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New Dallas NBA team franchised


On this day in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks officially became the twenty-third member of the National Basketball Association, when owner Donald Carter's Dallas National Basketball Association, Inc., was awarded a franchise by NBA commissioner Lawrence O'Brien. Norm Sonju, the club's first and only general manager, had initiated the process of bringing professional basketball to Dallas in 1978, when he contacted Dallas mayor Bob Folsom. Together they put together a group of eight investors, headlined by the Carter family's Home Interiors and Gifts. Mayor Folsom and the city of Dallas also assisted by building the 17,007-seat Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas in 1979. Sonju hired Dick Motta, then the coach with the third highest number of wins in NBA history, as the team's first head coach. That first team had a record of fifteen wins and sixty-seven losses for the 1980-81 season.

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