Photo: Sporting News
The Dallas Mavericks are the youngest of three teams from the state of Texas. But like its older brothers Houston and San Antonio, the Mavs have won an NBA title. The
After a run of six playoff appearances from 1983 to 1990, the Mavericks hit rock bottom with an 11-71 record in 1993. That forgettable year was followed by a 13-69 season and the Mavericks did not win more than 36 games in a season until the 2000 season.
With the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley, Dallas returned to the playoffs in 2001. Two seasons later, they made the Western Conference Finals. But Nash and Finley left one after the other, leaving Nowitzki to carry Cuban’s crew on his back. Dirk responded by leading them to the NBA Finals in 2006 only to lose to the Miami Heat. Five years later, Dirk and Dallas returned the favor by beating the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals to win the franchise’s first and only NBA title.
The Mavericks have made 21 playoff appearances in 36 years of NBA existence. They have won three division crowns, two conference titles and one NBA title.
Now let’s take a look at the Top 10 Dallas Mavericks players of all-time:
10. Tyson Chandler
Photo: The Hoop Doctors
Taking huge gambles work two ways. They either fail big time or pay off big time. Tyson Chandler was the latter. He became the final piece of the Dallas Mavericks’ championship puzzle and the heart and soul of the 2011 title squad.
After two injury filled seasons in Charlotte, the Mavericks took the risk of trading for Tyson Chandler to give the team the strong inside presence they badly needed. It worked because Chandler became the team’s defensive anchor. Chandler’s defense against the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was immeasurable. His defensive prowess earned him a spot in the All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 2011 but in a rather shocking move, the Mavs traded him to New York after the title season.
Chandler won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2012 while playing for the Knicks. He was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team and the All-NBA Defensive Team in 2013. He also played for the U.S. Men’s National Basketball Team which won the gold medal in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. He is Dallas’ all-time leader in win shares per 48 minutes, field goal percentage, true shooting percentage and rebound rate.
9. Mark Aguirre
Feast or Famine. Mark Aguirre was the barometer of the Mavericks’ early NBA success before he was traded to the Detroit Pistons in 1988-89.
The Mavs’ #1 overall pick in 1981 after being the top collegiate player in the land at De Paul, Mark Aguirre was a streaky scorer who either was on fire or was ice cold. He led the Mavericks to five consecutive playoff appearances from 1984-1988, taking the team to the Western Conference Finals in 1988 where they would lose to the Lakers in seven games.
Aguirre won two NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys team and was an NBA-All Star on three instances while playing for the Mavericks. Aguirre owns the highest points per game average in Mavericks history at 24.6. He is third on the team in total points scored, 6th in rebounds, 8th in steals and 9th in assists.
8. Jason Terry
Photo: NBC Sports.com
The Jet was one of the Mavs’ go-to-guy in the clutch. He was an outstanding scorer who was never afraid to take the last shot, even if it meant plenty of criticism if he didn’t make the basket.
Such was the case with Jason Terry during Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals when he missed a three pointer that would’ve sent the game to overtime. Terry’s miss enabled the Miami Heat to win the title and left Dallas empty handed. In 2011 though, he made up for that game by scoring 19 points in the first half and of the deciding Game 6 ( also against the Heat but now with LeBron James ) and keeping Dallas afloat.
Aside from being the Terry was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year winner in 2009 NBA rookie team.He is the Mavs’ 6th all-time leading scorer, the #5 man in steals and #7 guy in assists.He is also second to Nowitzki in three point field goals made and three point field goals attempted.
7. Shawn Marion
The Matrix, as he was called by TNT analyst Kenny Smith, was one of the most versatile players the Dallas Mavericks ever had. His athleticism gave him the ability to defend players in multiple positions. He was a very good fast break finisher who had a decent jump shot. But yeah, we remember how unique his shooting form was more than anything else.
Shawn Marion was the Phoenix Suns’ 9th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and he immediately showed a lot of potential both offensively and defensively. Marion would blossom into a pseudo star in Phoenix, making the All-Star team four times before being traded to the Heat, Raptors and finally to the Mavericks. It was in Dallas where he accomplished what he never did during his glory years, an NBA title. And the championship ring made his list of achievements complete.
Marion was the fifth player in NBA history to compile 1,500 career steals and 1,000 blocks. He was also the third player ( after Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone ) to have 17,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks in his NBA career. Marion was a member of the All-NBA third team twice and was part of the ill-fated U.S. Olympic team to the 2004 Olympics.
6. Derek Harper
Derek Harper was Rolando Blackman’s backcourt partner during the early days of the Dallas Mavericks.
Drafted by the Mavericks as the 11th pick of 1983, Harper played his first 10 NBA seasons in Dallas. He was known not just for his outside scoring but for orchestrating the Mavericks offense and his elite defending. Harper is one of the NBA’s all-time best in both assists and steals.
