Derek Harper's No. 12 will hang in AAC rafters

BOSTON -- There has been a lot of talk about retiring numbers since Jason Terry and Jason Kidd left Dallas this summer.

Another former Mavs guard should see his number raised to the American Airlines Center rafters soon.

“I’ll deal with Derek Harper before I deal with any of those guys,” Mark Cuban said.

Asked when Harper’s No. 12 would be retired, Cuban said, “Some day.”

It will be long overdue. There is little doubt that No. 12 belongs up there with Rolando Blackman’s No. 22 and Brad Davis’ No. 15. Harper set several franchise records while playing for the Mavs from 1983-94 and 1996-97, including career assists (5,111) and steals (1,557). He scored 12,597 points for the Mavs and was a critical part of teams that made six playoff appearances in seven years, peaking with a trip to the Western Conference finals.

Cuban indicated it’s simply a matter of picking the right time to retire Harper’s number.

“That’s beautiful,” Harper said before working as the color commentator for the Mavs’ TV broadcast of the double-overtime loss to the Celtics. “Ooh, I get goosebumps right now, you know what I mean? It’s special. The goofy thing to do is try to downplay it like it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal.

“You put your time in, man. All it does is show that the organization appreciates the time that you put in. I would be honored. I would truly be honored. I would be tickled pink, blue, yellow, all of it, for it to happen.”