There has been news all around the sports world about Mark Cuban saying that he will not put Jason Kidd‘s number up in the rafters at the American Airlines Center after the way he left the team. Honestly, even if Kidd did stay with the team I wouldn’t have put his number up there anyways. It got me thinking about the two numbers that are retired by the Mavericks and that’s Rolando Blackman and Brad Davis. Davis was a good player for an expansion team that came into the NBA in 1980, and I can see why the Mavs retired his number, but there should be other retired Mavs that deserve their number up there as well. You have to remember that the Mavericks were a really good team in the 80’s going as far as GAME 7 in the 1988 Western Conference Finals where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, so there are a few more players that should be at least mentioned to have their jersey retired by the Dallas Mavericks. Here are a few players that I believe should have their number retired by the Dallas Mavericks.
#12: DEREK HARPER (Played for the Mavs 1983-1994; 1996-1997)– Harper may have not been the greatest player in the NBA, but he was sure a great tribute to the Mavericks’ roster back in the 80’s. He was drafted by the Mavericks with the 11th pick in the 1983 NBA Draft and spent most of his career with the Mavericks until being traded to New York, but returned in 1996 to play for one season. During his first ten years with the Mavericks he averaged 15 points a game, 1.8 steals and 6.1 assist a game. Harper is still loyal to the team that drafted him as he is an analyst for KTXA-21(Dallas-Fort Worth). There is no doubt that Harper was a contributor during the late 80’s when the Mavs made it as far as the Western Conference Finals in 1988, but losing in seven games to the Lakers.
#24: MARK AGUIRRE (Played for the Mavs 1981-1989)– Instead of Brad Davis being up in the rafters I believe that Aguirre’s number should have been the one retired by the Mavericks. Being drafted with the #1 pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, Mark was always a productive player scoring 24 points a game for the Mavericks. Although he had problems with his teammates and coach, Dick Motta, he was traded to Detroit where he ended up winning back-to-back NBA Titles with the Pistons. He help the Mavericks to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 1988. I believe before anybody else that is a retired NBA Player Aguirre should be the first one to have his retired.
#44: SAM PERKINS (Played for the Mavs 1984-1990)– Although Perkins wore #41 during his first few years with the Mavs; he switched to #44 during his last years with Dallas. We all know that his #41 cannot be retired for obvious reasons, so his #44 is the one that would be retired if the Mavericks decides to retired his jersey. Perkins was another person who helped the Mavs during the playoffs in the late 80’s. He averaged 14.3 points and 8 rebounds a game during his six years with the Mavericks.
#4: MICHAEL FINLEY (Played for the Mavs 1996-2005)- One of the original “Big Three” of the early 2000’s along with Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash; Finley was one of the guys who helped the Mavericks build to what they are today. Who knows what the Mavs would be right now if Finley was not part of the Big Three. Finley averaged 19.6 points a game as well as 3.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds during his time with the Mavericks. If Mark Cuban and Finley would have come to a financial conclusion back in 2005 then the I believe that Finley would have helped the Mavs tremendously in the Finals in 2006.
FUTURE JERSEY RETIREMENTS
#31: JASON TERRY (Played for the Mavs 2004-2012)- People can say what they want about the “JET” the matter of the fact is Jason Terry was a huge part of the Mavs success during the 2005-06 season as well as the 2010-11 season. Terry helped the Mavs to it’s first NBA Finals appearance in 2006 and if it wasn’t for Terry 27 points in GAME 6 of the 2011 Finals the Mavs would have never won the series in six. He was a big reason the Mavericks beat the “Almighty Heat” and won their first ever NBA Championship in their franchise history. He may be gone now and is playing in Boston, but I am sure that one day that Jason Terry’s #31 will be up there along with some of the great Mavs that have played in the past 32 years.
#41: DIRK NOWITZKI (Played for the Mavs 1998-PRESENT)- This pick is an obvious one. Everybody knows that once Dirk retires from basketball Mark Cuban will come out right away and say that Dirk’s number will be retired the very next season. There’s no doubt that if the Mavs have never gotten the big German in 1998 the Mavs would have still be stuck in the 90’s with mediocre seasons. Throughout his career he has been labeled “soft” and “can’t come up during the big moments”, however Dirk has been able to come up in clutch time with a higher percentage than Kobe Bryant in field goals. Dirk since 2006 has a 43% in Field Goals while Kobe has 41% during clutch performances. Dirk still has a few more years left in him and surely he will keep adding numbers to his already franchise records performances with holding the most points scored, most 3-pointers and the most rebounds in club history.