Our series on the four jerseys fans of every NBA team continues today. It's Southwest Division week, and today we're focusing on the Dallas Mavericks. Remember, we're not just going to list off four popular players in team history. We know that when you're wearing a jersey, you're going for a "look." So every day we're going to tell you the jersey you've got to have, the jersey you can't go wrong with (in case you can't find the first one), the jersey that will make people say "Oh, that's awesome," and the joke jersey that will have everyone laughing.
For 30 seasons, The Mavericks were either "good, but not good enough" or just flat out terrible. They had a nice run in the mid-80's to become a high-scoring playoff team. From 1991 to 1999, the best the Mavs could do manage was a 36 win season. After that, the Mavs had some amazing regular season runs, but those also included a first-round exit after a 67 win season.
None of that matters now, though. The Mavs broke through in season #31 to bring home their first championship. With that, Mavs fans can hold their heads high as the burden of past disappointments is finally lifted. A championship changes a lot, including the four jerseys fans gotta have.
Dirk Nowitzki -- This might have been up for a little debate before the title. For some, Dirk was the face of yet another frustratingly close Mavs team. But this postseason run changed all that. Dirk put on some epic shooting performances and took over when his team needed him most. He's the team's all-time leader in points, rebounds, and 3's made. #41 is a Maverick for life, which we all know is rare. And bringing a title to Dallas solidifies him as the #1 player in Mavs history. If you don't have his jersey yet, get it now.
Can't Go Wrong With:
Rolando Blackman -- Before Dirk came along, Blackman was the franchise's leading scorer. Rolando was the key guy on the first wave of good Mavs teams, and he still calls Dallas Home (when he's not coaching overseas). He's one of Dallas' first great players, which is why his #22 hangs in the rafters. It should also hang in your closet.
"Oh, That's Cool":
Derek Harper -- I have to admit, the first thing that jumps into my head when I hear "Derek Harper" is "NBA Jam"... which makes this pick cool enough. Harper was known more for his defensive abilities (he's the Mavs' all-time leader in steals with 1551, Dirk is second with 884) but he's also Dallas' 4th all time leading scorer. Rocking a #12 is a cool nod to one of Dallas' greats
"Oh, That's Funny":
Shawn Bradley -- Bradley's Dallas' career leader in blocked shots, but at 7'6", I would hope that in 9 years you would be. A more accurate sign of just how ineffective Bradley was would be the fact that in 9 years with Dallas, he couldn't grab more rebounds than Sam Perkins did in 6 years with Dallas (3340 to 3767). Really, Shawn Bradley's lasting legacy was getting dunked on. A lot. So much that there's a top 10 highlights of dunks on Bradley (#1 is an assortment of Shaq posters). And that list doesn't even include TMac catching him. So honor the art of the posterization by pulling on a #44 and standing next to someone who's about to do something awesome.
There you have it. The four jerseys Mavericks fans have got to have. Disagree with us? Let us know who we missed in the comments.
Atlantic Division: Boston, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto
Central Division: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana, Milwaukee
Southeast Division: Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami, Washington
Pacific Division: Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Sacramento
Northwest Division: Denver, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Portland, Utah
Jeff Garcia collaborated on this post