthodox style has been enormously effective over his career–even if no coach would ever teach anyone to shoot like that. Then again, you can’t teach very much of what Shawn Marion does–coaches don’t often say to young players okay now jump from eight feet away and slam it down from two feet above the basket.
Marion was the starting small forward on the 2011 Dallas Mavericks NBA championship team. Though now 36, he can still play at a high level. The Cavs made so much noise with LeBron and Kevin Love this summer that Marion, being near the end of his career, came in almost under the radar. But he’s still a very tough defender and he’ll have Cavaliers fans on their feet often during this feelgood season Cleveland has planned. Marion, a four-time NBA all-star, is a winner. At some point in the season, after he’s just done something special on the floor, a friend will turn to you and say man, they have Shawn Marion too?