11 Mavericks cult heroes everyone else should have loved

The rest of the NBA should have loved these Mavericks.

Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea
Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks have the second-most wins in the NBA since 2000. Dirk Nowitzki is a massive reason why (subscription required), but do not underestimate their ability to find talent. The Mavs always struck out in free agency and made some regrettable moves. They overcame it by finding undervalued talent that complemented their superstar.

Every team has players that become legends to their fan base. It is not always stars. Some players have a story that makes it impossible not to cheer for them or never stop hustling and giving 100 percent on the floor. Other teams barely put them on the scouting report, but they are fan favorites.

Mavericks fans have several over their first 44 seasons as a franchise. From undrafted talents to surprise stars, Dallas has created legends that other NBA fans should recognize.

Dallas Mavericks cult heroes everyone else should have loved

11. Eduardo Najera

Najera arrived in Dallas in a 2000 draft night trade and spent the next four years with the team. The 6’8 forward’s stats do not jump off the screen, but that did not stop him from becoming a fan favorite. Najera was the first Mexican-born person to be drafted and his work ethic, hustle, and defense earned him immediate praise.

The Mavs traded him to the Warriors in 2004, but Najera returned in 2010. He spent just six months back in Dallas before being dealt for Tyson Chandler. In his five seasons with the Mavericks, Najera averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per game.

Eduardo Najera came back to the Dallas Mavericks after hanging up his sneakers. He served the Texas Legends in several roles before becoming a Mavs scout. The 47-year-old is also an analyst for Bally Sports Southwest.

Najera was a fantastic teammate and one of the hardest workers in the league during his playing days. He was easy to cheer for and his play made him a fan favorite, but his minuscule stats kept him from gaining more recognition.