Ranking the Top 25 Players in Dallas Mavericks History
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks' franchise has completed 33 seasons in the NBA, and it has been a wild ride for its players and fans alike. Proverbial peaks and valleys tend to dominate a given squad's history, and Dallas is no exception.
Many players have passed through the walls of Reunion Arena and the American Airlines Center, but some are more noteworthy than others.
From horrible 11- and 13-win seasons in back-to-back years (1992-93, '93-94) and missing 10 consecutive postseasons, the Mavericks have undergone their fair share of struggles and mediocrity.
But a steadily improving roster, led by legendary coach Don Nelson and eventually handed to Avery Johnson, ripped off a streak of 11 straight 50-win campaigns and 12 playoff berths in a row.
Two Dallas teams have had a shot at the ultimate prize—the Larry O'Brien Trophy—and the 2011 Mavericks were the first team in franchise history to clutch the golden basketball. Here are the top 25 players from those teams along the way to the upcoming 2012-13 season.
25. Jim Spanarkel, 1980-1983
Jim Spanarkel was a member of the inaugural Dallas Mavericks team, and he played 259 games throughout his short career.
Spanarkel's best NBA season came in his first year with Dallas; the Duke University product averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game from his small forward position.
24. Herb Williams, 1989-1992
Herb Williams spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Mavericks during his 18-year NBA career, and he made plenty of impact coming off the bench.
Williams tallied 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in 1990-91, and the 6'10" center nearly matched that season's performance with 11.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks the following year.
Williams' 346 blocks are the eighth-most in franchise history.
23. Terry Davis, 1991-1996
Terry Davis gave his two best NBA seasons of his 10-year career to the Mavericks.
Davis nearly averaged a double-double throughout the 1991-92 (10.2 points, 9.9 rebounds) and '92-93 (12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds) campaigns.
His 7.4 career rebounds per game ranks tenth-best all-time in Dallas.
22. Shawn Bradley, 1996-2005
Shawn Bradley must have been an annoying obstacle in the post.
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Shawn Bradley, "The Stormin' Mormon," played 582 games over nine seasons with the Mavs.
Standing 7'6", the Brigham Young University product was a defensive asset throughout his time in Dallas, and his franchise-leading 1,250 blocks prove it.
Bradley also collected the fourth-most rebounds (3,340) in Mavericks history.
21. Erick Dampier, 2004-2010
Erick Dampier had more than a few run-ins with Spurs' great Tim Duncan.
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Erick Dampier spent six seasons in Dallas and was a part of the Mavericks' first-ever finals-appearing team.
He consistently played around 24 minutes per game throughout his tenure with the team, and Dampier was always a factor on the offensive glass.
Dampier's 1,224 offensive boards are the fifth-most by a Dallas player and, his 3,211 total rebounds rank seventh-best in franchise history.
20. Detlef Schrempf, 1985-1989
Detlef Schrempf was selected with the eighth pick of the 1985 draft, and he played 264 games as a member of the Mavericks.
Schrempf achieved the majority of his NBA success elsewhere, but the 6'9" forward averaged 8.3 points and 3.4 rebounds during his time in Dallas.
If it's any consolation, he does win "best name" on this list, so there's that.
19. Devin Harris, 2004-2008; 2013
Devin Harris played a handful of seasons with Dallas early in his career.
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Dallas acquired the fifth pick of the 2004 draft, Wisconsin's Devin Harris, from the Washington Wizards, and he slowly developed into a serviceable NBA point guard.
Throughout his three-and-a-half seasons with Dallas, Harris' averages rose from 5.7 points and 2.2 assists to 13.8 points and 5.8 assists per game. He was awarded Rookie of the Month in November 2004.
Harris signed with the Mavericks this offseason and will have the chance to move up a few spots on this list.
18. Shawn Marion, 2009-Present
Shawn Marion is still an important part of the Mavericks.
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Shawn Marion was shipped to Dallas during the 2009 offseason, and the four-time All-Star accomplished something he hadn't yet done throughout his already impressive NBA career.
He finally won an NBA championship.
To this point, Marion has suited up for 285 games over four years with the Mavericks and has averaged double-digit scoring outputs every season.
Bonus: If Marion converts on his next four field goals, he will have a career 50 percent mark with the Mavericks.
