The Dallas Mavericks entered the NBA in 1980, and the history of the franchise has been a constant roller coaster ride. It took them only four years to reach the playoffs going from an expansion team to contender by the mid-1980. They’ve also been at the depths of professional basketball enduring a downward spiral that left them as not only one of the worst teams in NBA history, but in all of sports. Over the past decade, they’ve been on the upswing reaching the NBA Finals twice and winning the championship in 2011. Every sports team experiences the highs and lows of athletic competition, but few are subject to the extremes that the Dallas Mavericks have known.
Texas is a ‘football state’ first and foremost and professional basketball found the going rough in the early days. The first pro hoops team to give it a go in ‘The Metroplex’ was the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association. The Chaparrals would join the ABA in 1967 and left town in 1973. The team enjoyed a few winning seasons in Dallas but found only indifference bordering on contempt from the local fanbase. Things took a turn for the better after the Chaparrals left Dallas, moving to San Antonio with a new nickname: Spurs.
Pro basketball would return to Dallas in 1980 with an NBA expansion team. The nickname ‘Mavericks’ was the result of a postcard contest as it beat out ‘Wranglers’ and ‘Express’. ‘Mavericks’ was an especially appropriate moniker as the original ownership group included actor James Garner, who was the lead character in the eponymously named TV series. Garner would continue to bigger and better things with his role as Jim Rockford in ‘The Rockford Files’. Virtually all expansion teams struggle in their early years, but the Mavericks were an exception–they would just miss the playoffs in their third year and qualify for the postseason in year four. With a highly respected head coach in Dick Motta, the Mavericks would be a legitimate Western Conference contender for most of the 1980’s.
The Mavs’ fortunes took a precipitous nosedive in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Dick Motta resigned as head coach; the roster devastated by age and injuries and Roy Tarpley’s promising career would end with a lifetime ban from the NBA due to recurring drug issues. The Mavericks would win only 22 games in 1991-92, but the team was nowhere near ‘rock bottom’. During the following two seasons, the Mavericks were not only a historically bad NBA team but one of the least competitive teams in the history of pro sports. Dallas would finish with a record of 11-71 in 1992-93 (the second worst season in NBA history) and follow that up with a 13-69 record in 1993-94. In both seasons, the Mavs were at risk of finishing with the worst record in NBA history. Thankfully, both seasons would end with a surge that kept them from that ignominious fate.
The Mavericks would see incremental improvement for several years but the big turnaround came in early 2000. The Dallas ownership group agreed to sell the team to a season ticket holder named Mark Cuban who also happened to be a ‘Dot com billionaire’. Cuban immediately began to revive the moribund franchise and eventually the Mavericks found unprecedented success culminating with an NBA Championship in 2011.
Mavericks’ owner Cuban leveraged technology to make his fortune, but fans who want to watch Mavs game live face the same inconsistency from broadcast TV networks as every other NBA team. Dallas is a popular team nationally and will appear on TNT and ESPN 18 times this year. The NBA League Pass provides more comprehensive game coverage along with a dedicated digital streaming platform. The downside is the cost–$149 for the digital-only access and $199 for combined digital/TV viewing.
There is a perfect solution for fans who want to follow their team all year long: watch Dallas Mavericks online for free. Live sports streams are readily available online for virtually every sport, league and game in the world. You’ll have no problem locating a Dallas Mavericks live stream or even a radio stream for tonight’s game. A number of websites provide a directory of live sports stream including Wiziwig, Ustream.tv and Stream2watch. These sites move from time to time, and new ones come online, so a Google search is necessary to find the latest information. Just find the game you’re interested in, select the stream speed, and you’re ready to go. Enjoy Dallas Mavericks basketball all year long 100% free of charge!