Dallas Mavericks All Time Roster
STARTING LINEUP :
C. James Donaldson
P.F. Dirk Nowitzki
S.F. Mark Aguirre
S.G. Rolando Blackman
P.G. Derek Harper
C. Roy Tarpley
P.F. Sam Perkins
S.F. Michael Finley
S.G. Jason Terry
P.G. Jason Kidd
P.G. Steve Nash
S.F. Josh Howard
At center I picked James Donaldson. I hesitated between him and Perkins for quite some time but eventually picked him because he was a true center, contrary to Perk whose main position is PF. I’d also like to add that Tyson Chandler just can’t be mentioned in this roster despite the impact that he had on this team as he played only one year in Dallas. Anyway even if he wasn’t a superstar James is certainly the best true center that this franchise ever had. He was in a way the Chandler of the 80’s Mavs as he was the defensive anchor, the rebounding and shot blocking specialist of the team, surrounded by the stars who were Harper, Blackman and Aguirre. He was very important in that team and was even All Star in 1988. It is definitely in Dallas that James had the best years of his career.
I picked Roy Tarpley as his back up. At first I wondered if I would mention him at all because as talented as he was Roy did not play a lot and never reached the top of his potential because of all his injuries and cocaine problems, but he was still a very good player and had some terrific years in Dallas. It’s really a shame that he had all these problems but I think that he deserves to be mentioned here nonetheless, especially that not many good big men played in this franchise.
POWER FORWARDS :
At PF it is very clearly Dirk Nowitzki, definitely the best player that this franchise ever had. And the only one to lead the Mavs to a ring. His performance through the 2011 playoffs was just unbelievable, very few players were as efficient as he was during those playoffs, especially in the clutch. Dirk showed us that year that he was definitely one of the very best power forwards of the history of basketball.
I picked Sam Perkins as his back up. Sam is one of the first big men to be a true 3 pts shooting specialists. His clutch 3 pointers saved his teams many times.
(I could not find a video of Perk in his Mavs’ days so I picked this one from the 1991 NBA Finals)
SMALL FORWARDS :
Harper, Aguirre and Blackman are the first three great players that the Mavs had. They led their team to the WCF against the mighty Lakers in 88, and they almost beat them. They forced them to play a seventh game.
Mark Aguirre was a fantastic player, he became a key player of the Bad Boys after he left Dallas and helped them to win two rings.
Michael Finley was basically the only good player that the Mavs had after the departure of Kidd, Mashburn and Jackson (Finley was actually traded for Kidd) and before Dirk and Steve arrived and he was a key part of the early 2000’s team. He has to be mentioned here.
SHOOTING GUARDS :
Rolando Blackman is one of the best defenders ever, Jordan even said once that the player against whom he had the most troubles during his career was Rolando. That’s why he wasn’t happy when Blackman became a Knicks in 92, but the Knicks almost never used him.. He was truly a fantastic player in Dallas.
As his back up I picked Jason Terry. The Jet was the second best player of the team since Nash’s departure and until his departure for Boston, he was a very important part of the 2011 championship run. He was a PG in Atlanta, at the beginning of his career, but it is definitely in Dallas, as a SG, that he reached his best, he is a pure SG despite his size (just like Iverson). Just impossible not to have him as the back up SG.
POINT GUARDS :
Derek Harper is a very underrated player, never was All Star but would definitely have deserved to be. One of the very best players to never be All Star without a doubt. Derek was a great defender and playmaker. He happens to be my favorite PG ever. The impact he had on the Knicks when he joined New York is another example of his talent. He was even the most consistent Knicks during the 1994 Finals. Had the Knicks won he would have had a great chance to be finals MVP (it was between him and John Starks before game 7).
I picked Jason Kidd as his back up. Kidd is one of the greatest PGs ever and was overall definitely a better player than Harper, so at first it would seem logical to have him as the starting PG but it is just impossible ; as a matter of fact Kidd was simply never at his prime in Dallas. He started his career here, was Rookie Of the Year (with Grant Hill) but was thereafter quickly traded to Phoenix and only came back to Dallas once he was past his prime. He still has to be mentioned over Nash, as the back up PG in my opinion, cause he nonetheless had some great years in Dallas and was a very important part of the championship run. Besides Nash played for five years in Dallas (and reached his prime in around his third/fourth year) while Kidd played overall for about seven years as a Mavs. And despite not being at his prime yet at first, then being past his prime, Kidd still played at a very high level in all his Dallas years and was still All Star twice as a Mavs (just like Nash). And despite being already very good in Dallas, Nash simply was never as good as he was later in Phoenix. And he was never even close to Kidd defensively. So I just do not think a case can be made for Nash over Kidd as the back up PG.
11th & 12th SPOTS :
For the last two spots I picked Nash and Josh Howard. Steve Nash cannot be picked over Harper and Kidd (for the reasons I already gave) but he has to be mentioned in this roster nonetheless.
Many people seem to have already forgotten about him but Josh Howard was a very important player in his Dallas years. He’s versatile, good shooter, a good defender, and All Star. Has to be mentioned here as well. Let’s hope that he will one day get back to his best level.
Other players that deserve a mention are Jim Jackson, Jamal Mashburn, Jay Vincent, Lafayette « Fat » Lever or Popeye Jones (a poor man’s Rodman), but honestly none of them deserve to be mentioned over the other players I picked.