17. Jerry Stackhouse, 2004-2009
Jerry Stackhouse was a valuable role player during his time in Dallas.
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Included in the Harris-to-Dallas trade was now-18-year veteran and once-prolific scorer Jerry Stackhouse.
Stackhouse played pieces of five seasons with the Mavericks, but his off-the-bench contributions were essential to a franchise vigorously searching for its first-ever championship.
The UNC product provided 12.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game from a shooting guard or small forward position.
16. Jamal Mashburn, 1994-1997
Dallas' front office has been really good at drafting decent players and shipping them off elsewhere within five years.
Jamal Mashburn falls in that category, too.
Mashburn was the fourth pick of the 1993 draft, and throughout 214 games with the Mavericks, he accounted for 19.9 points per game—third-best in franchise history.
Bonus: He earned a Player of the Week honor in December 1994.
15. Jim Jackson, 1992-1997
The Mavericks spent the fourth pick of the 1992 draft on Jim Jackson, and he stayed in Dallas for four-and-a-half productive seasons.
Jackson played 289 games in a Mavs uniform, and he was a top scorer on the team, peaking at 25.7 points per game during 1994-95.
His 19.6 points per game is the fifth-best in franchise history, and Jackson's 1,087 assists are the tenth-most by a Dallas player.
14. James Donaldson, 1985-1992
Acquired by the Mavericks via trade in 1985, James Donaldson became one of the best frontcourt players for Dallas.
Donaldson contributed approximately nine points and nine rebounds during each of his five seasons with the team. He currently holds the franchise-mark for most offensive boards (1,296), but Dirk Nowitzki (1,282) will more than likely pass Donaldson this season.
Otherwise, Donaldson has the second-most total rebounds and third-most blocks in franchise history.
13. Jay Vincent, 1981-1986
Jay Vincent played five full seasons with the Mavericks, and he provided plenty of both scoring and boards.
Vincent was a first-team All-Rookie selection as he averaged 21.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in his initial professional season.
Vincent's 16.9 points per game is the seventh-highest and 6,464 points are the 10th-most by a Dallas player.
Bonus: Vincent won three Rookie of the Month awards (December 1981, February and March 1982).
12. Roy Tarpley, 1986-1990; 1994-1995
Roy Tarpley is another case of potential never quite reached due to off-the-court issues.
After missing three years, Tarpley's career, unfortunately, ended unceremoniously as he was banned from the league for violating substance abuse policies a second time.
But while in the league, Tarpley won the 1987-88 Sixth Man of the Year, a Player of the Week award in February 1988, and is the only Mavericks' player average 10.0 rebounds per game during his time in Dallas.
He also contributed 12.6 points per game and swatted the ninth-most shots in franchise history.
11. Josh Howard, 2003-2010
Josh Howard was never afraid to show his emotions.
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Josh Howard spent the first six-and-a-half seasons in a Mavericks' uniform, and he simply improved every year. From 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest during 2003-04 to 19.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in 2007-08, Howard became an offensive force for Dallas.
Howard was the recipient of back-to-back Player of the Week awards in December 2006 and was an All-Star later in the season (2007).
He certainly left his mark in the Dallas record book with the eighth-most three-pointers, ninth-most points and tenth-most steals.
10. Sam Perkins, 1984-1990
Sam Perkins spent 17 years in the NBA, and his first six seasons were with the Mavericks organization.
Perkins averaged about 14 points and eight rebounds per year in Dallas, and he earned first-team All-Rookie honors.
The 6'9 power forward is all over the Mavericks' career lists, though. Perkins ranks third in total rebounds, eighth in points, sixth in blocks and ninth in steals.
9. Steve Nash, 1998-2004
As a member of the Mavericks, Steve Nash had his first great season of his NBA career.
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Steve Nash came off the bench in a limited role during his first two NBA seasons, but with the Mavericks, he evolved into the fantastic shooter and passer he is today.
Nash originally had a few mediocre seasons in Dallas before tallying a then-career-best stat line of 17.9 points and 7.7 assists during 2001-02.
Sandwiched between stints with the Phoenix Suns, Nash tallied 2,919 assists throughout his six seasons in Texas.
8. Brad Davis, 1980-1992
Brad Davis' skills, fortunately for the Mavs, were not limited to growing a stellar mustache.
