This is member-exclusive content
icon/ui/info filled

sportsMavericks

Luka Doncic, teammates reflect on memories of Mavs’ 2011 championship ahead of 10-year anniversary

Dirk Nowitzki served as a role model — or a villain against their childhood favorite teams — during Dallas’ run to the NBA Finals.

Saturday will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Mavericks’ 2011 championship, the only title in franchise history, but don’t expect the team to be too sentimental.

Earlier this week, a reporter asked coach Rick Carlisle about Dirk Nowitzki, the 2011 NBA Finals MVP, and Carlisle, who was then in his third season with the Mavericks, finished his answer with an eye to the present.

“I can assure you this: We’re looking forward,” Carlisle said Monday after the Mavericks’ season-ending exit interviews. “We’re not an organization that’s living in the past and talking about a championship 10 years ago. We’ve got to work to keep moving this thing in the correct direction.”

No current Mavericks were on the title team. Only one, pending free agent JJ Redick, was even in the NBA. Luka Doncic, for example, was 12 years old when the Mavericks beat the Heat’s Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in six games.

But several Mavericks remember what they were doing when Dallas marked its ultimate triumph.

Here’s what four recalled when asked about their 2011 Mavericks memories.

Answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Jalen Brunson

It was summer going into my freshman high school. I promise you — don’t take this out of proportion — I watched Dirk a lot. Hopefully that doesn’t get to his head, but I watched him a lot. I loved the way he played. I loved the way he got himself open for shots, his footwork and things like that.

Even though I’m about 10 inches shorter, I still find ways to implement it into my game. Just watching him, watching the team, how well put they were and how together they were, that’s admirable. They had the leadership, guys holding each other accountable. That’s what makes championship teams, so from afar, that was pretty fun to watch.

Josh Richardson

I’m from near Oklahoma City, so I was close, so I always knew what the Mavericks were doing. I think that was the year that Dirk actually destroyed the Thunder in the playoffs, and I was very not happy about it because I was a Thunder fan. I do remember the way he was playing, the way Jet was playing, Barea — all those guys were having great playoffs.

I think that was the first year the Heat came together, right? That was the first year of LeBron and the Heat — I remember that — because I was like, ‘The Heat is trouble.’ But I remember just the way the ball was moving for the Mavericks. I remember Jet running down the court, you know what I’m saying? My biggest takeaway was Dirk and what he did to the Thunder.

Luka Doncic

Obviously, I don’t know nothing because I was too young to watch the NBA.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

I remember coming back from Michigan and my dad was working with the Heat at the time, so I was able to get tickets to go to every single one of those games at home, so I just remember Dirk out there doing his thing. I remember the Heat players making fun of him a little bit here and there and him realizing it and not really, you know, showing emotion.

It’s like a ‘Ha Ha’ type of moment, like, ‘I hear you but I’m not going to let that affect the way I go out there and hoop,’ so it was great just to be able to watch it, especially with him. I think, was he the only All-Star on that team? He was. But also he had Matrix and those guys that were previous All Stars at the time.

Him doing it against the Big 3 — probably one of the only teams without a Big 3 or without multiple-MVP-type-caliber players going against them to beat them on their turf and at their place and come out as champions. It was a great experience to watch, even though I was a Heat fan at that time.

+++

Find more Mavericks coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

In This Story

Callie Caplan, Staff Writer. Callie Caplan covers the Dallas Mavericks, high school football and Olympic sports. She has also written for The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2017.

callie.caplan@dallasnews.com @CallieCaplan
Mavs Minutes

Be the smartest Mavs fan

Get the latest news, analysis and opinion delivered straight to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy