Published on January 7th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
Dallas Mavericks Honor Former Point Guard Derek Harper With Jersey Retirement
Derek Harper is easily one of the most recognizable names in NBA History. He is currently ranked 23rd on the All-Time Assists list with 6,577, 13th in steals with 1,957 according to ESPN. So, it would be only fitting that he would have his jersey in the rafters for his contributions to the game of basketball if you include his time at the University of Illinois.
This past Sunday, January 7th, 2018, the Dallas Mavericks made it official as they honored Derek Harper as he became the third player in team history to have his jersey retired. Following other Maverick Greats like Brad Davis, and his backcourt mate Rolando Blackman. During Harper’s press conference after Dallas Mavericks lost a close one-to his former team the New York Knicks. The Hype Magazine correspondent Landon Buford asked where did Harper rank him and his backcourt mate Rolando Blackman against other tandems like Kobe and Shaq, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?
Derek Harper responded by saying “Right there at the top, and we earned our respect. For seven or eight years I feel there were not many backcourt tandems that we could not handle.”
Harper would begin his press conference by stating that he does not need recognition as a basketball, but if you asked his peers “they would give you to straight, and that is what you want as a player. If you play sixteen years in the league, you want to be respected by the people you compete against that is enough for me.”
Derek had a lot of emotions from the tribute videos played throughout the game against the Knicks. Including his former teammate’s Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, in which they both played in the 1994 NBA against the Houston Rockets. “We have a bond just like Dirk Nowitzki and JJ Barea. Those guys won the championship, and we did not win it, but Patrick and I had the chance to play for it. We had an opportunity the following year to get back, but it just did not happen, and that is what the league is about said, Harper. That is also what you miss when you retire, and you are not sitting on the back of buss making up stories. Telling a lot of lies and enjoying your teammates.”
Over his eighteen-year career, Harper has played for Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Orlando Magic before deciding to call it quits after being traded to the Detriot Pistons in 1999.
Since then Derek Harper has moved on as a color commentator working with play-by-play announcer Mark Followill for the Dallas Mavericks. Derek Harper is currently in this 11th season and is genuinely humbled.Tweet