By Brandon Zhu
On this day in 1980, The Dallas Mavericks opened their first season in the NBA with a 103-92 victory at home against interstate rival San Antonio Spurs. The Dallas Mavericks have gone through many ups and downs since their inception. In the 80s the Mavericks were a perennial playoff team, but could never quite get to the finals. In the 1987-88 NBA season, the Mavericks made it to the Western Conference Finals but lost to the eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. The 90s marked an era of rebuilding. It wasn’t until the Nowitzki era (1998-2018), that the Dallas Mavericks were finally able to turn the struggling franchise around. Dirk Nowitzki would emerge to be a superstar in the league, and helped lead the Mavericks to their first NBA Finals in 2006. However, the season ended in heartbreak. The Mavericks were initially up 2-0 against the Miami Heat, but a comeback led by Heat’s Dwyane Wade saw the Heat win four consecutive games to win the championship 4-2. Championship glory finally arrived in Dallas during the 2010-11 season. The Mavericks, who were considered the underdogs, managed to defeat Miami’s big three – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh – in six games to secure the Dallas Mavericks first NBA Championship.