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State Fair Displays 42 Years of Mavericks History


Game worn jerseys from the Dallas Mavericks on display at the Mavs Vault at the Texas State Fair. | Image from the Dallas Mavericks

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When you find yourself needing a place to cool down and relax at the Texas State Fair this year, the Mavs Vault will be the perfect spot to unwind while taking a trip down memory lane.

The Mavs Vault takes visitors on a trip through the Dallas Mavericks’ 42 years of existence, and it will be on display at the Hall of State at the fair from Friday until October 23.

On Wednesday, several hundred lucky fans and dignitaries got a sneak peek at the collection of Maverick artifacts.

The exhibit is divided into a dozen different sections. The centerpiece is the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA championship trophy displayed in front of the banner that regularly hangs in the rafters of American Airlines Center, which lists the names of each player along with coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban.

Highlights from the past 42 years continuously play on screens, with never-before-seen artifacts displayed throughout the exhibit. Interactive kiosks allow visitors to play Mavs-themed trivia and games while a progression of the history of the Mavericks jersey is shown and exclusive merchandise is sold.

“It’s really just a great chance to be in the community and really show everybody who wasn’t around 42 years ago what the Mavericks [are] all about,” said the Mavericks’ general manager and president of basketball operations, Nico Harrison.

Building community support is a central reason why the Mavericks set up shop in the middle of the State Fair, Harrison explained, calling it one of the franchise’s “core values.”

“It just aligns with who we are, you know, in our values, like being part of the community. And this is one of the biggest things in the community, and we’re smack dab in the middle of it,” said Harrison, “it’s like the community that supports us we got to in turn support them.”

Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall echoed Harrison’s emphasis on rallying community support while giving fans a fun, in-depth look at Dallas’ pro basketball franchise.

“It’s about community. And if you look at the last few letters in community, it’s about unity. So, this is a chance for us to come together and just support the community,” said Marshall. “So many people will come out here, and so we just wanted to be a part of this great state fair.”

Marshall said her favorite part of the Mavs Vault is a short 30-minute historical film playing on a loop downstairs from the exhibit.

The film shows everything in the Mavericks’ history, both the good and the not-so-good: the team’s inception and early success, the miserable 90s, the Dirk Nowitzki-led resurgence, and the 2011 championship. It ends with a rather significant nod to Luka Dončić.

“You can see how the transaction was being made when the thought first occurred to have an NBA team here in Dallas, and it takes you all the way up through now,” said Marshall. “So if you don’t know the history of the Mavericks, it’s a great video to come and watch. If you do know the history, it’s a great opportunity to come in and relive all of these great, great moments.”

Mavericks’ legend Rolando Blackman was in attendance Wednesday. The film touches on his role as one of the best Mavericks players during the franchise’s perennial playoff teams of the 80s.

Blackman wants everyone visiting the fair to make sure and look around the Mavs Vault.

“People should come and share that history, get a chance to understand a little bit about it, and become more of a Mavs fan,” said Blackman. “So, we’re looking for people who know and people who don’t know to come out and really enjoy themselves.”

The Mavs Vault will be open during regular fair hours and is free with admission to the fair.

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