The Mavericks were eliminated on Friday, joining the Spurs and Rockets. With that, a historic run has ended for basketball in Texas. Apr 7, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green (8) and guard Luka Doncic (77) and forward Reggie Bullock (25) and forward Markieff Morris (13) and center JaVale McGee (00) watch the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Since the formation of the Dallas Mavericks in 1980, Texas has had three NBA teams — the Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.

Each team has at least one championship in that timeframe with multiple appearances in the NBA Finals. Each team has had bad seasons but by and large, NBA fans in Texas have been treated to at least respectable basketball — until this season.

The Spurs and Rockets have been bad all year. They are by far the worst two teams in the Western Conference and will finish with the second and third-worst records in the NBA, ahead of only the Detroit Pistons. Dallas, though, spent much of the season in playoff contention. When the Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving in February, they were the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they would at least make the play-in tournament.

But Dallas went on a hard slide. And on Friday night, the Mavericks were eliminated from postseason contention with a loss to the Chicago Bulls.

For the first time since Texas had three NBA teams, the Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks will be watching the postseason from home.

Fans took to Twitter to react to the end of the historic streak.

Amazingly, even cutting the streak off in the 1980-81 season is somewhat misleading.

While the Mavericks didn’t exist until 1980, the Spurs made the NBA playoffs every year from 1977-1984. The Rockets also made the NBA playoffs in 1977, 1979 and 1980. So, the last time the NBA Playoffs didn’t feature a team from Texas was 1976, the final season before the NBA-ABA merger.

The Spurs were one of the four teams that merged from the ABA to the NBA prior to the 1976-77 season. So, they obviously didn’t make the NBA Playoffs before 1977. They did, however, make the ABA Playoffs in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

So, playoff basketball has been a fixture in Texas for the last 50 years.

That’s quite a streak to come to an end.

[ESPN Stats & Info]


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