The year 2019 is coming to an end. And boy, what a year it has been for the Dallas Mavericks.
From drafting a superstar, trading for another star, and watching a legend walk off into the sunset, 2019 has been a range of emotions for Mavs fans everywhere.
I present you the top 5 Mavs moments in 2019. Enjoy.
5. Trading for Kristaps Porzingis
The Mavericks have had their disappointments and failures in free agency over time, making acquiring players via trade the way to go for Donnie Nelson and company, like trading for Luka’s draft rights in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Well, on January 31, 2019, the Mavs struck trade gold again, acquiring Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks, along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke. In return, the Knicks received Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first round picks.
Acquiring Porzingis was a huge win for the Mavericks, pairing another potential star next to Luka Doncic, who since then, has supplanted himself as one of the best players in the entire league.
Seen as just potential salary fillers for the trade, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee have proved to be assets for this Mavericks team. THJ started out slow when acquired, but so far this season, he has flourished alongside Luka in the starting lineup.
Though his playing time doesn’t scream asset, Lee has been accredited by Coach Carlisle as a veteran leader and a huge help in practice.
With Luka being handed the keys to the franchise, it’s not out of the question that Kristaps can sit comfortably in the passenger seat for the foreseeable future in Dallas.
4. Luka Wins Rookie of the Year
98 out of 100.
That’s how many first place votes Luka received on his landslide path to clinching the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year award. Sorry, Trae Young.
In his rookie campaign, Luka averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. He did that at 19 years of age. Unheard of.
Day one, Luka stepped in and was the Mavericks best player by far. For a team that had Harrison Barnes acting as their best player for the previous two seasons, this was quite the change for the good.
Luka joined Jason Kidd, who was named co-NBA Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill in 94-95, as the only other Maverick to win Rookie of the Year.
If this is what Dallas got from Doncic in his rookie year, the league needs to be put on notice. And believe me, after his first 25 games this season, the 29 other teams are very aware of what the Mavericks have.
🌟 @luka7doncic of the @dallasmavs wins the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year! #KiaROY #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/DpUweOY65b
— NBA (@NBA) June 25, 2019
3. Dirk Passes Wilt for Sixth-All Time on Scoring List
This was such an electric moment at the AAC.
Though, Dirk had technically been sixth on the all-time scoring list before, passing Shaquille O’Neal back in December of 2015, LeBron James jumped him early last season but he regained that spot on March 18, 2019 against the New Orleans Pelicans, passing Wilt Chamberlain.
Just think about that statement: Dirk Nowitzki passed Wilt Chamberlain for sixth on the NBA all-time scoring list. The dude who once scored 100 points in a game and averaged 50 points in a single season and 30 points for his career.
SIXTH ALL-TIME! pic.twitter.com/b1MMpCzgPe
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 19, 2019
That is absolutely insane. And Dirk would say the same thing.
The last few seasons for Dirk were tough as he battled through injuries and the hopes to make a playoff run just one last time. Last season specifically, which became his final run, having the setback in training camp with his foot and having to deal with that linger on all season was almost impossible to get through for the 41-year-old.
And just for the record, who assisted Dirk on the play? Luka, of course.
2. Dirk’s Farewell
21 seasons in one uniform for #41.
This moment was building up all season long. Once the 41.21.1 promotion was hinted at on social media, it seemed obvious as to what was going to happen at the end of the season.
The night was emotional. The Mavericks flew out a few of Dirk’s heroes to speak after the game, which surely caught Dirk off guard and left a lasting smile on his face.
Watch as @swish41 is honored by the @dallasmavs and NBA Legends in an emotional ceremony following his final home game! #Dirk #MFFLhttps://t.co/J4xdbxn7w5
— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2019
And it was only fitting that Dirk had his best game of the season in his last time playing in front of his home crowd, scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Having a performance like that in his final time in front of the MFFL’s at the AAC was only fitting for the Big German.
That’s it; Luka.
And I know, it may seem crazy to put anything above Dirk’s farewell and last game in a Mavericks uniform.
But, it’s Luka.
We’re talking about not just the future of this franchise but the future of the league.
Throughout his rookie campaign as well as what he has showcased so far during the 2019-2020 season, it’s incredible how good this kid is at just 20-years-old. Through 25 game this season, Luka is averaging a cool 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 8.9 assists. You know, just your average statline for a 20-year-old kid.
The confidence that Luka plays with is infectious and his ability to make his teammates better springboards the potential of the team.
The luck that comes with having Dirk for 21 straight seasons and before he even hangs up the sneaks for the final time, you draft Luka as the heir to the throne is almost unheard of in sports.
But we’re here and it happened.
We are 95 games into the Luka Doncic experience and whatever God you believe in, pray and thank them because the Mavericks have a future league MVP and Finals MVP on their hands.
Cheers to a successful and cheerful 2020 for the Mavericks.
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