SECAUCUS, N.J., April 9 -- For two consecutive seasons -- 1992-93 and 1993-94 -- the Dallas Mavericks were the worst team in basketball, compiling 11 wins one year and 13 the next, both times finishing last in the NBA. Ten years later, things have changed. Drastically. With three All-Stars in their starting lineup, the Mavericks have held the best record in the league since the 2003-03 season opened, and they are now tied with San Antonio for the No. 1 seed in the West. How did it happen? Take a look at some significant Mavs moments over the past decade.

March 4, 1993 Jim Jackson Signed


Jackson appeared in only 28 games as a rookie.
Glenn James/NBA Photos
After selecting Ohio State swingman Jim Jackson with the fourth overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, the Mavericks could not come to contract terms with the rookie until early March. At that point, Dallas had compiled a miserable 4-50 record and had fired coach Richie Audubato in January, with assistant coach Gar Heard taking over on an interim basis.

Jackson's impact was not immediate; the Mavericks lost seven straight after he joined the team in what ultimately became a 19-game losing streak. But Dallas managed to win seven of its final 21 and finish 11-71, avoiding the '72-73 Sixers' worst-ever mark by two games.


June 29, 1994 Jason Kidd Drafted


The addition of Jason Kidd created a formidable Dallas lineup.
Scott Cunningham/NBA Photos
The Mavs had won only 24 total games over two seasons, finishing with the NBA's worst record in both 1992-93 and 1993-94, even as they added young stars Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn. But with the second overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, Dallas ensured a trip out of the cellar, selecting University of California point guard Jason Kidd.

In his first season, Kidd led the league in triple-doubles with four and ranked among the NBA's top 10 with 7.7 assists per game, sharing Rookie of the Year honors with Detroit's Grant Hill. In turn, Jackson and Mashburn each averaged 19.2 points -- second only to Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway as highest-scoring teammates -- and the Mavs improved their record to 36-46, 23 more wins than the previous year.


Feb. 11, 1996 Kidd Starts NBA All-Star Game


Kidd became an All-Star starter in just his second season.
Glenn James/NBA Photos
On his way to averaging 16.6 points, 9.7 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game in only his second season, Jason Kidd became the first Maverick to start an All-Star Game, receiving more than one million votes to represent the West in San Antonio.

Unfortunately, Kidd's individual success couldn't salvage Dallas's season. The team lost Jamal Mashburn for the year after a December knee injury, and although the Mavericks -- most notably, Jim Jackson, George McCloud and Kidd -- set single-season records for both three-point makes and attempts, Dallas finished the year just 26-56, tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for 12th in the West.


Feb. 17, 1997 Jim Jackson to Nets Completes Team Shakeup


Michael Finley arrived in Dallas in a deal with Phoenix.
Glenn James/NBA Photos
Having already shipped Jason Kidd to Phoenix and Jamal Mashburn to Miami, Dallas completed the dismantling of its young core by trading Jim Jackson to the New Jersey Nets. The series of transactions resulted in the Mavericks setting an NBA record by using 27 different players during the 1996-97 season, with guard Derek Harper and forward Samaki Walker the lone Mavs to start and end the season with the team.

Predictably, Dallas did not win many games, finishing just 24-58 on the year, but the trades resulted in two players who would be of vital importance to the team's future success; arriving from Phoenix in the Kidd deal, second-year guard Michael Finley, and from New Jersey in the Jackson deal, center Shawn Bradley.


Dec. 4, 1997 Don Nelson Named Head Coach


Nelson moved from the front office to the sideline in 1997.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
After starting the season 4-12 under coach Jim Cleamons, Don Nelson -- who had been serving as the Mavericks' general manager since February -- took over on the Dallas bench. Trying to find a formula for success, Nelson experimented with 35 different starting lineups in his 66 games at the helm, with only Michael Finley starting every game of the season.

Finley's 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game showed he was becoming a legitimate star, and though Shawn Bradley and, later, Cedric Ceballos (acquired from Phoenix in February) chipped in offensively, the Mavs won only 20 games in '97-98, finishing 10th in the West.


