HISTORY OF MAVERICKS PRO BASKETBALL
Mavericks Pro Basketball has a rich tradition of Winning & Championships. The Mavericks established themselves as the most successful Professional Basketball Franchise outside or below in the NBA. The Mavericks ABA/Pro Basketball Back-to-Back National Championships in 2011 & 2010 clearly made the Southeast Texas Mavericks the most recognized and respected Pro Basketball Organization in the American Basketball Association or in any Professional Basketball League not in the NBA.
The Mavericks were owned and led by Beaumont, TX businessman, Jerry Nelson. Nelson, who also owns and operates Maverick International, Inc., which is an oil pipe fitting company located in Beaumont. Nelson has many outside interest, which includes rodeo, bull riding, monster truck, promoting shows & concerts, and many other vast professional ventures.
Nelson’s involvement in Pro Basketball started in the 2008-09 season when he was a partner in the ownership group for the SETX Mustangs. The SETX Mustangs 2008-09 Season was a banner one that produced a 27-2 record, which included a 25-game regular season winning streak that allowed SETX to be ranked #1 in the ABA National Power Ranking for 14 straight weeks. The Mustangs traveled to the ABA Championship Finals in Nashville, TN as the favorite to win the 2008-09 ABA Championship title. In Nashville, the Mustangs ran into the powerful Kentucky Bisons, who upset the Mustangs in the Semi-finals of the Championship Tournament to send the winningest team in the ABA home empty handed.
Upon returning from the ABA National Championship Finals the SETX Mustangs were dissolved by the League Office and Nelson was awarded the ABA Franchise Rights for Beaumont, TX by American Basketball Association (ABA) CEO, Joe Newman. At that point, the Southeast Texas (SETX) Mavericks Professional Basketball Franchise was established. All previous records and accomplishments of the SETX Mustangs would be kept under the umbrella of the SETX Mavericks; yet the Mavericks were totally a separate ABA Pro Basketball Organization that would be owned by Nelson solely.
Nelson hired longtime Professional Basketball Coach and former Mustangs Head Coach Steve Tucker as his General Manager and Head Coach. Nelson and Tucker acted quickly in beginning work on building the SETX Mavericks into the winningest and most successful Pro Basketball Franchise in ABA History and one of the most respected franchises to ever play Professional Basketball outside the NBA in the United States.
The SETX Mavericks opened the 2009-10 season with high expectations. The Mavericks ended the ABA regular season with a 24-3 record. After defeating their archrival, the Texas Fuel they would meet the Defending Champion, Kentucky Bisons in the ABA Championship Finals. The Finals was now decided by a 3-game series. After losing Game 1 in a tight fought game in Owensboro, KY 99-96 the Mavericks would have to come home having to defeat the Bisons in two straight games to claim their first National Championship. The Mavericks won a resounding Game 2 in dominating fashion! Then with a comeback for the ages in the 4th quarter the Mavericks claimed their first ABA/Pro Basketball National Championship with an 85-76 victory over their rival and nemesis the Kentucky Bisons finishing the season with a 27-4 record.
After the 2010 National Championship the Mavericks would move into their new home, the Nutty Jerry’s Entertainment Complex in Winnie, TX. Jerry Nelson had envisioned this arena for many years. The NJEC not only was the home of the Mavericks, but it hosts some of the top shows and events in Southeast Texas and is known throughout Texas and Nationwide as one of the top venues to perform in the Country.
In the 2010-11 season with one Pro Basketball National Championship in hand the SETX Mavericks began the season Ranked #1 in the Nation in the ABA Power Ranking and as a the most wanted team in the Country. The Mavs had recruited well and many feel that the 2010-11 version of the Mavericks was the best team ever assembled in the ABA History. The Mavs quickly ran off 9 straight wins, but in Gulfport, MS on the night of December 19th, 2010 that goal of an undefeated season came to an abrupt halt with a 111-109 loss to the young and upcoming Gulf Coast Flash. This loss woke up the Mavericks and brought them back to reality. Then after a couple of changes, one planned and two not so planned the Mavericks would take out after Back-to-Back National Championships. With reigning League MVP’s Josh Pace’s departure for family reasons and former League MVP’s DeRon Rutledge’s surprising retirement announcement to pursue a lifelong dream to work with Union Pacific Railroad changes were made that would make the Mavericks younger but less experienced. Some key players were missing from the previous season’s championship team. But “THE SYSTEM” would prevail and the Mavs would not lose another regular season game. They earned the right to host the ABA Championship Finals at the NJEC in Winnie, TX.
There the Mavs would win its first two preliminary games with convincing victories over the Kentucky Energy and the Jacksonville Giants (who had come into the finals with an undefeated record). The Mavericks would face the only team that had defeated them in the regular season the Gulf Coast Flash and with a dominating display the SETX Mavericks would claim Back-to-Back ABA/Pro Basketball National Championship with a 118-92 victory in Game 2 to Sweep the Championship Finals!
