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Last year's ranking: 29
Title track: 17
Fan relations: 5
Stadium experience: 11
Bang for the buck: 49
Dallas has struck out with premier free agents lately, but luckily for Mavericks fans, Mark Cuban's Plan B is usually better than everyone else's Plan A. Whether it's hitting the lottery with free agent leftovers like Monta Ellis and the ageless Vince Carter (players ranking up 30 spots, ownership up 16) or launching an alternative to SnapChat, the entrepreneur is always thinking outside the box. His plan worked out exceptionally well last season, as the Mavericks notched 49 wins and returned to the playoffs after a run of 12 straight postseasons ended in 2013. What's more, they pushed eventual champion San Antonio to seven games in what turned out to be the Spurs' toughest test. The success was a boon to bang for the buck (up 17 slots), which helped vault Dallas 20 spots into our top 10. Perhaps the biggest key to last season was Rick Carlisle's ability to get the most out of a horrendous defensive team that consisted of just one bona fide star, Dirk Nowitzki. (Only Gregg Popovich ranked higher than Carlisle among NBA coaches.)
The Mavs are also one of the leaders in fan relations -- only the Spurs ranked higher in the NBA. For starters, there are the Mavericks-hosted pregame parties, complete with DJs and ticket giveaways. Then there's the in-game entertainment, featuring a hilarious all-male overweight dance group dubbed the Mavs ManiAACs, "the original hip-hop dance troupe of beefy men in the NBA." Add below-average ticket prices ($51.80) and dirt-cheap concessions ($6 beers, $4 sodas) into the mix and the beat goes on in Dallas.