Dallas Mavericks legend Derek Harper had his number 12 jersey retired by the team in 2018. Fans can relive that ceremony here.
The Dallas Mavericks had only been in the league three seasons when they drafted Derek Harper in 1983. They were steadily climbing, though. The Mavs won 15 times that first season. It improved to 28 in year two and 38 in the third campaign.
The Mavericks made the playoffs for the first time in his rookie season. Harper was the backup point guard behind Brad Davis. He averaged 20.9 minutes per game as a rookie.
That was the beginning of a stellar career and an exciting run by the Mavs. Harper was phenomenal during his prime. He averaged 19.7 points, 7.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game during the 1991 season. The Mavericks made the playoffs six of his first seven years in the NBA.
Harper became the starting point guard and made the All-Defensive team twice during his ten and half seasons in Dallas to begin his career.
Harper was traded to New York in Jan. of 1994. The Mavericks were about to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year and were deciding to rebuild. They received Tony Campbell and a first round pick in the deal.
Harper would return to the Mavericks as a free agent in 1996 only to be traded after one season. This time, he went to Orlando. He retired in 1999 after 16 seasons in the NBA.
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The Dallas Mavericks retired Derek Harper’s jersey in 2018. Fans can relive that ceremony below.
The Mavs have only retired three jerseys in their four decades as a franchise. Harper was the most recent joining Brad Davis and Rolando Blackman. Owner Mark Cuban said that no Maverick would wear 24 after the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant in January, but they did not hang that number in the rafters.
Dirk Nowitzki will make it four retired Mavericks jersey in the near future. The team’s GOAT should see that happen early next season. That ceremony will be a special night for all Mavs fans.
Harper may be best known by supporters as the Mavericks analyst on the Fox Sports Southwest broadcast. He was an amazing player in the 1980s and 1990s too. Fans can enjoy a few of his highlights here.
Harper was arguably the Mavericks’ best player in 1988 when they made their first trip to the Western Conference Finals. He will always be a Dallas legend. Hopefully, you enjoyed the chance to celebrate his play again.