DALLAS —When the Dallas Mavericks hit the hardwood for the first time 42 seasons ago, it was a pivotal moment for the city of Dallas and forever changed the sports landscape in the region.
The team debuted in 1980, but one of the first historic moments in franchise history took place four years later on April 26, 1984. The night they call “Moody Madness” is a permanent part of Dallas sports lore.
Reunion Arena was hosting a tennis tournament, forcing the young Mavs to play at SMU’s Moody Coliseum. The team wasn’t expected to make much noise, but Dallas somehow pulled off an upset victory against the then-Seattle SuperSonics and won the organization’s first-ever playoff series at home.
Even after all these years, it’s still one of the wildest, most memorable nights in franchise history. Many have claimed they were in the building for Moody Madness, but officially, only 9,007 fans actually squeezed into the coliseum that satisfying night to witness DFW sports history.
Rolando Blackman was definitely in attendance and he went on to become a Dallas Mavericks legend and one of three players to have his jersey retired.
The Mavs trailed by six points with less than a minute to go and somehow tied the score and won, 105-104, in overtime. Blackman scored four points in the last 21 seconds of regulation to tie the score and led Dallas with 29 points.
“It was a wild ride,” said Blackman, who was a Maverick for over a decade. “No one knew how to act. It was all new to us and our fans.”
Dallas Mavericks vice president of operations Steve Letson was also there. He was tasked with transforming Moody into a facility that could accommodate an NBA playoff game. Four decades later, he’s still one of the first to arrive on game nights even now to help the new generation of players and fans bask in the glorious atmosphere of Dallas Mavericks basketball.
Letson, Blackman, Brad Davis and Derek Harper – all the big Mavs names from the very start that are still here – plus a plethora of other team legends, players and employees from the past and present – will be on hand Saturday, Nov. 6, as fans gather to celebrate the launch of the new Dallas Mavericks City Edition uniforms.
Oh, and the NBA champions from 2011 will also be in attendance. Jason Kidd now coaches the team. Tyson Chandler assists the new coaching staff and he’ll make an appearance at the Party on the Plaza, along with his former teammates Shawn Marion and J.J. Barea (more on that later).
These days, it’s more like Mavs Family For Life.
Moody Madness is just one of six moments captured in the City Edition uniform designs, paying homage to the iconic white Stetson hat once adorned by co-founder Don Carter. It’s better known these days as the “M Hat” logo on the jersey. The numbers are also crafted from 1984 and the “Dallas” across the chest recaptures the clean, rustic look of the past in a fresh way.
There are five more legendary timestamps stitched in other intricate details of the uniform that reflect the history of the team in the era of Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki. The neckline and side panels are borrowed from the 2011 championship season. Meanwhile, the neck taping, belt buckle and short vent details emulate 2019, the year Nowitzki symbolically passed the torch to then-20-year-old phenom Luka Doncic.
But to understand the allure of the Mavericks in the present – it’s important to first go back to the beginning. The foundation. Where it all began.
It’s key to remember just how iconic the “M” hat logo is.
“No one ever thought an NBA team would arrive in Dallas and there was a sense of pride in this city that is difficult to capture,” Blackman said. “Each time I walked to my locker and picked up that jersey, I immediately came to life. I see the same kind of hope in the eyes of the current players.”
THE NIKE 2021-22 MAVS NBA CITY EDITION: MOMENTS MIXTAPE
The Dallas Mavericks will launch their fourth jersey of the season into rotation on Saturday and the latest kit is a mashup of the best moments in franchise history. The look is a revival of a bygone era with technological tweaks to make the new threads fresh and current.
This week teams around the NBA debuted the 2021 Nike NBA City Edition uniforms — dubbed City Edition: Moments Mixtape — and the Mavericks will have their turn in the new threads Saturday night (Nov. 6) against Boston.
There will be a lot of green. Boston will wear all-black Statement uniforms outlined in green. The Mavericks new City Edition uniforms are white with green paneling on the side and jersey stitching in blue and green. The Mavs couldn’t do all green because the NBA considers every fifth year an anniversary year and the Mavericks wore the Nike Hardwood Classic Edition last season.
Interestingly enough, legend has it that co-founders Don Carter and Norm Sonju actually selected the color green in the jersey scheme because they liked the way Boston’s colors popped on the court. The fact that the Mavericks will debut the new remix threads against the Celtics was an unplanned coincidence.
