No Dallas Mavericks fan will forget 2006, when the Mavs reached their first NBA Finals. While it was certainly a record-breaking year, that year was the third the Mavs reached the Conference Finals. In fact, they curiously finished their regular seasons twice as Division Champions, for another two seasons. Since the 1980-1981 season, the Mavericks have been making NBA history.
How did the Mavericks become the “Mavericks”? A “team name” contest included 4,600 entries, resulting in three finalists. Losing finalist names included the Express and the Wranglers. Basically, a nonconformist is an unconventional and independent person.
Prior to the 1980-1981 season, Donald Carter spent $ 12 million to purchase an NBA expansion team, which became the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks focused on getting young players, but the plan fell through when top pick Kiki Vandeweghe refused to sign with the Mavericks. Instead, the Mavs traded him to the Denver Nuggets.
The Mavericks won their opening game of the franchise 103-92, defeating the San Antonio Spurs. Ironically, the Spurs had been the Dallas Chaparrals in the American Basketball Association (ABA). By the end of the season, the Mavs had posted a less-than-impressive 15-67 record. However, the good news was that there was a lot of room for improvement.
The Mavericks continued to improve and later won their first division title during the 1986-1987 season. In fact, they posted an outstanding record of 55-27. They also had the fewest turnovers in the NBA, for the fifth year in a row! However, the Seattle Supersonics eliminated the Mavs in the first round of the playoffs.
During the following year, the Dallas Mavericks continued to achieve excellence. They finished the season with a 53-29 record and second place in the Midwest Division. The Mavericks later got rid of the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets. However, they then lost a heartbreaking series in the Western Conference Finals, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
Nearly two decades later, the Dallas Mavericks returned to prominence in the NBA. They finished the season with an excellent 60-22 record, although they finished three games behind the San Antonio Spurs. The NBA awarded Avery Johnson of the Mavs its “Coach of the Year” award. After easily defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavs faced their nemesis, the Spurs. The Mavericks took a 3-1 lead in the series, but had to beat the Spurs in Game 7 (and in overtime). The Mavs were less successful against Dwyane Wade and the Heat, losing the NBA Finals series 4-2.
The following year, the Dallas Mavericks played an incredible regular season, posting a 67-15 record. In the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs faced the Golden State Warriors, who had beaten them three times during the regular season. The Mavericks constantly caught up during the series, but ultimately lost it 4-2.
Since joining the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks have experienced bumpy seasons. Cheer on the Mavs with Dallas Mavericks merchandise as they live to reach the NBA Finals again, experiencing a different outcome.