DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks’ fans were treated to an up-close and personal glimpse of the 2020-21 squad last week with a special programming event called the Mavs Tipoff Show, presented by Chime, that aired on Fox Sports Southwest ahead of the home-opener against Charlotte.

The Tipoff serves as one of the premier fundraising events for the Mavs Foundation, an organization that has pumped millions of dollars into the community over the past 24 years to grant funds for local organizations.

The global pandemic forced the Mavs’ annual Tipoff Luncheon to go virtual, but the players remained upbeat and jubilant as they took small jabs at each other and dished out some never-before-heard stories about life on and off the basketball court.

The laughter started early, as Mavs’ play-by-play announcer, Mark Followill, introduced global sensation Luka Dončić to the show along with his teammate and pal, NBA veteran Boban Marjanovic.

“I feel comfortable in saying you guys are two great friends, right?” Followill asked.

“No,” Dončić immediately quipped and joked back.

The duo shared other personal tidbits about their lives, like how Dončić owns a 31-1 table tennis record against Marjanovic.

“I beat you every time,” Dončić told Marjanovic, later explaining how Boban notched a solo victory because Luka was fatigue after one particular game in the NBA bubble.

“Okay, kid,” Marjanovic joked. “He was tired after the game against the Clippers and I beat him that time.”

Dončić also gave the audience a more intimate glimpse into the unique offseason that he experienced. His NBA success has brought more attention and fame, so this meant Dončić had to remain extra diligent and limit his interactions out in public as best possible.

Just like the rest of the world, he was forced to adjust to a new normal.

“I would play a little tennis,” Dončić shared, “but mostly I was in my house because of COVID-19. It was a different summer.”

Eight players were introduced to the audience during the hour-long program.

Dončić and Marjanovic went first, followed by a segment with more behind-the-scenes moments and stories as told by Tim Hardaway, Jr., along with rookie Josh Green and Mavs newcomer Josh Richardson.


When it comes to this year’s Dallas Mavericks team, there is no shortage of personalities or talents among the players.

Broken faucet? No worries. Josh Richardson is the resident handyman and can fix anything.

“My dad would remodel houses, flip houses, redo kitchen and bathrooms and that was his specialty,” Richardson said.

“He would always force me to go with him when I was younger, and I’d always be building stuff and tearing stuff up.”

The six-year NBA veteran added that he still fixes appliances in his house when things break. Over the months, he’s repaired his toaster, stove ignitor and the lights in the house.

Meanwhile, want to HGTV and chill?

Tim Hardaway, Jr. is the one for the job, and he has big aspirations for 2021, like traveling to Waco in hopes of meeting Chip and Joanna Gaines.

“Man, you guys could be the new Fixer Uppers,” Followill announced to Hardaway and Richardson, referring to the popular HGTV series.

“That’s my show, Chip and Joanna Gaines, come on now,” Hardaway enthusiastically shared.

“They’re right down the road in Waco. I can’t wait to have the opportunity after the pandemic is over to drive down there and (see) Magnolia and all the projects they are doing and hopefully one day that day will come.”


The final segment included an appearance from 2020 NBA Cares award winner, Dwight Powell, along with veterans Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber. This bunch reflected on the deep chemistry among the squad.

For instance, Brunson and Kleber said it’s been especially important to have Powell back on the court after an Achilles injury sidelined him last year. The duo explained to the audience that Powell is a constant source of inspiration and energy for the team.

Kleber, in particular, said he is thrilled to have his pregame partner back on the court.

“Pregame routine is a big part of the game,” Kleber explained, “so I’m just happy that I can go back to my normal routine. Every player has routine with other players and I’m just glad to have him back and that chemistry again.”

Team owner Mark Cuban was also on hand for a special interview, along with special appearances from Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, who was a Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year nominee.

During the show, the Mavs Foundation opened an online auction for anyone to bid and contribute to the Foundation’s mission to support women, children and families in North Texas.

The Tipoff auction raised thousands of dollars, thanks to the support of Mavs’ fans across the globe and the money will be used to provide grants to local nonprofits. The most profitable items during this year’s auction included a Dončić jersey with a winning bid of $2,350. Meanwhile, an hour-long virtual lunch with Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall notched over $2K.

Powell said he’s committed to helping the Mavs Foundation and other outreach missions in the community because it’s important for NBA players to use their platforms for a greater purpose.

After losing his mother to cancer, it’s a cause that hits close to home.

“Unfortunately, a massive percentage of people we all know have been touched by cancer,” Powell shared. “To think that a child or family would lose out because of that is heartbreaking to me because I put myself in their shoes, I’ve lived that experience.”

Powell also encouraged the audience to come together and unite during these crucial times and extend empathy and grace to each other.

“I think for me, the biggest motivating factor is we are all part of our community,” Powell explained. “We’re not separate from our community. So helping our community is helping each other and helping ourselves. Raising our community up gives our next generation, our children, our families better opportunities.”

If you would like to find out more about the outstanding work of the Mavs Foundation and the community impact across North Texas, click here.

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