OTG's All-Decade Team: Dallas Mavericks Edition
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With the past decade coming to a close, what better way to ring in the new decade by reflecting on the past. Off The Glass is taking a look at each NBA team and selecting their All-Decade squad, which is defined by one guard, one forward, one center, a role player (someone not selected as an All-Star, or to an All-NBA team), and one wildcard.
Today we are highlighting the Dallas Mavericks.
Guard: Luka Doncic. I know what you are thinking, he’s barely into his second season, no way he could actually make this list. Unfortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, this decade featured a revolving door of players around the franchise’s cornerstone, Dirk Nowitzki. Guys were here for a few seasons, and then gone. Doncic is already top-36 in scoring in the Mavericks, top-20 in three’s made, top-22 in assists, and top-48 in rebounds. He’s played in 90 games. By the end of this season he will continue to climb higher and higher on the Mavericks all-time lists, and no one else is really even close.
Forward: Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki led the Mavericks to their lone championship at the beginning of the decade, he’s a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, and sits firmly as sixth all-time on the NBA scoring leaders list. He is the Dallas Mavericks, and will always be the Dallas Mavericks. He played in nine seasons this decade for the Mavericks, won a championship, was named as the Finals MVP, and was selected to be an all-star five times, while being named to two all-NBA teams. What’s most impressive is that Nowitzki makes the all-decade team for the Mavericks two decades in a row. Not many NBA players can boast of that accomplishment.
Center: Tyson Chandler. The Mavericks rotation of centers has not been what you would call successful. He only played for the Mavericks for two seasons this decade, but he was the defensive anchor to a championship team. During his time as a Maverick, he averaged slightly over 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, and he brought him his a toughness that this team has lacked from a frontcourt player.
Role Player: J. J. Barea. Barea has spent seven seasons in a Maverick uniform this decade, and has been the heart and soul off the bench during that time period too. He’s a fan favorite, and he’s hard to root against. He stands much taller than his 5’10 frame suggests, and carries with him a “never back down” attitude. His stats aren’t going to jump out at you, but he is without a doubt one of the leaders in the locker room and a veteran presence that has always helped keep this team focused. He was a key piece to the championship team, and he’s remained a key piece in his return to the Mavericks.
Wildcard: International influence. With having Dirk as the face of your franchise for 21 seasons, it’s not a surprise the Mavericks are able to attract international players and fanbases. Currently, the Mavericks have eight nationalities on their roster. This has created an interesting dynamic over the seasons with an influx of cultures. Many of the players speak multiple languages, so the trash talking always takes an interesting turn. Luka Doncic figuring out the NFL and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, while fellow sophomore player, Jalen Brunson roots for the rivaled Philadelphia Eagles is always good for a laugh. This upcoming decade looks to have the same international imprint that the previous one has had, so fans should continue to expect more good times.
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Team High: Winning the championship during the 2010-2011 season. Nothing tops this moment in Dallas Mavericks history, let alone this decade. For years everyone had to listen to the talk that Dirk couldn’t get it done and that you can’t build a team around him. He proved everyone wrong in the greatest way possible, by defeating a super-team that would go on to appear in the next three finals, winning two of them. That team was filled with savy vets who wanted nothing more than to win it all. And with how the ’06 finals went down, for most Mavs fans, there was not another team they wanted to beat more than the Miami Heat.
Team Low: While I want to put the team low as disbanding the championship team and just pretend what I’m actually going to put here didn’t happen, I just can’t do it. The front office sexual harassment scandal that broke news last year is by far the worst thing that this franchise has experienced. It revealed a toxic work environment for women for years, and is completely inexcusable. Cuban’s commented that, "this is not something that just is an incident and then it's over, It stays with people. It stays with families. I'm just sorry I didn't see it. I'm sorry I didn't recognize it.” I’m confident that they have put this issue behind them and have brought in the people needed to correct their wrongs, and who will ensure the culture behind the scenes is running how it should be.
Vernon Bryant-Dallas Morning News
Upcoming Decade Prediction: The future is bright! Luka Doncic not only won the Rookie of the Year award, but he’s been in the MVP discussion in just his sophomore season. It’s hard to fathom that the Mavericks are able to usher in the post-Dirk era with a new face of the franchise, but that’s exactly what’s happening. With big mid-season trade for Kristaps Porzingis, this Mavericks team has the ability to spend the next decade competing for playoff spots even in a deep Western Conference. While they are still a move or two away from taking the throne in the Western Conference, the Mavericks are set up for success for a long time.