If you’re a gamer and a basketball fan, this is an exciting time of year. Annually, around this time, NBA 2K starts releasing screenshots of players that reveal updated overall ratings and improvements to graphics comepared to the previous year’s version of the game.
Last week, NBA 2K18 announced that it's adding All-Time Teams to the game for fans to enjoy. Each of the NBA's 30 franchises will have one of these teams, and the roster will consist of the 12 best players in each team's history.
#NBA2K18 will feature All-Time Teams for all 30 NBA franchises, comprised of the best players in each team’s history. Which players make it? pic.twitter.com/AhiatziCJr— NBA 2K 2K18 (@NBA2K) August 11, 2017
With that in mind, the staff was asked:
Who do you see making the Mavs All-Time Team roster? Out of those 12, who would be in your starting 5?
Here's my twelve man roster: Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackman, Michael Finley, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Aguirre, Tyson Chandler, Derek Harper, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Josh Howard, and Shawn Bradley. I think I would start Nash, Blackman, Marion, Dirk, and Tyson. I know I know, it's pretty weird to have Kidd come off the bench, but the Kidd-Nash debate is a close one I think, and I just have a soft spot for Nash. Does anyone know if Blackman could play defense? I wasn't alive for most of his career, but maybe he was? I think this starting lineup has a good mix of insane scoring with a defensive stalwart in the paint and on the perimeter. Can you just imagine Nash-Dirk pick and pop with Blackman available as a shooter and the threat of Chandler as a roll man??
This roster is a little small and guard-heavy, which is fine since I would have Rick Carlisle coaching it. One or two of Kidd, Nash, and Harper would be on the floor directing the offense at all times, and Shawn Marion would probably play a good chunk of minutes at power forward to spot Dirk. I know that I might catch some flack for including Shawn Bradley instead of Brad Davis, given that Davis's number is retired. Here's the thing. The roster already has three point guards (four if you count JET), Davis just isn't on the same level as Kidd and Nash and honestly I just like Harper better. And the roster needed another big desperately, and Bradley gets you blocks at least. Bradley played more seasons with Dallas than Roy Tarpley and Sam Perkins (who I considered), and he was part of the 2002-03 team that I consider the second best Mavs team of all time. The other names on the list are pretty unassailable, and I'll be surprised if Dirk, Ro, Finley, Kidd, Nash, Aguirre, Chandler and probably Terry aren't on every single response here.
I'm going to actually start out with my starting five: Jason Kidd, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. Dirk, Ro and Aguirre are all givens in my opinion. To me, it's probably a coin flip between Nash and Kidd, but I gave Kidd the nod being that he was a better defender and helped bring a championship to Dallas. I was almost tempted to leave out a center altogether in the starting lineup, mainly because there’s a lot of players left on the list that are better overall, but Tyson is arguably the best center in Mavs' history, and he paired so well with Dirk during his two seasons in Dallas that I had to start him there. This team would be deadly no matter who the starters are honestly.
As for the remaining seven players to fill out the 12-man roster, I'm going to go with Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Josh Howard, Jason Terry, Derek Harper, Shawn Marion and Roy Tarpley. Although his time with the Mavs was fairly short, I went with Tarpley mainly because he averaged a double-double for his career. He was a stud center who’s career was derailed by drug and alcohol abuse. Oh, what could've been. If we're all still alive by the time NBA 2K40 comes out, I'd like to see Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. eventually become good enough to crack this Mavs All-Time Team list.
Finding the best 12 players ever in Mavericks history to make a formidable team might be tough to conjure up, so I don't envy anyone coming up with a list that is far from an exact science. We'll start with the obvious: Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackman, Tyson Chandler, Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry. Filling out the last five will be Shawn Marion, Sam Perkins, Shawn Bradley, Derek Harper and for the sake of keeping at least two-thirds of the Three J's intact, give me Jamal Mashburn.
As for the starting five, give me Nash, Finley, Blackman, Dirk and Tyson. JET will be the sixth man. The rest are interchangeable. There's certainly a lot I left off, like Josh Howard, Brad Davis. Hell, even Brendan Haywood would be a viable backup center candidate because I refuse to have Shawn Bradley get dunked on every game. But Davis would've provided too much of a logjam at point, there are already enough twos and the threes are good enough to play the fours. But Sam Perkins is an awesome specimen. And if it were not for JET and Finley, I'd get Jim Jackson here in a heartbeat. There are no wrong answers, and that's cool.
Well, Dirk's a given. He IS the franchise, after all. Filling out the rest of the list is kinda tricky, though. After Dirk, You have to include Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Steve Nash, Michael Finley, and Josh Howard. Rounding out the roster are Roy Tarpley, Jamal Mashburn, George McCloud, and Corey Brewer.
This roster doesn't have a center which is fine in today's NBA. Besides, the Mavericks have only had two centers in their history that I would even consider including on this roster: Tyson Chandler and Sam Perkins. But boy, look at all the shooters. Make Don Nelson the coach and this team will be a lot of fun to watch.
As for the starters, Tarpley will play center, Dirk will be the 4, Mashburnat the 3, Aguirre at the 2, and Kidd at point. I think that's a formidable starting group.
As we discussed on today’s Locked On Mavericks podcast, there should be a consensus “Myspace Top 8” for the Mavericks All-Time team: Dirk, Nash, Kidd, Finley, Rolando, Aguirre, Tyson, and JET. The next four depend entirely on intent of this team. If it’s to honor service to the team then Brad Davis and Derek Harper (who played the 2nd and 3rd most games in team history, respectively) have to make the team. It also helps that they were both good. So add Davis and Harper to my squad.
Then, with two spots left, what direction is this team going in? Bradley and Tarpley both have good cases with Chandler and Dirk as the only real bigs on the roster. The three-headed-monster of Jamal Mashburn, Jim Jackson, and Jay Vincent all have cases. But I decided to go in the small ball direction with Josh Howard and Shawn Marion. So my starters are Steve Nash, Rolando Blackman, Michael Finley, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler with Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Mark Aguirre, Josh Howard, Shawn Marion, Derek Harper, and Brad Davis coming off the bench. Get ready to see Prime Dirk destroy worlds at the 5.