With the Denver Nuggets in town Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks put on one of their best performances of the season on Seats For Soldiers night.
Nearly 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio joined reserve troops from the Fort Worth/Dallas area and attended Monday’s game, which the Mavs won convincingly 112-92 at American Airlines Center. The soldiers all sat courtside, thanks to Mavs’ season-ticket holders giving up their seats in order to make Monday a special night for the service men and service women.
“It’s one of the games that we all most look forward to,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our season-ticket holders donate their tickets up front on the courtside rows, immediately behind courtside.
“The folks that have made the ultimate sacrifice get a chance to see an NBA game up close, so it’s really cool. And afterward we get to spend some time with them out on the court.”
Owner Mark Cuban described the whole scene as “enormous amount of pride’’ for the Mavs to be associated with the soldiers in such a gift-giving way.
“We don’t get to play a game for a living if the people who come for seats for soldiers that we recognize don’t do what they do,’’ Cuban said. “I think sometimes we take our freedoms for granted, and we can’t.
“We always want to recognize that without them our world and our life is far different, and so whatever we do to appreciate their efforts is never enough. But we try to do a little.’’
Forward Justin Anderson, who had 11 points and six rebounds, said the soldiers helped energized the Mavs.
“The energy that was there from the jump was terrific,’’ Anderson said. “The white shirts (they wore) coming all the way around the court, and they were encouraging us the whole night.
“We were giving them high fives during the game and they were really excited to see some basketball.’’
And the Mavs were really excited to see the soldiers.
“Seats for soldiers is a way for our organization and our front row (season) ticket holders to convey their thank you and show them some love for all the love they’ve given us. So yeah, it’s definitely an all-time moment.’’