The current Mavericks team appear to have a very bright future. After drafting Dennis Smith Jr. a year ago and swinging a draft day trade with the Hawks to acquire Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic, it feels like there is a real buzz around the city for this team.
But we have still got a few months before we get to see the two young bucks in action. Yes, we are officially in the midst of the NBA’s “dog days” of the offseason. So, instead of looking into the future as we have been doing really since the summer began, let’s take a peek into the past and reminisce a bit.
As some of you may know, Dallas Sports Fanatic is the home of the rapidly growing ForgottenMavs podcast. The name is pretty self explanatory, as the Fraler boys regularly get in touch with names and faces of the past who once were Mavs. They range from recognizeable cogs on some of the best teams in franchise history like Josh Howard, to guys like Scott Lloyd, whoever that may be.
So our staff decided to try our hand at this. Not running a podcast or anything like that, but we tasked ourselves with deciding who some of our all time favorite “Forgotten” or “obscure” Mavericks were. The criteria is pretty fluid here, you choose a guy who wasn’t here for very long, but won your heart for whatever reason, whether it be his play, energy, personality, etc….
Given the difference in ages, interests, and due to the subjective nature of this question, there should be some fun names to take a trip down memory lane for. If you wanna play along, leave a comment down below on who some of your favorites were!
Dylan Duell: Whike everyone was being spared to death by Erick Dampier, DeSagana Dipo gave us all life at the center position. His block parties were nothing I had ever really seen in my few years as a Mavs fan until that point, and it was something the fans really enjoyed.
Whether it was the “doo-doo, doo-doo, DeSegana Diop!” tune or his trademark block on Carmelo Anthony to seel a game, Diop was a key member of the 2005-2006 finals team I will never forget.
And according to basketball-reference.com, the guy made over $47 million in his career with averages of just 2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He wins at life.
Michael Lark: For me, it is without a doubt Monta Ellis. There was a big question mark for Monta coming into his first season with the Mavs, and I think he exceeded everyone’s expectations. Following their 2011 championship run, the Mavs worked tirelessly to retrofit the twilight years of Dirk Nowitzki’s career with a player who could help carry the team into the next generation of winning. While he didn’t stick around long enough to make that happen, Ellis was hands down the best player here throughout his tenure with average scoring of 19 points and 5 assists. While he’ll likely be remembered by how he left the team, I’ll say this: There never seemed to be an issue with him on or off the court until the Mavs traded for Rajon Rondo. Just saying.
Shaun Walker: The man we took 4th in the 1984 draft, Big Smooth aka Sam Perkins. Sam was one of the few centers/forwards who revolutionized the three point shot for bigs. He was also the first Mavericks to have a 30 point, 20 rebound game and made the All-Rookie 1st team.
Ian Tuttle: AC Green. Between the Three J’s and Dirk eras, there was gap where Mavericks basketball was pretty spare. Green played three seasons here and became the NBA’s “Iron Man” after playing 907 consecutive games. The night he broke the record, they had a half time ceremony where they honored him. Cal Ripken even came out and gave a speech.
Garrett Jones: Dejuan Blair is an easy choice as my favorite “Forgotten Mav.” In 2013-2014, his lone season in Dallas, he gave the team an element of toughness that it had lacked since Tyson Chandler’s 2012 departure. He averaged a modest 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, but was always high energy off the bench and filled in for 13 spot starts.
In a perplexing move, he left for Washington following his lone season and never quite fit in the rotation, and was out of the league by 2016 – Easily forgotten.
Darien Clark: The crafty and quick Nick Van Exel. The former Cincinatti Bearcat’s last season in Dallas was 2002-2003. That one year from him was enough for my 10-year old self to meet him, and man, I was one cheesy little fella that night. Beyond that, Van Exel’s ability at the rim to make a slick pass or tough layup always drew my attention. He was so much fun to watch and proved it, as he quickly became a fan favorite. After ’03, he left for what would be the fourth of the six teams he would play for over a 13-year career. Quick fun fact – Before transferring to Cincy, he played two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
Trevor Rathburn: DeShawn Stevenson is my favorite “Forgotten Maverick.” He was basically a throw in in the Butler-Howard trade. After Butler went down during the 2011 season, he soaked up his minutes with timely three pointers and tough as nails defense. When Jason Terry wasn’t killing LeBron in the Finals, Stevenson was. He set the tone for Dallas with physical defense, all while knocking down three after three and flashing the three goggles every time he did. He was a huge factor in Dallas’ first and only championship. And not to mention, he got a shirt that says “Hey Lebron, how’s my Dirk taste?”
Mike Fraler: Brandon Bass. The Mavericks had a lineup of Dirk, Kidd, Howard, Terry, and Bass that really stuck out to me for some reason. I loved Bass’ interior prescience, reliable mid-range J, and good free throw shooting. I remember Bass had two game clinching dunks one night against Atlanta that really got the AAC rocking. I miss that guy
Michael Mulford: The early 2000’s was when my love for basketball began to come to light. The big three (Dirk, Nash, Finley) were the focal point of those Nelly run teams, but don’t forget about Nick Van Exel. His spark off the bench gave the Mavs a nice scoring punch in the backcourt with Nash and Findog. With the three point stroke and long socks, you could say he was the Jason Terry of those 2001-2003 Mavs teams. And don’t forget how he shot his free throws from the top of the free throw arch. Legendary.
Ryan Wilson: I actually loved me some Brandan Wright. He actually reminds me a bit of Dwight Powell, but with far more athleticism. I could only imagine what he could do with the likes of Doncic and DSJ. He really fit Carlisle’s system to a T.
Reese Konkle: It’s Roddy B for me, and it’s a no brainer. I still might find myself browsing YouTube highlights from time to time checking out his 40 point explosion against Golden State during his rookie season. And that wasn’t his only standout showing during his rookie campaign either. He was so good to the point Cuban had deemed him ‘untouchable’ in trade talks. While hindsight would tell us that was a mistake, the electricity around Roddy at that time was real. And I was always drawn to it because for the majority of my life, the Mavs were a veteran laden team. Having an exciting young prospect was something fresh. Unfortunately, injuries piled up and inevitably derailed his once exciting career, but I held on to the very bitter end. Long live Roddy Buckets.
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