Shawn Marion will always hold a special place in Rick Carlisle’s heart.
“He’ll go down as one of the most underrated players in history,” the Mavericks coach said. “If you look at his statistics and you look at his success in terms of winning, he’s a great player.
“I know that he’s beloved in Dallas and greatly appreciated there. I just hope that in the remaining months of the season that other fans kind of take note of the impact that his career has had.”
Marion, who signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the conclusion of this season. His retirement will climax a stellar career that included playing a pivotal role in the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA title run.
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Center Tyson Chandler was taken aback when a member of the media told him that Marion is retiring.
“I really enjoyed my time playing with Shawn,” said Chandler, a member of the 2011 championship team. “Once you’ve won a championship with someone there’s always a high level of respect that you have for that person because they helped you accomplish a lifelong dream that you know couldn’t be accomplished without every player on that roster, and he played a huge part in that.”
To hear Carlisle tell it, Marion revolutionized the game with his ability to defend all five spots on the court.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a guy in this league that could defend virtually every position on the floor at any time, and at the other end of the floor just find ways to impact the game in a major way without having to run plays for him,” Carlisle said. “He’s just very, very unique that way.”
Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett and Marion are the only players in NBA history to score at least 17,000 points, grab at least 10,000 rebounds, collect at least 1,500 steals and block at least 1,000 shots.
“The league hadn’t seen, really, anything like him when he came in,” Chandler said. “He changed the game a bit, especially with the stars they ran in Phoenix putting him at the power forward. You can say he changed the game.”
Marion, who broke into the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick by the Phoenix Suns and played for the Mavericks from 2009 through last season, will turn 37 on May 7.
“He’s had a very successful career and it’s sad to see him go,” said Chandler Parsons, who took Marion’s place this season in the Mavericks’ starting lineup. “He’s had one of the great careers and is a great player in this league and is very underrated and didn’t get the credit he deserves.”
Marion’s final game in Dallas will be March 10 when the Cavs make their annual visit to North Texas.
“We went through a lot of wars together,” Carlisle said. “He had five great years in Dallas, he’s building a home in Dallas to live there after his career, which is great. And I know he’ll be welcomed back into the community with more than open arms.”
Mavs worth $1.15B
Forbes magazine released its annual valuation of NBA teams Wednesday and has Mark Cuban’s Mavericks ranked 10th in the league with a value of $1.15 billion.
“Mark’s done so many things to upgrade every aspect of the franchise since he bought it  years ago,” Carlisle said. “And when you have a guy like [Dirk] Nowitzki here who has been able to play at such a high level for such a long period of time, it enhances the value even more.”
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