Since beginning play in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks have seen their share of ups and downs, with their good days coming in the mid to late '80s and for the past decade. Aside from that, they've struggled mightily, which includes their first few years in the league, as well as the 1990s.
For much of the '80s, the Mavericks remained competitive in the Western Conference, coming within a game of the NBA Finals in 1988. The core of Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Derek Harper, James Donaldson and Sam Perkins helped Dallas qualify for the playoffs six times in seven years from 1983-90.
After a terrible run in the '90s which included teams that won 11 and 13 games in 1992-93 and 1993-94, respectively, the Mavericks' fortunes changed when a billionaire entrepreneur came in and took control of the franchise.
On January 4, 2000, current owner Mark Cuban purchased a majority stake in the team, forever changing its fortunes. Since 2000-01, the Mavericks have made it to the playoffs every season, with their best showing being an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2006.
During their recent run of success, Dirk Nowitzki has been the one constant, receiving help along the way from great players like Steve Nash and Michael Finley, including current teammates like Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler.
For the record, these rankings are based only on the player's years in Dallas, not his career as a whole. On top of that, longevity is an important factor in determining who made the list.
And, now, the Mavs are once again in position to make it back to the NBA Finals. With home-court advantage in the upcoming Western Conference Finals, they will take on either Memphis or Oklahoma City for the a chance to compete for the championship.