Dallas Mavericks Top 10 Countdown: Honorable Mention
Oct 8, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris warms up before a game with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks emerged as an excellent team in the NBA at about the same time the 21st century began. Since the Mavs are one of the better teams throughout this century, we decided to countdown the best players the franchise has had since 2000.
When the Dallas Mavericks franchise was added to the league in the year 1980, they were brought in as an expansion team. This expansion brought the NBA from 22 teams to 23 on their way to the current 30 team setup.
Although Dallas was pretty irrelevant the first couple years, they figured it out quick enough to make the 1984 NBA playoffs, only the 4th season for the franchise. The Mavs continued to play well in the 80’s before falling apart through the entire 90’s.
After that tough decade, the Mavs became relevant again by the year 2000 and made the playoffs in 2001. This is when the franchise really showed its relevance.
Because of the great teams the Mavericks were able to put on the court, the 21st century has proven to be full of skilled, hard-working, Mavs favorites. For that reason, we will be ranking the top 10 players since that time.
If you missed the original post, follow the link here to learn the criteria of the ranking. Here are those that just missed out on The Smoking Cuban’s Top 10.
One of the most dynamic Mavericks to ever step foot on the Mavs court was Jerry Stackhouse. Stack was such a consistent player for Dallas through his years, it was almost a guarantee that he would be ready each night for the game.
Stackhouse did not make the cumulative top 10 list for the staff, but he was on multiple individual lists. For that reason, we had to include him for the honorable mention portion of the list.
Stackhouse played in the NBA for 18 seasons from 1995-2013. He played for 8 different teams in that span, but spent 5 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 17 points on 40% shooting for his career. His best years were spent in Detroit where he was a two-time All-Star.
Apr 8, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) reacts after scoring during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Devin Harris is definitely deserving of some recognition in this countdown, especially considering the fact that he has had two stints with the Dallas Mavericks. In both cases, he has been a source of life for the Mavs with his energy and aggression.
When Harris first left, the Mavs moved ahead with Jason Kidd as the head of the team and it clearly paid off. Having Harris as the starting guard in the 2006 championship run was good but he was too young and inexperienced to make the difference that we needed from him. He was still a great asset though.
Devin Harris has spent 8 seasons with the Mavs but his best years came shortly after with the Nets. He has averaged 11.6 points and 4.4 assists per game over his 13 year career. Harris was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft.
Oct 3, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (left) and forward Dirk Nowitzki (right) watch their team take on the Charlotte Hornets during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Hard screens, attempted charges, and corner threes. These are the calling cards that defined the short career of Brian Cardinal. Although his game was often cringeworthy and his biggest claim to fame was a meme about him, “the Custodian” was a Mavs fan favorite.
His best known accomplishments really came during the Championship title run when Cardinal cheered harder than anyone from the bench. There is no denying that Cardinal brought energy and fun to the court and that others worried about there own safety when being guarded by him.
Brian Cardinal played for 6 different teams in his 12 year career. Aside from one excellent season in which he averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Golden State Warriors, Cardinal’s career was mostly forgettable. Still, through it all, the Mavs fans loved him and that is why he made the list.
Dec 19, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; NBA former player Eduardo Najera watches his alma mater the Oklahoma Sooners in action against the Creighton Bluejays during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Eduardo Najera is probably a pretty forgotten player for the Dallas Mavericks for anyone who wasn’t an avid fan right at the turn of the century, but he was a definite fan favorite during his time in Dallas.
Najera was drafted out of Oklahoma University in the 2000 NBA draft and made his debut with the Mavs that same year. Although he was not considered a skilled basketball player, he did enough of everything to give value to the Mavs.
Najera averaged only 4.7 points per game in his 5 seasons with Dallas and only 4.9 points in his career. He fouled hard and played harder in every game he played and the MFFLs adored him. He earned his spot in Mavs history, just not in the top 10.
Next up, we will cover the Number 10 Dallas Mavericks player of the 21st century. Stay tuned here at TheSmokingCuban.com.
More from The Smoking Cuban