When talking about the best players ever for certain franchises, a lot of times fans could get conflicted on a handful of players. For other teams it’s a lot different, because both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls have no problem telling you who their all time best player is. Though the Mavs have a clear best player, they have a bright future ahead of them with future generational talent.
Who Are the Best Dallas Mavericks Players of All Time? Without a doubt, the answer to who is the best Maverick, is surely Dirk Nowitzki. The German native was one of the most loyal players in league history, choosing to stick with the Mavericks throughout his entire career even during bad stretches. He also helped lead them to a miraculous championship that will go down as one of the most impressive ever.
Before we dive deeper into Nowitzki’s impact on the city of Dallas, we should also take a look at other top players in franchise history that have changed their organization for the better.
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Dirk Nowitzki changed the game for a lot of future players. I think the biggest thing for him was his loyalty. It was really rare for a player to be as talented as he was and yet stick with the team that drafted him for 15 plus years. That is just insane and unheard of nowadays but we have seen other players follow in his footsteps because of it. Guys like Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo don’t want to leave the teams that gave them a shot in this league either and know that it’s possible to win because of Nowitzki.
Dirk also paved the way for international players. At the time, it was pretty rare for players outside of the United States to get themselves drafted and even if they did, it wasn’t a guarantee that they would stick on a team for long. Dirk showed that there is serious talent out there and now we see international players like Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Giannis dominating the league. Who knows how different the league would be today without Dirk and his impact on the NBA as a whole.
A Team of Talented Point Guards
There are a few teams out there that seriously can’t catch a break when it comes to drafting or signing a talented point guard. The Mavericks never had any problem with this in their history. This team was able to host both Jason Kidd and Steve Nash during their excellent careers in the league. They also held onto Jason Terry and won a championship with him. We can’t forget about Derek Harper either.
All of these players tremendously impacted the success of this Dallas squad and is a pretty major reason that they have only had two losing seasons since Mark Cuban took over in 2000. Point guards are the leader of an offense nine times out of ten, and having somebody who can score whenever they want, and pass the ball at a high level just works wonders for a team. I don’t know if Dallas has that many winning seasons without so much intelligence and knowledge being shared from just their point guards alone. I am sure players like Nash and Kidd impacted the careers of younger players on the Dallas team just by being great leaders as well. In terms of production, Kidd played eight seasons with them and averaged 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game. Meanwhile, Nash played in six seasons and put up 14.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per contest.
Sadly, Cuban let Nash walk in free agency where he eventually became one of the best point guards to ever play the game and dominated the league during his stint with the Phoenix Suns. Nevertheless, those Mavericks years saw him put up incredible numbers for his age and were crucial to his development.
Where It All Started
It’s hard to look at the Dallas Mavericks best players and not even mention Mark Aguirre. He may not be as recognizable to fans today, but Mark Aguirre was one of the first true superstars that the organization had on their roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics were dominating the game when he was in the league so he wasn’t able to win championships. However, he was a tremendous leader on this roster and averaged 24.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He was selected to the All-Star team three different times and was the only thing keeping them in contention year after year. Unfortunately, he was traded away to the Detroit Pistons and won two championships, but his time with Dallas will be a time for the history books of the organization.
The future looks incredibly bright for the Dallas Mavericks right now. It has only taken a couple of years for fans of the franchise to pencil in Luka Doncic as an all-time player in their history. Doncic came over to the United States from Slovenia and has been playing professional basketball since he was an early teenager. As a rookie he was posting numbers that seem completely unheard of for a first-year player. He was a leader straight out of the gates and was seemingly impossible to guard. Not to mention that he is one of the clutchest players that we have in the NBA at the moment.
The Mavericks just seem to have a knack for finding phenomenal talent from overseas. They had Dirk Nowitzki for 21 years, had a ton of winning seasons and won a championship. Then, during the year of Dirk’s retirement they found a way to nab Doncic and have him instantly take over as their next superstar player and face of the franchise. I don’t expect this team to get rid of him anytime soon either. If he keeps playing up to his potential, and can stay healthy, there is nothing stopping him from surpassing Dirk on that mantle of best franchise player, that is, unless he doesn’t possess Dirk’s unshakeable loyalty.