The Mavericks have a long and storied history that goes all the way back to... well, a few years before the Grizzlies, anyway. Here are nine amazing things you either didn't know or only sort-of knew about the only basketball franchise that could make us forget about the Dallas Chaparrals
1. It's entirely possible that legendary guard Derek Harper helped precipitate the whole “automatic penalty for leaving the bench during a fight” thing -- first introduced for the '94-'95 season -- when he body-slammed not-legendary Bulls guard Jo Jo English right in front of David Stern while playing for the Knicks during the '94 playoffs.
2. 1995 1st-rounder Cherokee Parks' sister Corey was a founding member of the band with the best name ever (Nashville Pussy), but she left after their second album's release, and is now in all-girl supergroup Chelsea Girls. She also launched a possibly Adam Ant-influenced rocker clothing line, Stand and Deliver, which Cherokee Parks didn't do just tons of over a journeyman career that covered eight NBA teams and, as of last year's un-retirement, one French one -- but who cares, he has way more ink than Shawn Bradley.
3. Bill Wennington, who won three titles with the Bulls after winning three less than that with the Mavs, had a McDonald's burger named after him in Chicago: The Beef Wennington, which had Canadian bacon on it, but also American cheese, because the Montreal-born center graduated high school in Long Island, and also because Canadians don't have their own cheese.
4. Jason Kidd had a rap album, but not so much a rap video. Here's the tune transcribed
5. Jamal Mashburn did not have a rap album, but was heavily into voodoo.
6. Dahntay Jones is Al Harrington's cousin. But more importantly, his wife Valeisha is incredibly accomplished, having been named Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration in 2009, and before that co-founding WEEN -- the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, not the dudes who performed Jamal Mashburn's favorite song, “Voodoo Lady”
7. Before arriving in Dallas, Brad Davis (the first Mav to ever have his jersey retired) had a quick stint with the CBA's Anchorage Northern Knights, who played in the West Anchorage High School gym, hallowed boards once trampled on by WAHS attendees Don Simpson -- who produced Top Gun and Flashdance -- and Bristol Palin, who shoots guns, and dances with the stars
8. Playing in China last year, Josh Akognon absolutely lit it up for the Dongguan Leopards, nailing threes, talking trash with Stephon Marbury, and otherwise proudly representing the most underutilized big-cat in all of sports. Seriously, why is the panther a more appropriate mascot than the leopard?
9. And of course, Mark Aguirre became first NBA player to have a krautrock band write a song about him, when experimental Germans Popol Vuh became so dismayed by his unwillingness to assume the mantle of team leadership they released the hauntingly existential “Aguirre: Wrath of God”.
Photo praise due to Joe Merchant, for getting the best autograph of all time