June 24, 1998 Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash Acquired in Draft-Day Deals


No. 6 pick Robert Traylor wasn't a Maverick for long.
Jed Jacobsohn/NBA Photos
It didn't happen right away of course, but the Mavericks secured their future as a Western Conference power with a pair of trades at the 1998 NBA Draft. Selecting Michigan forward Robert Traylor with the No. 6 pick, Dallas later traded his rights to Milwaukee in exchange for the rights to the Bucks' two first-round picks, Germany's Dirk Nowitzki (No. 9) and Notre Dame's Pat Garrity (No. 19).

But the Mavs weren't finished. They promptly traded Garrity's draft rights to Phoenix -- along with Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells and a 1999 first-round pick that would eventually become Shawn Marion -- for third-year guard Steve Nash. At that point, Nash had appeared in 141 career games, starting just 11.


Feb. 5, 1999 Big Three Debut in Mavs' Starting Lineup


Cedric Ceballos was the leading scorer as the Big Three made its debut.
Otto Greule/Allsport
With the NBA lockout pushing the beginning of the 1998-99 season back to February and cutting it to only 50 games, the new-look Mavericks played their first game on Feb. 5 at Seattle, a 92-86 loss to the Sonics in overtime as Gary Payton and Vin Baker teamed to score 46 points.

Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley all started for Dallas (along with now-retired A.C. Green), and with Nowitzki playing only 16 minutes, the debut of the future All-Star threesome was forgettable; Nash, Finley and Nowitzki combined for 20 points (on 7-for-35 shooting), 14 assists and six rebounds. Cedric Ceballos actually led all Mavs scorers with 16 points off the bench.


Jan. 4, 2000 Mark Cuban Buys Mavericks


Mark Cuban's ownership has been anything but traditional.
Joe Murphy/NBA Photos
Mark Cuban, 41 years old and having sold the company he founded, Broadcast.com, to Internet giant Yahoo! for nearly $5 billion, decided to use his newly acquired wealth to purchase a professional sports franchise. He chose his favorite team, the Dallas Mavericks.

Quite simply, the NBA had never seen an owner like Cuban. Sitting near the bench and arguing with referees, he drew criticism as a meddler, but he also spared no expense in providing luxury facilities, creating an organization that became increasingly attractive to both players and fans. On April 11, Cuban's purchase was approved by the NBA's Board of Governors, and meanwhile, the Mavericks finished the season 40-42, their best record since 1989-90.


April 21, 2001 Dallas Returns to Postseason


Nowitzki was a clutch performer for the Mavs in their return to the playoffs.
Glenn James/NBA Photos
After 11 years as a lottery team, the Mavericks returned to the playoffs in 2000-01 after finishing fifth in the West with a 53-29 record. Dirk Nowitzki also became the first Maverick in history to earn All-NBA honors, getting named to the third team after averaging 21.8 points and 9.2 boards.

In Game 1 of the playoffs on the road against fourth-seeded Utah, Steve Nash, Michael Finley and Nowitzki all scored at least 20 points, but the Mavs lost by just two to the veteran Jazz team. Dallas dropped Game 2 as well, but roared back from the deficit to win the next three and advance to the conference semifinals. There, overmatched by the San Antonio Spurs, the Mavs fell in five games, as Nowitzki scored a career-high 42 points in the finale.


Nov. 27, 2002 Mavs Open Season 14-0


An All-Star lineup has made the Mavs an NBA power.
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
The Mavericks set a franchise record with 57 wins in 2001-02, with both Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki earning All-Star and All-NBA honors, but they were again eliminated from the playoffs in the conference semifinals, this time by Sacramento.

As the 2002-03 season opened, Dallas was simply unbeatable. Running its record to 14-0 with a Nov. 27 win over Detroit, the team came within one game of the all-time best start, held by both the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets. Now tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the league, the Mavericks could secure their first-ever No. 1 seed going into the postseason.