Well to be honest, I had originally thought it was just the contract thing. But then I stopped to think and realized that seems iffy since its almost impossible for Damp to get his final year to kick in.
then I read this...
Damp's attempt at explaining his double-double average: "The guys are looking for me more around the basket. A lot of it is Jason Kidd. He has the ball in his hands a lot so the only thing I can do is present myself in an open area and try to score whenever I get it.''
That simple explanation is partly true. But I have it on good authority that there is a specific reason Kidd "looks for Damp around the basket'': Kidd and other Mavs are well-aware of the work Dampier put in over the summer. Virtually every day, shooting, shooting, shooting, down in the basement. I say Kidd's BBIQ causes him to want to reward Dampier for his labors.
And Dampier is rewarding everybody in return.
Now of course you could say the hard work he put in is b/c he wants that final 12 million to kick in but its also possible that he really is just more motivated to play well this year. When Gooden was signed he was almost immediately anointed the starting center. I think most Mavs fans will remember the last time Damp lost his starting spot (to Diop) he played a hell of a lot better down the stretch of the season and the Mavs ended up in the Finals. Perhaps he just needs to get stuck with a cattle prod now and then?