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Dallas sports is having a moment

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

In the U.S. the NBA and the NHL run their playoffs at roughly the same time, and that means it's possible for a city to simultaneously have its professional basketball team and its professional hockey team both in contention for championships. That is the situation in Dallas. The Mavericks have made their NBA conference final, and the Stars are also in the last four teams fighting for the NHL Stanley Cup. The arena that they share - well, it's busy, but Dallas fans are pumped. We reached out to Bob Sturm, who is a sports radio host with The Ticket in Dallas. Hi, Bob.

BOB STURM: Hey, how's it going?

SUMMERS: I'm doing well. I'm curious, what is the mood in Dallas? I mean, the Rangers are the World Series reigning champs. The Stars and Mavs are still alive in the playoffs. I mean, I don't know, as a sports fan, this kind of sounds like paradise to me.

STURM: Yeah, there's no doubt. It's an unbelievable time. Of course, anytime I talk to anybody about this, they always ask, isn't this a Cowboys town? Isn't this a football town? And there's no doubt. And that's part of the oddity of the moment, I guess, is that the Cowboys have still continued to frustrate their fans. And they could take over the city if they would join the party, but so far, they have not. But the other three, quote, "big four" sports are all having a wonderful time simultaneously in a way where very few cities have ever experienced anything like this.

SUMMERS: All right, let's talk through these sports a bit. So the Mavs are facing the Timberwolves. Do you think they can challenge for their first NBA title since 2011?

STURM: Well, I didn't a couple months ago, but they've undergone a very convincing transformation. They have overhauled their roster makeup, and honestly, they're at a point where they are close enough, where it would be silly to say they don't have a chance. And they have a self-belief that is almost - why not us? And for them, it's kind of out of nowhere. They were projected to maybe make the playoffs at all. So the fact that they've already won in the first two rounds and now find themselves in the Final Four is absolutely the high end of anyone's reasonable projections.

SUMMERS: Onto hockey, where the stars finished as the best team in the NHL's Western Conference - but they did lose Game 1 in double overtime. You think they can pick it up?

STURM: I absolutely do. That doesn't mean it will be easy, but the Stars are kind of the opposite of the Mavericks in that the Stars have kind of been on this path for a couple years now. And they keep adding a little piece here and a little piece there, but they are a confident bunch who believe that they can and will win this cup. There's nothing, nothing guaranteed or given in professional sports. You don't win on paper. But on paper, they do look like the best team remaining and a team that kind of feels like this might be their destiny.

SUMMERS: Look, it's an exciting moment for Dallas sports fans, for sure, but history is not on the city's side. No city has ever had both their NBA and NHL teams win at once. Do you think these two teams can do it?

STURM: No. I would agree with you. The odds are horrible. The...

(LAUGHTER)

STURM: History suggests that they will not, and they may not get either title. Having loved sports my whole life, I realize how rare one title really is and how oftentimes, people are very dismissive that this athlete or this team only won one title. And I always think to myself, that's like saying somebody only climbed Mount Everest one time. That's crazy to suggest that that's a small accomplishment. So having seen the Rangers just win the World Series, which was as unexpected a sports story as a city could endure...

SUMMERS: Right.

STURM: ...To now have two other teams on the doorstep of a parade - if Dallas gets one more title, they should be over the moon. If they get two, they should stop playing sports forever and just rest on these laurels.

SUMMERS: That's Bob Sturm, sports radio host with The Ticket in Dallas. Bob, thank you.

STURM: My pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF NICK SHOULDERS' "SURF DE MARDI GRAS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Gus Contreras
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Patrick Jarenwattananon
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Juana Summers
Juana Summers is a political correspondent for NPR covering race, justice and politics. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.