With the NBA Playoffs nearing their conclusion with the Conference Finals underway, I thought I’d take a look at each of the teams’ all-time starting lineups.
Highlighting the top players in each franchise’s history, the all-time lineup was created using players individual accolades as well as team success during each players’ stint. Beginning with this year’s non-playoff teams and finishing up with this season’s 16 postseason participants, here are the Dallas Mavericks’ all-time starters.
Guard: Rolando Blackman 1981-92
The former all-time leading scorer in team history, Blackman played 11 seasons in Dallas, making the postseason six times.
During the 1983-84 season, Blackman helped the Mavericks make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and was named an All-Star for the first time in 1985. After two more All-Star selections in 1986 and 1987, he helped lead Dallas to their first division title in 1987 and their first conference finals appearance in 1988. After another All-Star nod in 1990, Blackman was traded to New York two years later. Following retirement, his No. 22 jersey was retired by the Mavericks in 2000.
Guard: Jason Terry 2004-12
One of the top three-point shooters in NBA history (5th most makes in history), Terry played a pivotal role on perennial Mavericks playoff teams during his eight years in Dallas.
After helping the team reach the Finals in 2006 and win the Southwest Division in 2007, Terry took home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award for the 2008-09 season. Terry then helped the Mavs win the division again in 2010 before winning the 2011 NBA championship.
Forward: Mark Aguirre 1981-89
During his seven plus seasons in Dallas, Aguirre was a star of the team’s early days, making the All-Star Game in 1984, 1987 and 1988.
During his tenure, the Mavericks made the postseason five times, winning their first division title in 1987 and reaching the conference finals in 1988.
Forward: Dirk Nowitzki 1998-19
Playing his entire 21-year career in Dallas, Dirk led the team to new heights, reaching the playoffs 15 times while advancing to two NBA Finals.
A 14-time All-Star, Nowitzki led the Mavericks out of the dark days of the 1990s to becoming a perennial contender. He led the franchise to the NBA Finals in 2006, before putting the team on his back to claim the 2011 NBA championship over the heavily favored Miami Heat, winning the Finals MVP in the process.
The 2007 NBA MVP, Dirk is also a 12-time All-NBA selection (four First Team, five Second Team, three Third Team) and one of just seven players in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.
Nowitzki retired after the 2018-19 season after a league record 21 seasons with one franchise, and will surely look forward to Hall of Fame induction in 2022.
Center: Roy Tarpley 1986-91, 1994-95
Tarpley burst onto the scene during his 1986-87 rookie season, helping the Mavericks win their first division title and being named to the All-Rookie First Team. The following season, he helped Dallas reach the conference finals while being selected as the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
After three more seasons of playoff basketball with the Mavs, Tarpley was banned from the league until he returned for the 1994-95 campaign, but after another violation, he was permanently banned from the league.