The Mavericks would finish the 2010-11 season with a 35-1 record, with winning its last 26 straight games, and with being ranked #1 in the Nation for a record amazing 33 straight weeks and for the entire 2010-11 season. As well, the SETX Mavericks were recognized by Eurobasket/USBasket as the premiere Pro Basketball Team in the USA outside and below the NBA. The Mavericks compiled an 89-7 record in 3 seasons, would win 3 Divisional Championships and 2 ABA/Pro Basketball National Championships.
Mavericks’ Players would garner numerous honors with 4 League MVP Awards being awarded to Mavericks Players. DeRon Rutledge, who is the All-Time Leading Scorer and Rebounder for the Mavs was named the 2008-09 ABA MVP. Josh Pace would earn the same award in 2009-10 and would add the Championship Finals MVP Award to that. Odell Bradley would be named the 2010-11 ABA MVP for the regular season and PJ Couisnard would be named the 2010-11 ABA Championship Finals MVP.
Coach Steve Tucker would have a magical run that has never been seen before as Coach T would earn 3 consecutive National Coach of the Year Awards (ABA, Euro/USBasket/Pro Basketball News), would win 2 Back-to-Back Pro Basketball National Championships, and would be named by Pro Basketball News as the #1 Professional Basketball Coach not coaching in the NBA. Tucker would also become the winningest coach in ABA History and would be selected as the ABA Coach of the Decade.
Mavericks Owner, Jerry Nelson would be selected as ABA League Executive of the Year 2 times and would establish a Professional Basketball Franchise that is recognized worldwide for its accomplishments. Nelson established himself as one of the best owners in all Professional Sports on any level.
After winning so many games and Back-to-Back Pro Basketball National Championships the SETX Mavericks decided to leave the ABA in the spring of 2011 with the sole intention to join the NBA Developmental League (now the NBA G League). After numerous meetings with the NBA D League the Mavericks knew that at this time the D League was not a direction, they wanted to move in. So, with that in mind, the Mavericks sat out the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons with a watchful eye on what was going on within Pro Basketball Circles around the World.
Few options presented itself to the MAVS. But in the spring of 2013 the decision was made to return to the ABA. The Mavericks returned to the American Basketball Association in the 2013-14 Season. Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana would become the new home of Mavericks Pro Basketball, and in Shreveport-Bossier the MAVS would have two unbelievable seasons in Northern Louisiana that would make History in Professional Basketball.
The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks continued the Mavericks Winning Tradition & Legacy with two banner seasons. Playing in the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum the Mavs were untouchable winning two more Pro Basketball National Championship (Back-to-Back undefeated National Champions), compiling a 66-0 record, and running the total of Pro Basketball National Championships to 4 (most ever in ABA History). The Mavericks continued “THE STREAK” running it to 93 straight wins (including 94 consecutive wins at Home). The MAVS were also selected as the Sports Team of the Year at the Shreveport-Bossier, LA Pride Awards in 2014.
Josh Pace and Ed Horton would win ABA MVP Awards, and Coach Steve Tucker would continue his run of National Coach of the Year Awards (run his total to an unprecedented 5 straight). Mavs Owner, Jerry Nelson would become recognized as the best owner not in the NBA. All in all, the Magical Run of the Mavericks was unstoppable in the two-year Mavericks stint in Northern Louisiana. With all the success though, the Mavericks looked at taking the Mavericks to a more Traditional and Basketball Rich area. Owensboro, KY made it known it wanted the Mavericks and in the Spring of 2015 the Mavericks relocated to the Western Kentucky City known as the #1 Sports City in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Kentucky Mavericks tipped-off the 2015-16 Season in Owensboro at the Owensboro Sportscenter Arena (another traditional Old Arena). In the Premier Basketball League (PBL) the MAVS continued their domination. In two seasons the Mavericks won the Western Division of the PBL twice compiling at 40-7 record. The Mavericks were upset in the Western Division Finals in 2016 but made it to the PBL Final in 2017 facing archrival, the Rochester Razorsharks in the Championship Finals.
The 2017 PBL Championship Finals was a Championship Finals for the ages as the two Champions battled in 3 memorable Finals Games. In the Finals both teams scored 300 points each, split quarters, and overtime periods 7-7, and the Championship was decided by 1 point 94-93 in Rochester, NY as the Razorsharks outlasted the Mavericks as the MAVS missed 3 shots in the final seconds.
The Mavericks were voted the Sports Team of the Year in 2016 by the Owensboro Community Magazine for its work on and off the court.
In April 2017, the Mavericks decided to cease operations and go dark once again. The end of one of the best runs by any Professional Basketball Organization/Team in the World of Professional Basketball in the History of the Game.
After 3 years of being dormant, the Mavericks are returning Home to the City and Community that embraced it like no other, Shreveport, Louisiana to continue its long History of Success and Winning.
“To be going Home to Shreveport, LA is Special! I cannot say how Special it is to me and all who are a Part of our Mavericks Family.” Stated Mavericks Managing General Partner/Head Coach, Steve Tucker.
IT IS TIME TO MAVUP ONCE AGAIN – “GO MAVS……”
“MAVERICKS PRO BASKETBALL!!!”
4 TIME PRO BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
“SETTING A STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE!“
“WE ARE ONE…”
(1 Dream, 1 Vision, ONE TEAM)