New Dallas NBA team franchised

May 1st, 1980

On this day in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks officially became the twenty-third member of the National Basketball Association, when owner Donald Carter's Dallas National Basketball Association, Inc., was awarded a franchise by NBA commissioner Lawrence O'Brien. Norm Sonju, the club's first and only general manager, had initiated the process of bringing professional basketball to Dallas in 1978, when he contacted Dallas mayor Bob Folsom. Together they put together a group of eight investors, headlined by the Carter family's Home Interiors and Gifts. Mayor Folsom and the city of Dallas also assisted by building the 17,007-seat Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas in 1979. Sonju hired Dick Motta, then the coach with the third highest number of wins in NBA history, as the team's first head coach. That first team had a record of fifteen wins and sixty-seven losses for the 1980-81 season.

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New Dallas NBA team franchised

May 1st, 1980

On this day in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks officially became the twenty-third member of the National Basketball Association, when owner Donald Carter's Dallas National Basketball Association, Inc., was awarded a franchise by NBA commissioner Lawrence O'Brien. Norm Sonju, the club's first and only general manager, had initiated the process of bringing professional basketball to Dallas in 1978, when he contacted Dallas mayor Bob Folsom. Together they put together a group of eight investors, headlined by the Carter family's Home Interiors and Gifts. Mayor Folsom and the city of Dallas also assisted by building the 17,007-seat Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas in 1979. Sonju hired Dick Motta, then the coach with the third highest number of wins in NBA history, as the team's first head coach. That first team had a record of fifteen wins and sixty-seven losses for the 1980-81 season.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: