Derek Harper is one of those guys where the fans of that team just love him and people outside the city may not always get it.
Harper was drafted by the Mavericks in 1983 and spent his first decade in the league in Dallas. He was a strong defender (two-time NBA All Defense second team) who was just smart with the ball and he could score — he averaged 16 points or more seven of his seasons with the Mavericks. Now he is a broadcaster for the team.
He’s not a guy headed to the Hall of Fame — but he is headed to the Mavericks’ equivalent.
Owner Mark Cuban confirmed to ESPN that the Mavericks will retire Harper’s No. 12 later this season.
It’s fitting. He’s the best point guard in Mavericks’ history (Steve Nash wasn’t there long enough). Teams have different criteria for who goes up in the rafters but it should be a guy that was dedicated to the team and someone the fans love. That’s Harper in Dallas. Plus he still has the franchise records for assists (5,111) and steals (1,551).
No date is yet set for this.
To answer your next question (or so you can stump your friends with trivia) there are two other Mavericks with retired jerseys: Brad Davis (15) and Rolando Blackman (22).
Kevin Durant was doing it all in the first half — he had 18 points to lead the Warriors (tied with Stephen Curry) and was making plays all over the court.
That includes racing back on this play and blocking Dejounte Murray‘s layup. Twice. On one shot.
The Warriors have led by 20 and been in control through the start of the third quarter. KD was at the heart of that.
That was a foul. Jonathan Simmons caught Draymond Green in the face as he reached in.
But the delayed then overly-dramatic reaction by Green is a classic flop.
We’ll see if the NBA fined Green for this, but Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich was amused.
Take that Stephen Curry.
Gregg Popovich would pull him so fast he’d look like a fidget spinner if he tried this in a game, but during warmups before Game 4 Monday night LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a deep three from one knee.
If Aldridge is taking a lot of threes that’s not a good sign for the Spurs, but we’ll see if he can have a big night and keep the Spurs alive in this series.
Stephen Curry‘s pregame warmups draw people into the arena early, it’s a show in and of itself.
Before Game 4 Monday night, Curry was taking a couple shots from the center-court logo. And draining them. Like layups. Because he can.
We’ll see if he can put on that kind of show when the game tips off.