The Forgotten Dallas Mavericks: Sam Perkins
By Kohl Rast
Part three of my multiple part series looking back at some of the old time Dallas Mavericks who have been overlooked or forgotten. Today’s focus is on former Tar Heel big man, drafted by the Mavs in 1984, Sam Perkins.
In the early 1980’s, the Dallas Mavericks were still a very new franchise looking for their first big break. After the draft bust in the year 1980, when Dallas drafted CoCo Vandeweghe’s uncle who subsequently refused to play for Dallas, the Mavs started firing on all cylinders in the draft. In 1981, they landed Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman in the first round, and Jay Vincent in the second.
In 1983, Dallas drafted Dale Ellis and Derek Harper. Although Ellis went on to have a stellar career, he was very average in his three years with Dallas. Harper, of course, is now one of three retired numbers for the Dallas Mavericks.
In 1984, the Mavs selected Sam Perkins with the 4th overall pick, after a solid 4-year career with the UNC Tar Heels, where he played with future NBA legends, Michael Jordan and James Worthy. Perkins averaged just under 16 points and 9 rebounds while at UNC.
Perkins went on to play his first 6 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He had some of the best seasons of his career with the Mavericks, averaging 14.4 points, 8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game over 6 seasons. He was also named to the NBA All-Rookie team in the 1984-85 season.
Perkins was an important part of the playoff runs that the Mavericks had in the mid-to-late 1980’s, starting in all 38 playoff games during that 6-year stretch. Despite his great numbers and being part of the first Mavs playoff teams, Perkins lost in the Mavs Fan Favorite Bracket in the first round to 11-seed, Caron Butler.
It is a travesty to see some of the players that really helped build this franchise eliminated so fast, so these posts are here simply to help people remember some of the great Mavericks players that weren’t good enough to be immortalized in the rafters, but were key contributors to the franchise at the start.
Here are some highlights for Perkins.
Clearly Sam Perkins was a good player for the Mavericks and has been overlooked since leaving the organization close to 30 years ago. Either way, it is time to look back and admire the great play that he provided for Dallas.