How bad were the Mavericks of the early 90s? Does the name Mike Iuzzolino ring a bell?

Maybe the reason I never really got into NBA Jam in 1993 was because my home team had the two man lineup of… Derek Harper and Mike Iuzzolino. Derek Harper was a good player, but a point guard can only get you so far if the next best player on your team is another point guard (5’10”) who was in the league for 2 years.

Here is the roster for that year, which I remember quite well, if the players were very forgettable. The obvious 2nd player for that team would have been rookie Jim Jackson, but he didn’t really endear himself to the fans by holding out for the majority of the season. The other amazing thing about that team that I forgot was that their 2nd and 3rd best scorers on the team were rookies. The second rookie was Sean Rooks, whose best season by far was his rookie season in which he played on one of the worst teams in NBA history.

As great and consistent as the Mavericks have been in the last decade, their stink in my formidable years still lingers a bit in my mind’s nose. My friends and I often wondered if they would have had a winning record in the CBA or if the Laetner-Hill-Hurley Blue Devils could have beaten them in a best of 4 series. That level of ineptitude creates long-term damage in a boy’s hometown pride. The only redeeming factor of the early and mid 90s was the greatness of the Cowboys and the explosive offence of the Rangers, which always gave us hope. The only thing we could hope for with the Mavs at that time was a good lottery draw. Fortunately, a good lottery draw can make a huge difference in the NBA since the teams are so small. Unfortunately with the Mavs, three good lottery draft picks in three years didn’t make much of a difference in the win column. What I never would have guessed was the benefit of a hands-on owner to the win column.

The current Mavs lineup is so deep that it’s actually difficult to pick three players for the NBA Jam game. But if you really want to be fair, the third player should probably be Mark Cuban. He is a strange guy, but he might be the most influential person on any team other than LeBron James.

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