No. 29: Dallas Mavericks

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 24, 2013, 10:36 AM ET
By Carl Carchia | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 26
Title track: (T) 17
Ownership: 29
Coaching: 16
Players: 44
Fan relations: 15
Affordability: 29
Stadium experience: 15
Bang for the buck: 66

Two years after winning an NBA title, Dallas missed the playoffs for the first time in the Mark Cuban era. As a result, the Mavs moved down three spots in overall standings from 2012. But make no mistake, this continues to be a superbly run franchise. Sure, things might have looked better with Dwight Howard, but Cuban isn't sweating it. The Dallas Morning News reported, "We had a plan B ... I think we exceeded our expectations for that plan."

Regardless, fans can't complain about the game-day experience at the American Airlines Center. A couple of hours prior to tip-off, the Mavericks host a pregame party complete with DJs, sometimes a live band and the chance to win free tickets via a "Painted Fan" contest. And if you don't win, don't fret: Tickets are around the league average ($51.80), and once you're in, it doesn't feel as if you're being ripped off at the concession stands ($6 beers, $4 sodas and $4 hot dogs). But if for some reason fans do complain, the Mavericks will listen. They boast a "fan retention department," which gauges fan experience at the game and over the phone. Need assistance getting from the parking lot to your seat? Done. Want to watch Dirk Nowitzki shoot pregame J's while sipping a Mai Tai? You can do that too, thanks to a two-level bar overlooking the Mavs' practice court that's open to the public. Too bad Dwight wasn't feeling the love, because the fans sure are.

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