Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks: How have the Mavs fared on All Star Saturday Night? Relive Dirk’s three-point victory and some forgettable dunks


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ORG XMIT: 73311427 LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 17:  Footlocker Three-Point Shootout contestants (L-R) Mike Miller #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies, Damon Jones #19 of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks, Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards, Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks and Jason Kapono #24 of the Miami Heat pose for a portrait on All-Star Saturday NIght during the NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE  (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)


Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

ORG XMIT: 73311427 LAS VEGAS – FEBRUARY 17: Footlocker Three-Point Shootout contestants (L-R) Mike Miller #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies, Damon Jones #19 of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks, Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards, Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks and Jason Kapono #24 of the Miami Heat pose for a portrait on All-Star Saturday NIght during the NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)


The Mavs won’t have anyone playing in the NBA All Star game on Sunday, but they will have a presence on Friday and Saturday. 

Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. will participate in the Rising Stars challenge on Friday and the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All Star Saturday Night, which will surely be the event of the weekend for Mavs’ fans. 

The Mavs have been players in All Star Saturday night before, and have even taken home some hardware on occasion. Let’s take a look back at the key events the Mavs’ have participated in. 

Dunk contest

Smith will be the third Maverick to compete in the dunk contest. The Mavs’ first two tries were, well, pretty forgettable. Let’s take a look…

Tony Dumas, 1995

This, uh, didn’t go well at all. Dumas competed in the dunk contest during his rookie year and it wasn’t pretty, 

That’s right. Dumas didn’t make a single one of his dunk attempts. NONE. Even the simple one towards the end. The announcers were speculating that Dumas might have injured his knee. Charles Barkley put it best near the end of the clip.

“I think he just got a little bit nervous and he didn’t perform very well,” Barkley said. “He just looked like he never got comfortable out there.”

This really sums up the 90’s Mavs really well, actually. 

Michael Finley, 1997

Finley fared a little better than Dumas did two years earlier. He advanced to the second round of the contest but finished third. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant took the crown this time. Let’s see what Finley had to offer…

Nothing too flashy here. The one that sticks out is the attempt where Finley did a cartwheel before missing a dunk. Now that would’ve been cool, had he pulled it off. We’re willing to bet Smith has something more explosive planned for this week, if his dunks from this season are any evidence. 

Three-point shootout

This is the event where the Mavs have been most prominent and even brought home a winner. Dale Ellis, Detlef Schrempf, Derek Harper, George McCloud and Hubert Davis all participated in the event in the 80’s and 90’s. It wasn’t until 2000 when the Mavericks really made their presence felt with Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry. 

Let’s take a look at a few memorable ones. 

Dirk Nowitzki, 2000

A young, baby-faced Dirk Nowitzki would make his first of five career appearances in the 2000 shootout. He didn’t win, but the performance definitely helped put him on the NBA map. And, at the time, a seven-footer competing in a guard/wing driven was a rarity. 

Knocking down six-straight shots? Classic Dirk. And look at how shy he was in that interview at the end! We’ve come a long way.

Dirk Nowitzki, 2006

Six years after his first appearance, Nowitzki finally took the crown. He advanced to the finals of the 2006 contest and did not disappoint, sinking shot after shot. 

Notice how Charles Barkley and the announcers are still in awe of Nowitzki’s shooting ability as a seven-footer. It’s almost commonplace to see power forwards shooting threes now! 

Dirk won the title, edging out a field that contained Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups and Gilbert Arenas. It’s the only individual All Star Saturday Night victory the Mavs can claim. Perhaps DSJ can change that. 

Jason Terry, 2006

Dirk also edged out teammate Jason Terry for the 2006 victory. Terry couldn’t advance past the first round, but it’s still fun to see the JET participating regardless. He and Nowitzki again competed in 2007.

Wesley Matthews, 2017

Nowitzki competed in his final three-point shootout in 2008. The Mavs then went nine seasons before having a representative in an All Star Saturday Night individual contest. Wesley Matthews ended that streak with an appearance in the three-point shootout last season. 

Matthews failed to advance past the first round, but it’s fun to have a Maverick involved at least. 

Shooting Stars challenge

This obscure part of All Star Saturday Night no longer exists, but Dirk Nowitzki did help his team win it once. 

During the 2010 All Star festivities in Dallas, “Team Texas” made up of Nowitzki, Kenny Hill and Becky Hammond won the team-shooting contest. Dirk sealed the win with a beautiful half-court shot.

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