Book a luxury suite for the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center
A hard working club based out of Dallas, the Mavericks first entered the NBA in 1980. Dick Motta, a former NBA champion head coach with the Washington Bullets would man the sidelines and whip this new club into professional shape. A first round draft pick’s refusal to join the team in 1980 led the Mavericks to acquire what would eventually become two staples of their franchise in Ronaldo Blackman and Sam Perkins.
Along with Mark Aquirre and Jay Vincent, the Mavs quickly became a contender and found themselves deep in the 1984 playoffs before being shown the exit by Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers. The 1980s were a great time for basketball in Dallas. While the Cowboys were struggling, Dallas fans could turn to their Mavericks to see a franchise on the rise.
The contender years in Dallas were tremendously entertaining, but like all good things it had to come to an end. The end of the 80s also spelled the end for Dallas as Mark Aguirre was traded to Detroit, 1st round pick Roy Tarpley encountered legal problems, and head coach John MacLeod was fired. Losing Sam Perkins to free agency only added to the mass exodus in Texas.
A period of rebuilding would see the Mavericks try to reinvent themselves over the course of the 90s. The arrival of Jason Kidd out of Cal with the 2nd overall pick in the 1994 draft seemed to signify a step in the right direction, but his first stint in Dallas was short-lived and he left for Phoenix after two seasons. In that deal, the Mavericks acquired Michael Finley who carried the team through some lean years. Some wheeling and dealing at the 1998 NBA Draft allowed the Mavericks to pick up Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns and get a 7 foot tall power forward out of Germany named Dirk Nowitzki. The face of the franchise for nearly 20 years now, Nowitzki rejuvenated the franchise and took them to new heights.
Once again reaching the status of a perennial contender, the Nowitzki led Mavericks have reached the playoffs 15 times, with two appearances in the NBA Finals, including the franchise’s only championship, a 2011 victory over LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
The current team is in transition, trying to establish an identity for the future as Dirk Nowitzki’s career is winding down. It is looking more and more like this will be his final NBA season. In the meantime he is mentoring a new crew in Dallas. Via the NBA Draft, Dallas ended up with Luka Doncic (selected third overall), who they acquired via a trade with Atlanta. The Mavericks are very excited to get Doncic going in their system. Rick Carlisle believes he could be a foundation piece for their franchise. They also acquired rising star Tim Hardaway, Jr. from the New York Knicks via a mid-season trade.
Former greats of this franchise include Sam Perkins, Steve Nash, Brad Davis, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Michael Finley, Derek Harper, Rolando Blackman, and Mark Aguirre. For more information about the Dallas Mavericks click here.