Davis was a member of the first Dallas roster, and he spent the final 12 years of his NBA career in a Mavericks' uniform.
The University of Maryland produce was never a big-time scorer, but Davis sure could sling the ball around the court. He compiled the second-most assists and ranks sixth-best in the steals category.
Davis played a major role bringing the Mavericks to relevancy and clinching five consecutive playoff berths.
7. Jason Terry, 2004-2012
Jason Terry played an integral role in Dallas' 2011 championship.
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Jason Terry emerged as a scoring threat with the Atlanta Hawks, and he continued his contributions in Dallas, too.
Terry ranks sixth on the Mavericks' scoring list, has the fifth-most steals and dished the seventh-most assists.
He won the 2008-09 Sixth Man of the Year award and was a key component of the 2011 championship team. Most impressively, however, Terry predicted Dallas' championship as he had the Larry O'Brien Trophy tattooed on his bicep the offseason before the Mavs' championship run.
6. Jason Kidd, 1994-1996; 2008-2012
Jason Kidd made the most of his second stint with the Mavs.
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Jason Kidd broke into the league with Dallas, and after stints with the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey, Kidd returned to the Mavericks.
Kidd was a more dynamic player early in his career, but his second go-round with Dallas involved an NBA title.
He played 19 professional seasons, including seven years with the Mavericks. Kidd averaged 34.6 minutes and 8.4 assists per game, grabbed the third-most steals and the tenth-most rebounds.
Kidd won a championship, was chosen as Rookie of the Year and was named to two All-Star teams during his two stints in Dallas.
5. Michael Finley, 1996-2005
Michael Finley narrowly missed Dallas' title appearance in 2006.
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Michael Finley was a sheer minutes-eater for the Mavericks, and he could put the biscuit in the basket.
Finley's 24,878 minutes are the fourth-most by a Dallas player, and his big-time scoring (12,389 points) narrowly missed the fourth-best spot on the franchise list.
The University of Wisconsin product spent enough years with Dallas that he even ranks fifth-best on the total rebounds list.
Finley made two All-Star games, won Player of the Week twice and added a Player of the Month honor.
4. Derek Harper, 1984-1994; 1996-1997
Derek Harper spent 10.5 seasons in Dallas, and he passed his way to the top of the franchise's assist leaderboard.
Harper is the only player to have more than 5,000 assists during his time with the Mavericks, and he ranks fourth in points scored.
The 6'4" point guard also accounted for 1,551 steals—easily the most in Dallas' history—and was named to two NBA All-Defensive teams.
3. Rolando Blackman, 1981-1992
Rolando Blackman played 11 full seasons as a Maverick, and shooting was certainly his forte.
Blackman converted on 49.7 percent of his attempts during his tenure in Dallas, and the 6'6" shooting guard tallied 19.2 points per game. He also ranks eighth in total rebounds, bringing down 3,083 errant shots.
Blackman made four All-Star rosters and was a member of the Mavericks' first six playoff teams.
2. Mark Aguirre, 1981-1989
A teammate of Blackmon's, Mark Aguirre was one of the Mavericks' first great players, and he is just one spot away from being the best in franchise history.
Dallas selected Aguirre with the first pick of the 1981 draft, and he did not disappoint during his seven-and-a-half years on the team.
Aguirre never averaged less than 22.4 points per game, and he appeared in three All-Star games as a member of the Mavericks.
Aguirre dropped 13,930 points, dished 2,163 steals and grabbed 502 steals—each of which ranks in the franchise's top 10 lists.
1. Dirk Nowitzki, 1998-Present
Smile on, Dirk, the trophy is yours.
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With 12 All-NBA team selections, 11 All-Star appearances, a Most Valuable Player award, 15 Player of the Weeks and six Player of the Months, Nowitzki is undoubtedly the best player to ever suit up for Dallas.
Plus, Dirk has never donned another uniform other than that of the Mavericks.
He has contributed 22.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game for the entirety of his career, and Nowitzki led Dallas to the 2011 championship.
Nowitzki has scored the most points, grabbed the most rebounds, dished the fourth-most assists, nabbed the second-most steals and blocked the second-most shots.
Yeah, he's done all right, hasn't he?