Dan Dickau’s stint in Dallas was not long. In fact, he suited up for only four games during the first half of the 2004/2005 NBA season for the Mavericks. However, he credits his time in Dallas with rejuvenating his NBA career.
Drafted in 2002, Dan Dickau spent his first two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and the Portland Trailblazers. In the 2004 off-season, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors, and then traded again to the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Erick Dampier trade.
Fighting to make a roster spot and continue his NBA career, Dickau had a successful training camp in Dallas and his roster spot was made available due in part to his strong play, but also because then-Mavericks player Avery Johnson (who was being groomed for a coaching position), stepped aside from his hybrid role to become a full-time assistant coach.
“I owe a lot of my career to Avery, simply for the fact that I had a great training camp… if you remember how Avery just all of a sudden just stepped back and said, ‘Hey I’m not playing this year, I’m just a coach.'”
“A lot of that was due to the fact that I had such a good training camp,” said Dickau.
While Dickau’s time in Dallas was short, he certainly made an impact on his teammates, most notably Dirk Nowitzki who was entering his prime at this point of his career and was a legitimate MVP candidate.
While on the road to face Miami, Nowitzki stepped aside to let Dickau have the front seat while some of the team took a cab to have dinner the night before the game. Dickau stepped into the van and accidentally slammed the door on Nowitzki’s fingers before Dirk had a chance to get into the vehicle.
“This was after having to earn my way onto the squad and Dirk, he’s an MVP type guy… I’m thinking I just broke his fingers,” said Dickau.
“It worked out because Dirk went out and had like 42 that night against Miami. So, maybe someone needed to slam his fingers in the car door more often.”
By December of that season, Dickau was traded to New Orleans for current Mavs assistant coach, Darrell Armstrong. In New Orleans Dickau finally got a chance to receive some substantial playing time and responded exceptionally, averaging over 13 points per game on a rebuilding Hornets team before landing his most lucrative NBA contract the following off-season.
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