Although Blackman was the more accomplished between the two because he made All-Star teams, Harper was an achiever in his own right after being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second team twice in his career. Harper is the Mavericks’ all-time leader in assists and steals. He is 4th in points, 3rd in games played and 5th in three point field goals made.
5. Michael Finley
Michael Finley was one of those responsible for the Mavericks success during the early years of the 2000 decade.
After being part of the trade that sent Jason Kidd to the Suns, Finley finally found his mark in Dallas. During his first season with the Mavericks, Finley led the team in points, assists and steals. With Steve Nash running the show, Finley was a key component in the Mavs’ run and gun offensive set up. Finley also earned his first NBA All-Star appearance with the Mavs in 2000 and followed it up with a second one the following season. As Dirk Nowitzki started to blossom, Finley took the backseat but was still one of its clutch performers.
Finley is 5th in the Mavericks’ all-time scoring list, 4th in steals and 8th in assists. He was USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 2003 and was part of the 2002 U.S. men’s basketball team to the 2002 FIBA World Championships which failed to earn a medal but Finley went on to win an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
4. Jason Kidd
Photo: The Complex
Jason Kidd was one-thirds of the exciting ‘Triple J’ trio which wowed the Mavs’ fans during the 1990’s. But while that trio was a very explosive scoring unit, it blew up because of the controversy involving Kidd, Jim Jackson and then popular R&B singer Toni Braxton. But that’s another story.
Kidd was Dallas’ 2nd overall pick in 1994 and he led the league in triple doubles during his rookie season. Kidd combined with Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson to form a big three that would lead the Mavericks in the 90’s. But ‘Triple J’ would integrate following an injury to Mashburn and the alleged love triangle between Kidd, Jackson and Braxton. After just three seasons, Kidd was traded to Phoenix. He would return in 2008 and this time around a more mature Kidd was the inspirational leader of the team that now belonged to Dirk Nowitzki. Kidd provided the veteran leadership and the team went on to win the NBA title in 2011.
Kidd was a 10-time NBA All-Star and the co-Rookie of the Year in 1995. He made it to 5 All-NBA First Team selections and 4 All-NBA Defensive First Team selections. He led the NBA in assists five times and was a two-time winner of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award.
3. Steve Nash
Photo: Trending Top Lists
Steve Nash made his mark in Phoenix but there is no denying the fact that the legend began in Dallas.
Nash was originally Phoenix’s draft pick in 1996 but was shipped to Dallas after making little impact With Dallas, Nash blossomed as a playmaker and a deadshot shooter. In his fourth season with the Mavericks, Nash earned his first All-Star nod. The following season, Nash, Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals. He left Dallas as a free agent after the 2003-04 season. But his impact will forever be felt.
Nash is 5th overall in the Mavericks’ all-time assists leader board. He is also 6th in the franchise’s three point field goals made list. When it was all said and done, Nash won the NBA MVP twice, he was named to the All-Star team 8 times and he was voted to the All-NBA First Team in three consecutive seasons.
2. Rolando Blackman
Rolando Blackman was the first Panamanian player to set foot in the NBA and was the Mavericks main offensive weapon during his era.
Blackman played 11 seasons with the Mavericks and went to the playoffs six times with them. He was part of four Western Conference All-Star squads and made his All-Star mark in 1997 when he calmly sank two key free throws that sent the game to overtime. Blackman was the Mavericks’ all-time leader in points and field goals for 18 years before Dirk Nowitzki surpassed both. Blackman had the distinction of not fouling out in any one of his 865 games with the Mavericks.
Aside from being #2 in points and field goals, Blackman is 6th in Dallas’ all-time assist leaderboard and 8th on the rebounding list. He is also 2nd overall in free throws made and in offensive win shares. His 19.2 points per game scoring is 6th best in franchise history.
1. Dirk Nowitzki
Trust the process. Before it became the current tagline in Philadelphia, it was what the Dallas Mavericks did with Dirk Nowitzki.
After dealing the late Tractor Traylor for him on draft night, the Dallas Mavericks knew they had someone special in Nowitzki. Here he was at seven feet tall with the shooting touch of a guard and the mobility of a small forward. He was, but his first two seasons with the Mavs didn’t look too promising. Nowitzki was called soft but Dallas kept the faith and by his third season, he started to blossom until he revolutionized the game of basketball by becoming the prototype for what we call now the ‘Stretch 4’. Now, Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best power forwards to ever play the game of basketball and nobody can argue with that.
Nowitzki has played his entire career for the Mavericks. He is the team’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, three point field goals, player efficiency rating, offensive win shares and many more. Nowitzki is the first Mavericks player to be named in the All-NBA First team. He is the first European to start in an All-Star team and the first to win the NBA MVP award. He is the highest scoring foreign born player of All-time and is only the sixth player in NBA history to top the 30,000 scoring barrier. Without question, Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest Dallas Mavericks player of all-time.
Dallas Mavericks 2011 Championship Run
Subscribe to Sport.ONE
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox