Top 10 Players to Play for the Mavericks
Here we go – another list (they never get old, do they?). Last week it was the Dallas Stars and the best players to ever wear the sweater. This time around it’s the Dallas Mavericks, who have had their share of top NBA talent come through, even if some of them were for just one season or even only a handful of games. These aren’t the best Mavericks of all-time, per say; rather these are the best NBA players to ever don the Mavs uniform (even for one game).
The top Mav is easy to pick out. But do you remember some of these others?
No. 1 Dirk Nowitzki – This is a no-brainer. Dirk has a ring (with a Finals MVP), an NBA MVP, and has been named to the All-NBA second team four times. But his calling card is his scoring and no player to don the Mavs jersey has ever filled it up like Dirk. He currently has 25,938 career points at age 36, ranking him 13th all-time in NBA history. Should he mirror his second half of this season with the first, he should be in 10th by the end of the campaign, passing Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins and John Havlicek. If he averages 1,500 points per season (which is below his career average, by the way), he should reach the 30,000-point mark when he is 39, and would rank him sixth all-time, with only Kareem, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain ahead of him. If he plays until he is 40 and maintains that conservative estimate, he could easily reach fourth-place, in all time NBA scoring.
Here’s where it got interesting. Dirk was easy for No. 1. And No. 2 wasn’t that difficult to identify as well.
No. 2 Dennis Rodman – He only played in 11 games for the Mavericks in 2000, but it only takes one appearance to qualify for this list. Rodman’s career body of work is ridiculous – seven-time All-Defensive First Team, including Defensive Player of the Year twice; NBA Hall of Famer, and averaged 7.3 rebounds per game for his career. Oh, and he has FIVE championship rings; only 10 other players have more. Rodman’s overall impact on the Mavericks was probably one of the lowest on the all-time roster, but his NBA career is one of the best.
No. 3 Steve Nash – I’ve always loved him as a player; ask my wife how mad I was with Mark Cuban when he let him walk in 2004. I said it was a huge mistake and I was right (for once). Nash was great as a Mav but went to the next level in his second stint with the Suns. He won the NBA MVP award twice, is an eight-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA First Team three times (and the Second Team twice). Nash has also led the league five times in assists (he ranks fourth all-time and is still playing). He’s only missing a championship ring.
No. 4 Jason Kidd – It’s almost unfair to rank Kidd this low on an all-time list, but Nash’s two MVPs edged him out. Kidd does have one championship though (a big one – in Dallas), and was a 10-time All-Star. He was also named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team four times. Kidd was co-Rookie-of-the-Year (with Grant Hill) and led the NBA in assists five times. The Mavs found out the hard way what life was like without a point guard when he left for the Knicks in 2012.
No. 5 Alex English – I had the pleasure of being on the Mavs’ PR team the one season that English was a Maverick (1990-91). He was a true gentleman and was a pro in every sense of the word. English racked up 25,613 points, which ranks 14th all-time, averaging 21.5 points-per-game. He’s rightfully in the NBA Hall of Fame. English’s best years were as a Denver Nugget but his final season in the NBA came right here in Dallas.
No. 6 Adrian Dantley – I hate putting him in front of Aguirre, but his body of work is simply better. Dantley was a six-time All-Star, was the 1977 Rookie-of-the-Year (with Buffalo), and his 23,177 career points rank him 25th all-time (that’s 24.3 points-per-game). He was also named to the All-NBA Second Team twice. Aguirre got Dantley’s rings in Detroit when they were traded for each other in 1989.
No. 7 Mark Aguirre – The Mavs’ first-ever bonafide star, he was the No. 1 overall pick by Dallas in 1981. Aguirre went on to score 18,458 points, averaging 20.0 points-per-game. He was a three-time All-Star and won two championships with Detroit as his career was beginning to wind down. Perhaps he would rank higher had he been able to get the Mavericks over the hump in 1988 in the Western Conference Finals vs. the Lakers. But the man could score when he wanted to.
No. 8 Tim Hardaway – His best years came when he broke into the league with Golden State and “Run TMC” with Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullen. Hardaway finished with 15,173 career points (17.3 points-per-game) and 7,095 assists (8.2 per-game). He also added 1,428 steals. Hardaway was a five-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA First Team once (and three times to the Second Team). The killer crossover was his signature and he was lethal back in the early 90s with it.
No. 9 Vince Carter — Carter has quietly has scored 22,702 career points (currently ranking 26th all-time). He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star, was Rookie-of-the-Year, as well as Slam Dunk champion. Carter has averaged 20.5 points-per-game in his career, including averaging over 25 points in four different seasons. No championships on his resume yet. I originally had him out of the top-10 when initially writing names down. But a closer look pushed him in.
Tie for No. 10 Rolando Blackman – Ro Blackman was about as smooth a shooter as you would ever find in the NBA. One of only two players to have their number retired by the Mavericks, Blackman scored 17,623 career points, averaging 18.0 points-per-game. He was a four-time All-Star and should have won the 1987 All-Star Game MVP when he tied the game for the West with clutch free throws in the final seconds of the fourth quarter and sending it to OT (instead home-town favorite Tom Chambers got the honor). If there were a list for top gentleman to ever play for Dallas, he would be No. 1.
Tie for No. 10 A.C. Green – Green wasn’t about being the top player on his team; he was all about winning. And he did win. Green has three NBA championship rings, all coming with the Lakers. He’s best known for holding the NBA ironman record for consecutive games played at 1,192. Green led the Lakers in rebounding in six of his eight years with the team.
Derek Harper: 16,006 career points, 6,577 assists (5.5 avg.), twice All-Defense Second Team. (My personal all-time favorite Maverick).
Sam Perkins: 15,324 career points, 7,666 reb (6.0 avg. per-game).
Michael Finley: 17,306 points (15.7 points-per-game), two-time All-Star.