First of all, this was all brought to light by several current NBA stars listing their own individual Mount Rushmores.
First to make the statement was LeBron James:
Several other NBA stars voiced their opinions, most notably was Kevin Durant:
Durant was asked for his Mount Rushmore. Goes with Jordan, Magic, Bird and Kareem.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 14, 2014
Putting together the Dallas Mavericks’ Mount Rushmore was no simple task. The franchise has endured many ups and downs throughout its existence, but there certainly has not been a shortage of great players that have suited up for the Mavs at one time or another.
The criteria I used for picking the four players to make the famous monument were based upon a combination of career stats as a Maverick, overall impact on the franchise and each player's individual Maverick legacy.
Just Off the List
As it was a tough call narrowing it down to just four players, there were bound to be several deserving people left off the list.
The guys that were taken into consideration but left off the list included players: Jason Terry, Derek Harper and Michael Finley; as well as current Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle. All of these great Mavericks have outstanding resumes, each one different from the other, but none were quite as strong as the four Mavericks that made the final monument.
The Mount Rushmore of the Dallas Mavericks
As one of the greatest point guards of all-time, Jason Kidd certainly left his mark in Dallas. He has compiled a laundry list of accomplishments throughout his career, but—in his eight seasons as a Maverick—Kidd was a three-time NBA All-Star, Rookie of the Year in 1995 and guided the team to its only NBA championship in the 2010-2011 season.
While in Dallas, Kidd averaged 10.5 points, 8.4 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. He was a triple-double machine. He has the third-most triple-double games in history with a whopping 107 throughout his career.
There are several great Mavericks players that could have taken this spot on the monument. What sets Kidd apart is his role in the 2011 NBA title run. His ability to find people in the right spots, hit big shots and play solid defense all amounted to him providing the key ingredient in the Mavericks’ only NBA championship.
Rolando Blackman is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Mavericks uniform. Up until Dirk Nowitzki came to Dallas, Blackman was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. He was a four-time All-Star and a two-time All-NBA selection.
Blackman was one of the great shooters in the league during his day and led six Dallas playoff teams. He averaged 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game throughout his career with the Mavs.
His jersey is one of only two retired in the rafters of the American Airlines Center. Blackman was a leader and an all-time great Maverick. Without question, he belongs on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore.
Since beginning play in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks franchise has been very up-and-down and inconsistent. That all changed on January 4, 2000 when current owner, Mark Cuban, purchased a majority stake in the team.
After the 2001 season when Cuban took over, the Mavericks made the playoffs 12 years in a row. The streak ended just last year, in the 2013 season, when the Mavs missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The team’s best finishes were in 2006, where they lost in the NBA finals and in 2011 where they won their first championship.
The bashful multi-billionaire has done wonders for the franchise, and has not allowed the team to accept mediocrity. Although not everyone outside of Dallas loves all of Cuban's antics, true Mavericks fans will be forever grateful for the job he has done as one of the best owners in the NBA. A Mavericks Mount Rushmore without Cuban would be just wrong.
Dirk Nowitzki is undoubtedly the best Dallas Maverick of all-time. He is the Mavericks’ all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals (made & attempted), three-pointers (made & attempted), free throws (made & attempted), total rebounds and points.
Dirk won the NBA MVP in 2007, is a 12-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA selection. In the Mavericks’ great run in the last 10 years, Nowitzki has been the unquestioned leader and captain, leading the team to the NBA finals in 2006 and an NBA title in 2011.
So far in his career, the “Big German” has averaged 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his 16 seasons in Dallas, but he's not done yet.
There’s not much more you can say about Dirk; he is the unquestioned face of the franchise. Not only is he the best Maverick of all-time, he is the best foreign-born player to ever play in the NBA. Without a doubt, Dirk belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the Dallas Mavericks.