Derek Harper will have his number retired by the Dallas Mavericks, the team announced. His number 12 jersey will rise into the rafters of the American Airlines Center on January 7, 2018. It will be just the third jersey retired by the franchise, joining those of former teammates Rolando Blackman (22) and Brad Davis (15).
Harper played two stints with the Mavericks totaling twelve seasons. Dallas drafted Harper in 1983 with the 11th overall pick. He played with the Mavs until 1994. Harper rejoined the team for the 1996-97 season.
In his time in Dallas, Harper appeared in 872 games, averaged 14.4 points, 5.7 assists, and shot 46.8 percent. He also ranks among the all-time leaders in franchise history in a number of statistical categories. He’s fourth in points with 12,597, first in assists with 5,111, and first in steals with 1,551 among others.
Harper’s greatest moment with the Mavericks came during the playoffs in 1988. That year, Dallas played the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers were heavy favorites to win the series, but the Mavericks took them to seven games before eventually falling. In that series, Harper averaged 17.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals.
It’s not a coincidence that Harper will have his jersey retired on January 7. That’s when the New York Knicks are in town. Harper spent two and a half seasons with the Knicks from 1994-96. He eventually retired from the NBA in 1999.
“Like every Mavs fan around the world, we are proud of Derek and everything he has done and continues to do for Mavs fans,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a press release. “His contributions can’t be overestimated. We are excited that he will join Ro and Brad in the rafters as we retire number 12 forever.”
Harper’s longtime coach, Dick Motta, will be on hand for the ceremony.