Dallas Mavericks

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 07:47

History of Dallas Mavericks

About the NBA team Dallas Mavericks.


Residents of Dallas, Texas have high regard for their NBA team – the Dallas Mavericks.  The team was founded in 1980 when two businessmen, Don Carter and Norm Sonju, requested for a basketball franchise in the area. The Dallas Mavericks got its name from an old TV western wherein one of the members from the team’s ownership group, James Garner, played the title role. Before the start of the 2004-2005 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks were part of the Midwest Division. They hired Dick Motta, the former mentor of the Washington Bullets, to become the first coach of the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas Mavericks: the first few years

In the 1980 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Kiki Vandeweghe with the 11th pick. Yet, their rookie did not want to become part of the expansion team. Thus, he was traded to the Denver Nuggets to get two future first-round picks. Even though the Dallas Mavericks were just a new team, they were able to beat veteran San Antonio Spurs in their first game. However, their luck would not last for the whole season as the Dallas Mavericks only had a 15-67 record in their inaugural year. Yet, they were able to secure a player that would change the face of the franchise in Brad Davis, the first superstar athlete of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks were able to get three good players in the 1981 NBA Draft. They selected Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, and Jay Vincent with the 1st, 9th, and 24th pick, respectively. These new players helped Brad Davis in making the Dallas Mavericks serious contenders in the Western Conference. By 1982, the Dallas Mavericks already had a winning record by the All-Star break. Yet, they were still unable to make the playoffs. Trying to further improve their roster, the Dallas Mavericks drafted Derek Harper from the University of Illinois in the 1983 NBA Draft. That same season, the Dallas Mavericks were able to reach the NBA Playoffs for the first time.

The team was impressive during their first run at the playoffs. They were able to beat the Seattle Supersonics in the first round. However, the Dallas Mavericks were taken out of the title hunt in the next round as they faced the legendary Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. They would still make big changes in their lineup the following years as the Dallas Mavericks got players such as Sam Perkins, Detlef Schrempf, and Roy Tarpley. In the 1986 NBA All-Star Game, the Dallas Mavericks were represented by Rolando Blackman. The fans knew that their team was constantly improving.

Dallas Mavericks: getting their groove

It was during the 1986-1987 season that the Dallas Mavericks were able to get its first Midwest Division title, a mere 6 years after they entered the league. However, they were taken back as the Seattle Supersonics managed to beat them in the first round of that year’s NBA Playoffs. It was reason enough for then coach Dick Motta to resign from the Dallas Mavericks. He was replaced by John MacLeod, formerly of the Phoenix Suns. The Dallas Mavericks were able to get into the NBA Playoffs once again and they eventually reached the Conference Finals until they were beaten, yet again, by the Lakers.

The Dallas Mavericks was not able to return to the playoffs in the 1988-1989 season but the team got back the following year. Yet, the Dallas Mavericks were beaten in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers. During the 1990 free agency, the Dallas Mavericks lost key player Sam Perkins. The Dallas Mavericks were also hampered by major injuries to their star players. Recently acquired Fat Lever and long time starter Roy Tarpley all went down with serious problems. Thus, the Dallas Mavericks were found at the bottom of the standings with a dismal 28-54 record.

Dallas Mavericks: shaking the lineup

The rebuilding process for the Dallas Mavericks began in 1992. The team had traded their ace player Rolando Blackman for a first-round pick. In that year’s NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Jim Jackson with the 4th overall pick. However, Jackson’s contract was at limbo and he was not able to play until the last few games of the season. The Dallas Mavericks still had a losing record that year but they were able to get another good player the following NBA Draft. With the 4th overall pick, Dallas Mavericks picked Jamal Mashburn out of Kentucky. Yet, with some coaching problems, the Dallas Mavericks were once again found in the bottom of the standings.

Hoping to get their former glory back, the Dallas Mavericks picked Jason Kidd with their 2nd overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. Now, the roster was headlined by Kidd, Jackson, and Mashburn. Known as “The Three Js”, Kidd, Jackson and Mashburn had the highest scoring unit for a trio in that year’s NBA season. Kidd was leading the whole league in triple-doubles and was named Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons. The Dallas Mavericks made a strong improvement in their record but they were still unable to reach the playoffs. Not deterred by failures, the team continued their rebuilding process.

Since the current crop of players was not working too well, the Dallas Mavericks made a total revamp of their roster. They traded Jason Kidd and other players to the Phoenix Suns to get Michael Finley, A.C. Green, and Sam Cassell. Finley was a significant addition to the Dallas Mavericks as he led the team in offense for the next years. The Dallas Mavericks also hired Don Nelson as General Manager to help in the rebuilding process. Part of the revamp was the trading of Jamal Mashburn to the Miami Heat. However, even without their former star players, the Dallas Mavericks were still represented in the 1996-1997 All Star Game by Chris Gatling.

Dallas Mavericks: another roster change

The Dallas Mavericks were able to acquire the right players that ultimately strengthened their roster. By the 1998-1999 season, the Dallas Mavericks already had Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, and Gary Trent. Although the team still lacked the drive to reach the playoffs, they were setting themselves up for a dominant run in the coming years. A key event that triggered the turnaround of luck for the Dallas Mavericks is the change of team ownership. Internet businessman Mark Cuban was able to buy the Dallas Mavericks from its original owners.

Dallas Mavericks: the Cuban legacy


Cuban, a big basketball fan, would make significant changes to the Dallas Mavericks. Under his administration, the Dallas Mavericks became an international favorite as he acquired the likes of Wang Zhizhi of China and Eduardo Najera of Mexico. They were paired with the Canadian Nash and the German Nowitzki. The trio of Nowitzki, Nash, and Finley would ignite the offense of the Dallas Mavericks. The team would reach the playoffs for the following years. Yet, they still lacked some things to reach their goal. In the 2004-2005 season, after making another monumental roster shakeup, the Dallas Mavericks were finally able to reach the NBA Finals but they lost in six games to the Miami Heat.

The Dallas Mavericks had bad match-ups the following years. Being the top team in the league, they lost to the 8th seeded Golden State Warriors in the 2007 Playoffs. Still, they are strong playoff contenders which would one day hoist the championship trophy.