The Curious Case Of The Dallas Mavericks

Tyler PollardCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

DALLAS - MAY 11:  Forward Dirk Nowtizki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after scoring to take a two-point lead against the Denver Nuggets in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 11, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Do you remember in 2006, when the Dallas Mavericks were in the NBA Finals (for the first time in franchise history)? 

Do you remember in 2007, when the Dallas Mavericks had the best record in the NBA at 67-15 (the eighth best record in NBA history, and the best record this decade)? 

Do you remember in 2008, when the Dallas Mavericks finished 51-31 (their worst record since the 1999-00 season)? 

I know everyone remembers in 2009, when the Dallas Mavericks finished 52-30, earned the sixth seed in the Western Conference and went on to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round in five games (the first time advancing in the playoffs since their Western Conference Finals against the Suns). Then, unfortunately, they got beat up by the Denver Nuggets in five games. 

Despite a roller coaster type path of the last four years, Mavericks fans always seem to have faith in their Mavericks, being in the top five in attendance all four years. 

Though Dallas fans are some of the best in the game, most of them are wondering if the Mavericks can be a contender like they were in 2006 and 2007. 

Well, over the summer the Mavericks tried to improve their roster by getting electric forward Shawn Marion in a sign-and-trade. 

Lets have a look at the 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks: 


Owner: Mark Cuban 

Mark Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon. 

Cuban's first order of business was at age 12, when he sold garbage bags in order to pay for an expensive pair of basketball shoes. While in school, Cuban had a variety of jobs, ranging from bartender to party prompter, to even being a disco dance instructor. 

Rather than attend high school for his senior year, Cuban enrolled as a full time student at the University of Pittsburgh. After one year there he transferred to Indiana University. Cuban spent his last three years there before graduating in 1981 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. 

In 1982, after graduating, Cuban moved to Dallas and found work as a bartender. Then Cuban became a salesman for Your Business Software, one of the first PC Software retailers in Dallas. Less than a year later Cuban was terminated after meeting a client to procure new business. 

After his termination Cuban started his own PC Software retailing company, Micro Solutions, with support from his customers at Your Business Software. The company was an early proponent of technologies such as Carbon Copy, Lotus Notes, and CompuServe. One of the company's largest clients was Perot Systems. In 1990, Cuban sold Micro Solutions to CompuServe for $6 million. He retained $2 million after taxes. 

In 1995, Cuban and former Indiana University alumnus Todd Wagner started Audio-net, combining their mutual interest in college basketball and web casting with a single server and ISDN line. In 1998 Audio-net became One year later had grown to 330 employees and $13.5 million in revenue. In 1999 during the Dot-com boom era, was acquired by Yahoo! from Cuban for a whopping $5.9 billion in stock. 

On January 15, 2000, Cuban purchased the majority stake of the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million. In the 20 years before Cuban bought the team it had a combined winning percentage of 40 percent. Since then Dallas has a winning percentage of 69 percent and went to the NBA Finals in 2006. 


GM: Donnie Nelson 

Nelson grew up in a basketball orientated childhood, being the son of future Hall Of Fame coach Don Nelson (who currently coaches the Warriors). 

Since 1990, Donnie has served as a assistant coach for the Lithuania national basketball team. In that span, he has helped them win three bronze medals in four Olympiads, a silver medal in the 1995 European Championships, and a gold medal in the 2003 European Championships.  

In 1994, Nelson served as a Scout for USA Basketball at the World Championships in Toronto. Dream Team II went undefeated that year on its way to capturing the gold medal. 

In 1995, Nelson was hired as assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns. Nelson coached under Paul Westphal, and got to coach players like Charles Barkley and the late Wayman Tisdale. 

In 1998, Nelson came to Dallas after three years with Phoenix. Nelson served as assistant coach under Don Nelson (who is his dad). In 2002, Nelson was promoted to GM of the Dallas Mavericks. Nelson has held the position since then, leading the Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006.

The Good:

Dallas selected forward Josh Howard (29th overall pick) in the star studded 2003 NBA Draft.

Howard, who was an All-Star in 2007, has been a steal for the Dallas Mavericks. In his six year career he has made game-winning shots and averaged a career 15.5 PPG.

The Mavericks signed Shawn Marion to a five-year, $39 million contract in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors, Grizzlies, and Magic.

Marion is a fast break waiting to happen, which should also complement Jason Kidd's elite passing vision. He can also help out the Mavericks defense with his outstanding hustle and play. 

The Bad: