Dallas Mavericks: 30 greatest players in franchise history

By Ben Beecken
DALLAS - APRIL 7: Dirk Nowitzki #41 and Michael Finley #4 of the Dallas Mavericks. Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo By Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS - APRIL 7: Dirk Nowitzki #41 and Michael Finley #4 of the Dallas Mavericks. Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo By Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Kurt Nimphius
PORTLAND, OR – 1986: Kurt Nimphius #40 of the Los Angeles Clippers. (No pictures available of Nimphius playing for the Mavericks.) Copyright 1986 NBAE (Photo by Brian Drake/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Kurt Nimphius. 29. 79. . . Center

  • Played five seasons with the Mavericks (1981-1985)
  • Averaged 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game

We’re going in the way-back machine to find the No. 28 player on our countdown: the great Kurt Nimphius.

Okay, so that’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but Nimphius was an important part of the first-ever Dallas Mavericks playoff teams in both 1984 and 1985.

The 6-foot-10 center was a third-round draft pick by the Denver Nuggets in 1980, but was cut by then and latched on with the Mavericks in 1981 after Dallas had won just 15 games in their inaugural season. In 1981-82, Nimphius appeared in 63 games, including 27 starts, and averaged a modest 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

By 1983-84 however, the team had the likes of Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman and Brad Davis, as well as a rookie Derek Harper. Nimphius appeared in all 82 games, starting 46, and averaged the second-highest scoring total of his career at 7.3 points per game and a career-high 6.3 rebounds per contest.

The Maverickss defeated the then-Seattle SuperSonics in five games in the first round of the playoffs before losing in five to the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals.

The following year, Nimphius again appeared in every game and started in 40. His averages dipped just a bit along with his playing time as the Mavericks won 44 games and lost in four to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs.

The big man was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers after just 13 games in the fall of 1985. He would go on to bounce around the league and play a brief stint in Spain before wrapping up his career with 38 games in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform in 1989-90.

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