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Top Ten Dallas Mavericks of All-Time

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We’ve hit the dog days of the NBA summer.  All the big name free agents have been snatched up.  Summer league is over.  Training camps are still months away.  So, now is the perfect time to reminisce a bit.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Dallas Mavericks.

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Don from With Malice and Philip from Orlando Magic Daily.

10) James Donaldson – Dallas Mavericks – 1985 – 1992

Mavericks accomplishments:

- Mavericks all-time leader in career offensive rebounds
- led NBA in games played in 1986/87 & 1990/91
- NBA All-Star
- fifth all-time in career field goal % in the NBA

“Despite playing less than 500 games in a Mavs jersey, Donaldson is the team’s all-time leading offensive rebounder and made an All-Star team.  Not bad for a fourth round draft pick.” – Jeff Fox

9) Brad Davis – Dallas Mavericks – 1980 – 1992

Mavericks accomplishments:

- led NBA in games played in 1984/85 & 1986/87

Davis was pretty average in his first three seasons in the NBA. But once he became a Maverick he became a pretty solid player (a good one by Mavericks standards). He scored 11 or more points per game in his first four years with Dallas. Before that, he never averaged more than six points per game.” – Philip

8) Josh Howard – Dallas Mavericks – 2003 – 2010

Mavericks accomplishments:

- NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team selection

“A once promising career seems to have vanished in a puff of smoke (get it – that was a joke!).” – Jeff Fox

7) Jason Kidd – Dallas Mavericks – 1994 – 1996, 2008 – present

Mavericks accomplishments:

- two-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team selection

“I am a big fan of framing. Hard to remember Kidd started his career – and won Rookie of the Year – with Dallas in the mid-90s. Everyone knew it was the start of something special when he nearly put up 10 assists per game in his second and third seasons. He is now ending his career in Dallas and the swan song is just as beautiful. Kidd is as close to a triple-double machine as we may see in NBA history. He has been pretty good the last two-and-a-half years in Dallas, leading the Mavericks to the second-best record in the West last year.” – Philip

“Unfortunately for Mavericks fans, they never got the best version of Jason Kidd.  They had him early in his career before he fully developed into a superstar, and at the tail end, when he is a shell of his former self (a productive shell, but a shell nonetheless).” – Jeff Fox

6) Derek Harper – Dallas Mavericks – 1983 – 1994

Mavericks accomplishments:

- Mavericks all-time leader in assists & steals
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84, 1984/85, 1989/90 & 1993/94
- two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“By the mid-80s, Harper had established himself as one of the premier point guards in the NBA.  He’s top five in Dallas all-time scoring, and number one in steals and assists.” – Don

“He probably is best remembered as part of the rough-and-tumble Knicks of the early 1990s, but in the Big D is where Harper really made a name for himself.” – Jeff Fox

5) Michael Finley – Dallas Mavericks – 1996 – 2005

Mavericks accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1996/97, 1997/98 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1997/98, 1990/00, 2000/01
- NBA leader in minutes played per game in 1997/98, 1990/00 & 2000/01
- two-time NBA All-Star

“Finley was the third head in the three-headed monster that revived Dallas basketball and brought in the Mark Cuban era. Finley seemed to be the only traditional player in the bunch. Hard to remember that he was a 6-foot-7 swing player who could jump out of the gym. He seemed to always be the steadying force for those Mavericks teams and then (unceremoniously) the first one of the three Dallas was willing to give up.” – Philip

“Dallas’ workhorse – Finley always suited up and always played big minutes.  Nice to see he got a ring once he left Dallas.” – Jeff Fox

4) Mark Aguirre – Dallas Mavericks – 1981 – 1989

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Mavericks accomplishments

- NBA leader in field goals (made & attempted) in 1983/84
- three-time NBA All-Star

“Starting with the 82/83 season, three-time All Star Mark Aguirre ran through six straight seasons where he scored 22 ppg or better – and for seasons above 25 ppg.  Aguirre also averaged nearly four assists, and nearly six rebounds per.  In the 1983/84 season, Aguirre was the key to Dallas’s rise to prominence in the West, scoring 29.5 ppg and taking them to their first ever trip to the playoffs.  His 24.6 ppg average is the leading per game average for the Mavs.” – Don

“Yet another player who is better known for his time spent after Dallas – Aguirre was a scoring threat off the bench for the champion Pistons in the late 80s-early 90s.  But Dallas is where Aguirre got his start and he really put up some ridiculous scoring numbers.” – Jeff Fox

3) Steve Nash – Dallas Mavericks – 1998 – 2004

Mavericks accomplishments

- two-time NBA All-Star
- two-time All-NBA Team selection

“It is wrongly thought by many that Steve Nash was an ordinary player before getting to Phoenix the second time around – the Suns run-and-gun system is the only reason he is an above average player.  Well, two All-Star and All-NBA selections while with Dallas says that those critics are wrong (as critics often are – except for me, of course).” Jeff Fox

“Like Nowitzki, Nash pushed the Mavericks to new heights. The spunky young point guard from Santa Clara, by way of Canada, matured in his time in Dallas. Under Nelson’s breakneck style, Nash was given the free reign to run the team the way he wanted and push the pace. With a unique talent like Dirk running with him, it made Dallas a fixture atop the NBA standings.” – Philip

2) Rolando Blackman – Dallas Mavericks – 1981 – 1992

 Mavericks accomplishments

- four-time NBA All-Star
- two-time All-NBA Team selection

“Four All-Star berths, and part of six playoff-bound Maverick teams, Blackman is also second on the all time scorers list (only behind Nowitzki).  He was the leader on that list for 18 years.” – Don

“He is perhaps (other than Dirk) the one Maverick lifer. The ninth pick in the 1981 Draft played 11 years in Dallas. The Mavericks history is not full of fantastic seasons, but Blackman was on the few that were pretty good before Nowitzki’s arrival. He averaged 32.8 points per game in the 1985 NBA Playoffs (albeit in four games). And it was not like he was hogging the ball. He also had 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game during that short postseason appearance. Pretty good for a little known player who had a career average of 18.0 points per game.” - Philip 

1) Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks – 1998 – present

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Mavericks accomplishments

- Mavericks all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals (made & attempted), three-pointers (made & attempted, free throws (made & attempted), defensive & total rebounds and points
- NBA MVP
- nine-time NBA All-Star
- 10-time All-NBA selection

“Not only by far the best Maverick of all-time, Nowitzki is also the best foreign-born, foreign-trained player to ever suit up for an NBA team.” – Jeff Fox

“About as much of a statistical no-brainer as there is.  Not even to mention his MVP award, nine All-Star games, and 10 All-NBA team appearances.” – College Wolf

“When you hear “Dallas Mavericks”, one of two people come to mind, and Dirk’s the non-billionaire’s face you’re thinking of.  Easily the best to play the game in a Dallas uniform, Nowitzki’s played an impressive 920 games as a Mav, amassing 23 ppg.  Dirk’s been at Dallas since he first came to the NBA 13 years ago, and he has a veritable laundry list of accolades.  MVP, nine time All-Star, 10 times All-NBA, and of course… Mark’s BFF.” – Don

Dallas’ history is not so good. Dirk Nowitzki has been the face of the Mavericks during its most successful stint. Credit Don Nelson for making such an incredible find. Nowitzki has redefined how NBA minds think about the big man. Before him there were very few 7-footers who could think about shooting threes. But one who could not only post up, but consistently drain long-range shots without being a huge liability on defense? Preposterous!” – Philip 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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