We’re past the peak of summer and in the doldrums of the NBA offseason. There’s no better time to look at the history of the Dallas Mavericks and reminisce. This is the time to argue and debate the history of the franchise.
With that in mind, here is the All-Mavericks team of the 2000s. Here are the rules: I only counted the players’ statistics and achievements while they played for the Mavericks. Longevity mattered, but so did what they accomplished while playing for Dallas.
For instance, in my post on the best Mavericks of the 2010s, I debated what was more influential—Monta Ellis’ two electric years with the Mavericks, or Devin Harris’ steady hand over parts of six seasons? In the end I decided neither, and went with someone who fell somewhere in between.
I kept the team similar to an actual All-NBA lineup—two guards, two forwards, and one center. I also added a Sixth Man because, well, it’s my post and I can do what I want. Drop your best five of the 2000s in the comments below. Here we go:
Guard: Steve Nash
Nash averaged 16.5 points and 7.8 assists per game during his four seasons from 2000-01 to 2003-04. In that span, he made two All-Star Games and two All-NBA teams. He was pre-MVP Nash, but he was still one of the best point guards in the NBA. Nash finished the 2000s with 5,141 points, 2,428 assists, and shot 42% from deep while playing for Dallas.
Guard: Michael Finley
Finley only made one All-Star game appearance in the 2000s, and he missed the 2006 Finals run by one season. He eventually won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. Finley was the backbone of the Mavericks, carrying the franchise before Dirk Nowitzki arrived and then providing secondary scoring once Nowitzki ascended. Finley put up 6,865 points, 1,176 assists, and shot 37% from deep during the 2000s for Dallas.
Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
There’s not enough space to discuss Nowitzki’s achievements in the 2000s in just one paragraph of a post. League MVP. Nowitzki made the All-Star Game nine times and was named to the All-NBA team ten times, including 1st team All-NBA four times. He led the Mavericks to the Finals in 2006 and the best record in the NBA in 2006-07. Nowitzki scored 19,291 points, grabbed 7,108 rebounds, and dished out 2,215 assists in the 2000s. How impressive is that? If Nowitzki only played from 2000-01 to 2009-10, he’d still be the Mavericks all-time leading scorer. That’s true greatness.
Forward: Josh Howard
Howard made the unlikely rise from 29th pick to All-Star with the Mavericks in the 2000s. He was a key part of the 2006 Finals team, and is the Mavericks’ 10th leading scorer all-time. It’s likely he would have been an even brighter star in the NBA if injuries hadn’t derailed his career. Only Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and Finley scored more points in the 2000s than Howard.
Center: Erick Dampier
The center position is notoriously weak for the Mavericks, and their inability to find a consistent center during the 2000s leads us here. Dampier started 356 games for Dallas at the center position, and though he didn’t produce eye-popping statistics, he was the defensive anchor the 2006 Finals team. Mostly, though, this is the result of no other center grabbing this spot with stellar play.
There’s a case to be made for Shawn Bradley, but Dampier outperformed him statistically, even though Bradley played a handful more games than Dampier. The Finals appearance boosts Dampier, as well as his superior rebounding.
Sixth Man: Jason Terry
Terry never made an All-Star Game, or All-NBA, but he was one of the best Mavericks of the 2000s. He was the second-leading scorer on the 2006 Finals team at 17.1 points per game. Despite having no league accolades during his stretch with the Mavericks, Terry is one of the best players in franchise history. Only Nowitzki scored more points than Terry in the 2000s.