And speaking of green, the jerseys will also perfectly match the logo of the team’s sponsor, Chime. The Mavericks and Chime are in the third season of a deal inked back in Jan. 2020.
The new Mavs City Edition uniforms join the Association, Icon and Statement jerseys already in rotation.
Dallas will wear the City Edition uniforms a total of 19 times this season, including 14 games at home. For the home court, the Mavericks will stick with the blue core court that highlights the names of all 337 players to ever play with the franchise.
All those names each hold their own story of chasing after their dreams and trailblazing a path to the NBA. Whether they played one game or 10 years, they are a vital piece of Dallas Mavericks history.
This Nike City Edition uniform is part of the NBA’s season-long 75th anniversary and the league invited teams to mix and match jersey styles and moments from different eras.
The Mavs hope the rework of the beloved Nike NBA Hardwood Classic style will recapture the nostalgia of six iconic moments in franchise history and pay homage to iconic venues that played a part in Dallas Mavericks history.
To celebrate the launch of the Nike NBA City Edition jersey and court, the Dallas Mavericks will host a Party on the Plaza presented by Chime, prior to the Mavs-Celtics game, with special guests that include some of the Mavericks most legendary players like NBA champions J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion.
Blackman will also be there. The other two with their numbers retired, Brad Davis and Derek Harper, will each be in attendance serving in their various roles as TV and radio analysts, respectively.
Meanwhile, 15-year NBA veteran, fan favorite and current Bally Sports Southwest pre-game host Devin Harris will also be in attendance to join the Mixtape Launch and visit with fans.
If you want to get Blackman pumped up, ask him about uniforms. He remembers it all.
“Our first road jerseys were actually blue when I played,” Blackman explained in vivid detail. “Then one day I walk to my locker and suddenly they are green. We lost our minds and were just so pumped and excited. There was something majestic about the greens. The fans loved them. It was important for all of us then to have a uniform we adored because no one believed the franchise would ever work here.”
This year will be white with green, but it still captures the nostalgia that fans have come to love with the retro look.
According to the official press release, fans will have the opportunity to walk down memory lane and immerse themselves in “visual imagery and memorabilia bottling the unforgettable moments in time!” There will be plenty of special food deals along with beer and wine for purchase.
This year’s Mavs jersey pays tribute to the green accents and Western typography of the team’s early years. Perhaps the most unique detail of this jersey is located in the bottom left of the jersey where MFFL is stitched — a tip of the hat to Mavs Fans For Life.
Mavericks brain trust and Nike executives started the design process about two years ago and received feedback from players and staffers. Together they came up with the six most historic moments of the last 42 seasons. Thus, the new “mixtape” jersey was born and it’s a combination of a little old, revitalized into something fresh and new.
The Mavericks are one of the first teams to incorporate the green sheen fabric side paneling. This uniform design represents a collaboration of elements from Mavs history and remixes the silhouette into a forward-facing look towards the future of the franchise.
The team will wear the new jerseys for six straight games starting on Dec. 23 when the Mavs host the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, followed by a Christmas Day game at the Utah Jazz on national television. Dallas will wear the City Editions for the remainder of that road trip with games at Portland, Sacramento twice and Oklahoma City on Jan. 2. The team will then wear the new jerseys for eight home games the second half of the season.
Oh, and here’s a special treat for MFFLs: all the new City Edition line will available exclusively tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 6) at the Moments Mixtape Launch on the South Plaza right outside the AAC from 5-7 p.m. If you miss out, fans can purchase new City Edition gear starting Nov. 15 online at Dallas Mavs Shop or The Hangar.
Here’s a sneak peek at the new Nike City Edition player line that the team will wear this season:
DALLAS MAVS CITY EDITION NIGHTS (home games in bold):
Nov. 6 vs. Boston Celtics
Nov. 15 vs. Denver Nuggets
Nov. 27 vs. Washington Wizards
Dec. 7 vs. Brooklyn Nets
Dec. 15 vs. LA Lakers
Dec. 23 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Dec. 25 at Utah Jazz
Dec. 27 at Portland Trail Blazers
Dec. 29 at Sacramento Kings
Dec. 31 at Sacramento Kings
Jan. 2 at OKC Thunder
Jan. 9 vs. Chicago Bulls
Jan. 15 vs. Orlando Magic
Jan. 23 vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Feb. 2 vs. OKC Thunder
Feb. 4 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
March 3 vs. Golden State Warriors
March 23 vs. Houston Rockets
March 29 vs. LA Lakers