Mark Aguirre: Wikis


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Mark Aguirre
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Born December 10, 1959 (1959-12-10) (age 50)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 232 lb (105 kg)
College DePaul
Draft 1st overall, 1981
Dallas Mavericks
Pro career 1981–1994
Former teams Dallas Mavericks (1981–1989)
Detroit Pistons (1989–1993)
Los Angeles Clippers (1993–1994)
Awards 1980 USBWA College Player of the Year
3-Time NBA All-Star

Mark Anthony Aguirre (born December 10, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association.


College career

A college standout at DePaul University, he averaged 24.5 points over three seasons with the Blue Demons, and in 1981 was The Sporting News College Player of the Year. He also was the USBWA College Player of the Year and James Naismith Award winner in 1980, and a 2 time member of The Sporting News' All-America first team. As a freshman in 1978–1979, he led the Demons to the Final Four, where they lost to Indiana State, led by future NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

Professional career

One of the league's most flashy and prolific scorers during the 1980s, Aguirre averaged 20 points per game over the course of his 13-year NBA career. He was selected as the first overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1981 NBA Draft and remained with the Mavericks until 1989. His greatest season came in 1983-84, when he averaged 29.5 points per game, second in the league. He finished the season with 2,330 total points. Both Mavericks single-season scoring records still stand. His 13,930 points as a Maverick rank third in the franchise's history,[1] behind Rolando Blackman's 16,643 points and Dirk Nowitzki's 20,014[2] (updated May 24, 2009). However, his success in Dallas wouldn't last, as he was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Adrian Dantley and a first round draft pick on February 15, 1989.

The trade would see him play for Detroit, alongside his boyhood friend Isiah Thomas. Aguirre helped the Pistons win back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. He stayed with the Pistons until the 1992-1993 season. In 1991 the Pistons were defeated in the playoffs, and over the next few years the team was torn apart. In 1993, the Pistons released Aguirre and after he cleared waivers the Los Angeles Clippers signed him for $150,000. He retired in 1994.

As of 2006, he ranks 45th in the all-time scoring list, with 18,458 points.

He is still active in basketball. Currently, he is an assistant coach of the New York Knicks.


While not always the most popular player on the court, Mark Aguirre was frequently the best. A powerful 6-foot-6 forward with an uncanny jumper, a catalog of offensive tricks, and the confidence to try for challenging shots, he filled up the scoring column for much of his 13-year career. “I’ve always felt that I could score on anyone,” he told USA Today late in his career. “You just can’t score the same way on everyone.”

Although his career reached its zenith while he was with the Dallas Mavericks, Aguirre collected two championship rings with the Pistons after being sent to Detroit in exchange for Adrian Dantley in 1989. A scoring leader and three-time All-Star for Dallas, for the Pistons he was a loaded cannon brought off the bench to supply an offensive boom to a team known for its defense.

Aguirre was a high-profile player for many years. The Chicago native played on the same DePaul team as future NBA star Terry Cummings and found himself in the national spotlight during his three years at the university. He averaged 24.0 points as a freshman in 1978–79 and led the Blue Demons to the NCAA Final Four. Over the next two seasons he scored 26.8 and 23.0 points per game, respectively, and he was named College Player of the Year in 1980–81. A member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic basketball team, Aguirre left school after his junior year. The Dallas Mavericks took him with the first overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft.

Aguirre arrived in Dallas to high expectations. The Mavericks had just completed a dismal 15-67 debut season that had left fans longing for an instant savior. The struggling team pinned its hopes for the 1981–82 campaign on Aguirre and another promising rookie, Rolando Blackman.

In his first season Aguirre was limited to 51 games and averaged 18.7 points, second on the team to Jay Vincent (21.4 ppg). The Mavericks improved by 13 games in the win column and finished ahead of the Utah Jazz, but they still needed a telescope to see the first-place San Antonio Spurs, 20 games ahead.

