Dallas Mavericks: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Steve Nash

DALLAS – APRIL 23: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates with teammates Steve Nash #13 and Michael Finley #4. (Photo by: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Despite a rough first 20 years of existence, the Dallas Mavericks have an impressive list of all-time greats that have worn their jersey.

It wasn’t until the Dallas Mavericks franchise was purchased by Mark Cuban in 2000 that the they were a truly relevant NBA team. And not surprisingly, this list of the top-30 players to ever suit up for the Mavericks leans heavily on players from the 21st century.

In the 20 years prior to Cuban’s purchase, the Mavs had only been to the playoffs six times and not since 1990. They had only one season with more than 45 wins — a 47-win campaign in 1989-90 that ended with a loss in the first round of the playoffs.

Coinciding with Cuban taking over in Dallas was the arrival of German seven-footer Dirk Nowitzki. Future hall of fame coach Don Nelson was already there. Holdovers such as Michael Finley and Steve Nash were already there, too.

The Mavericks won 40 games in 1999-2000 led by Nash, Nowitzki Finley. After Cuban bought the team in January, the team began to fill in the fringes of the roster with more talent. Dallas became a fixture in the Western Conference Playoffs in the 2000s, as Nowitzki became arguably the greatest European player in NBA history.

All that said, there were a few Mavericks NBA All-Stars from the late 1980s and early 1990s that indeed made it into the top-30.

Here are our guidelines for the exercise:

  • We only considered player’s years in a Mavericks uniform. Steve Nash and Vince Carter would rank higher on lists for the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors/the then-New Jersey Nets, respectively, but spent limited time in Dallas.
  • Team success and longevity matter. Some players on this list were great for short periods of time, or maybe didn’t even average starter’s minutes in the games they played, but they were extremely effective. Bonus points for playing on playoff teams and championship squads, too.

Okay. Let’s get after it.

30

A.C. Green

Power Forward, Dallas Mavericks

  • Played three seasons with the Mavericks (1996-1999)
  • Averaged 6.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game

A.C. Green is best known for his iron-man streak of 1,192 games. His two-plus season stint with the Dallas Mavericks was right in the middle of that streak.

Green missed three games early in 1986, his second NBA season. Then, he played in every single possible game all the way through the end of his career in 2001. For his career, Green appeared in 1,278 out of a possible 1,281 regular season games.

Green spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, including an All-Star appearance in 1990. After three-plus years with the Phoenix Suns, he was traded to Dallas in December of 1996 along with Sam Cassell and Michael Finley as part of the trade that sent Jason Kidd to the desert.

With the Mavericks, Green was a part-time starter, but played north of 30 minutes per game in his first year and a half in Dallas. This was all despite turning 34 years old before the end of the 1997-98 season. He appeared in all 50 games (of course) of the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign, starting 35.

Over his Mavericks career, Green was more valuable on defense and on the boards while being a modest contributor on offense. He averaged 6.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Green was traded back to the Lakers just prior to the 1999-00 season.

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