A Texas Rivalry
A tale of cross-state tension
It’s no secret that the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs have quite a bit of history.
Last season, Mavericks legend, Dirk Nowitzki, played his last game on San Antonio’s home court and was met with deep respect from Spurs fans. The Big German even shed tears after the final buzzer while a tribute video played on the jumbotron over the basketball court.
There’s no other rivalry in basketball that can boast having two of the best power forwards in NBA history. Nor is there any other rivalry that has substantially opened doors for international players to make it in the NBA.
The Spurs had The Big Three: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. The Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, and Shawn Marion. Each team dug itself out of having never won a championship, with the Spurs doing so on five different occasions, and the Mavericks winning their flagship championship in 2011.
In 2003, the Mavericks and Spurs faced off in the Western Conference Finals, where the latter went on to clinch the championship for the second time. In 2014, the Spurs triumphed over the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs– the first stepping stone to their fifth successful championship run.
However, the Spurs didn’t always triumph over their cross-state rivals, as they were eliminated twice in the playoffs at the hands of the Mavericks, in 2006 and 2009. The Spurs struck back in 2010, disposing of the Mavericks in six games.
Now, each franchise’s major players have retired, and the deeply set tension between each team’s fanbase has dissipated. But a new era has begun for both of these Texas titans. The Mavericks’ recent acquisition of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis has begun a revival of this sleeping team, and the Spurs have found new energy in the likes of Derrick White and Dejounte Murray.
On Monday, Heath’s very own acapella group, Infiniti, will sing at the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs game, opening up another chapter in this historic Texas rivalry.