Even 31 years later, there still is bad blood regarding the Dallas Mavericks' name. Danny Woodward of ESPN Page 2 caught up with Bill Reeves, the 71-year-old associate athletic director at UT Arlington who's been a student, coach or administrator there for more than 50 years.
Reeves will never forgive the local NBA franchise for what he considers identity theft.
This goes back to May 1, 1980, when officials from the NBA's new Dallas franchise gathered the media in Reunion Station to announce its name. A blue-and-green flip chart revealed what had been a closely guarded secret: Mavericks.
A good Texas name. A name another team in the area was already using.
The athletic teams at UT Arlington, whose campus sits 20 miles west of downtown Dallas, had been the Mavericks since 1971.
"I was very disappointed and upset with them that they took our mascot from us," said Reeves, who was the university's athletic director then. "We had already established the Mavericks mascot nine years earlier. I wouldn't have thought that they would do that to any university in the area."
It's unprecedented to be sure, the lone example of a major pro sports team sharing a mascot with a local NCAA Division I university.
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