Beginning with the 1982–83 season Aguirre reeled off six straight campaigns in which his average topped 22 points per game. In the first of those seasons he scored 24.4 points per contest, tops on the team and sixth in the league. The Mavericks continued their ascent, bettering their record to 38-44 to finish ahead of Utah and the Houston Rockets in the Midwest Division.

Aguirre and the Mavericks unleashed some magic in 1983–84. Aguirre was a scorcher, blazing for an average of 29.5 points per game, second in the league to Dantley's 30.6 ppg. A great one-on-one player, Aguirre employed a variety of spin moves, turnaround jumpers, baseline fallaways, drives, and long jumpers. He was too strong for small forwards and too quick for big ones.

Although Aguirre was the Mavericks’ main weapon, he was helped by the emergence of Blackman (22.4 ppg) and the contributions of role players Brad Davis and Pat Cummings. Dallas finished second in the Midwest at 43-39, and the team made its first playoff trip, beating the Seattle SuperSonics in the opening round before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals. After only four years in the league the Mavericks already had an eye on the championship.

But both the team and Aguirre had trouble improving on the performances of that season. In each of the next two seasons the Mavericks posted identical 44-38 records. In 1984–85 they made a quick exit from the playoffs, bowing to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round; in 1985–86 they defeated Utah and then took the Lakers to six games in the conference semifinals. Aguirre averaged 25.7 and 22.6 points for those seasons but began alienating Dallas fans with his moody behavior. Undaunted, Aguirre continued to shoot freely and act as he pleased.

In 1986–87 and 1987–88 he made the All-Star Team and averaged 25.7 and 25.1 points, respectively, during the regular season. The Mavericks won more than 50 games each year. The 1987–88 edition of the franchise went 53-29, beat Houston and the Denver Nuggets in the first two rounds of the postseason, then extended the Lakers to seven games before losing in the Western Conference Finals. It was the longest postseason run in the Mavs’ eight-year history.

Midway through the 1988–89 season Aguirre was shipped to Detroit for Dantley, who was also one of the league’s top scorers. Many sportswriters in Dallas were glad to bid Aguirre farewell. One columnist for the Detroit Free Press called the trade date “the greatest day in Mavericks history.” Nevertheless, Aguirre left Dallas with numerous team records including most points in a season, game, and half.

Aguirre entered a much different situation in Detroit. The Pistons had made a reputation for themselves as the NBA’s “Bad Boys” and featured such strong-headed individuals as Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn, and Aguirre’s childhood friend, Isiah Thomas. Aguirre fit right in with this rough-and-ready crew. He also filled an important niche for the club. Accustomed to leading the Mavericks, he was asked to simply play a role for the Pistons, who wanted an offensive boost in a defensive lineup. The Pistons had narrowly missed capturing an NBA Championship in each of the past two seasons. They had lost in seven games in both the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals and the 1988 NBA Finals. But after Aguirre joined the team the Pistons promptly stormed to the championship, sweeping the Lakers in the finals.

Whether or not he was responsible for his team’s surge to the top, Aguirre certainly contributed some major offensive flurries. He scored 40 points in 49 minutes in the two initial first-round games against the Boston Celtics. In the last two NBA Finals contests, however, he totaled only 4 points in 47 minutes. His 15.5 points per game with Detroit were third on the team, and in the playoffs he scored 12.6 points per contest.

The Pistons repeated as champions in 1989–90. Aguirre came off the bench for Rodman and averaged 14.1 points, fourth highest on the team. In the playoffs, which culminated with a five-game Finals win over Portland, Aguirre averaged 11.0 points. But time had begun to catch up with him. He played three more seasons with the Pistons in an increasingly limited role before moving on to the Los Angeles Clippers for a partial campaign in 1993–94. Through the 1993–94 season Aguirre had accumulated 18,458 points for a career average of 20.0 points per game.

Aguirre, whose father was born in Mexico, at one point considered playing for team Mexico at the 1992 Olympics.[3]


External links

Preceded by
Larry Bird
Naismith College Player of the Year (men)
Succeeded by
Ralph Sampson
Preceded by
Joe Barry Carroll
NBA first overall draft pick
1981 NBA Draft
Succeeded by
James Worthy

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