With the Dallas Mavericks winning their only championship just a few years ago, it should come as no surprise that three key components of that squad are featured in our Mavericks Rushmore. Here are the four we chose and why:
Dirk Nowitzki: The best player in franchise history and future Hall of Famer has spent his career in Dallas and become part of the fabric of the community. Rather than his face, Nowitzki's one-legged fadeaway should probably be on Mavericks Rushmore. Nowitzki has defined the Mavericks since this century began, and he has his ring now, too.
Mark Cuban: When he bought the Mavericks, they had spent way too much time at or near the bottom of the NBA. Cuban immediately changed that by pumping resources into the team. He has shown a willingness to do whatever he can to make his team a championship contender and put Dallas in the category of the elite. Cuban's goal now, after two disappointing seasons, is to return the Mavs to elite status.
Rolando Blackman: When you think of the 1980s Mavericks, Blackman is one of the first names that comes to mind. He played in Dallas from 1981 to 1992, was an All-Star four times and played on six Mavericks playoff teams.
Jason Terry: If you take Terry's entire stay in Dallas, it's actually a full season longer than Jason Kidd's two stints. Terry appeared in two NBA Finals and was critical in the club's championship run in 2011. That's why he's got a spot on this monument.
Others considered (in no particular order):
Jason Kidd: A case could certainly be made after he spent the beginning and much of the end of his career in Dallas. The trade to bring him back to Big D was a difference-maker, as the point guard made the right moves in pressure situations to help the Mavericks win the title. He is moving from a 19-year playing career into coaching with the Brooklyn Nets.
Don Carter: He founded the expansion Mavericks with Norm Sonju in 1980.
Derek Harper: He made a Western Conference finals appearance with the Mavericks, and the team's record books are littered with his name. He and Blackman helped excite fans in the 1980s.
Brad Davis: His No. 15 jersey is retired, but his numbers don't stack up with other Maverick greats to push him into the top four.
Steve Nash: Had Nash stayed in Dallas, maybe he would be on the monument. But he wasn't here long enough and left before the title run.
Michael Finley: You could make the argument that outside of Nowitzki, Finley was the most important player in getting the Mavericks back to respectability in the NBA after Cuban bought the team.
Mark Aguirre: He was the first overall pick in the 1981 NBA draft when the Mavs were struggling. Later in the decade, Aguirre was a leader on a team that took the Lakers to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.