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Cuban says Mavericks will retire Derek Harper’s jersey

Oct 28, 2013, 12:17 PM EDT

Derek Harper Getty Images

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).

  1. goraidersgospurs - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Harper Hand-Check!!!

  2. redbaronx - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I loved Harper back in the day. Great player. Well deserved.

  3. ldr83favre - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    This is a very classy move.

    Before Dirk came along, Derek Harper was arguably the most well-known, long-lasting Maverick in team history. (However, a strong argument could be made for Mark Aguirre).

    I particularly remember how strong Harper was in Games 3 and 4 of the 1988 Western Conference Finals against the favored Lakers. His strong play evened the series at 2-2, although Dallas would eventually lose in seven hard-fought games.

    Harper was the ultimate Maverick before the team’s golden days of the 2000s.

  4. franchiseplaya - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    See Dwight, THIS is how you get your #12 retired. By being a classy and loyal guy, not whining.

  5. jpietrefesa - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    D Harp woot woot

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