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The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. The Mavericks compete in the NationalThe Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. Throughout the 1980s, the Mavericks were a perennial playoff team, led by All-Stars Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre. The team struggled during the 1990s, entering into a period of rebuilding. In 1998, the franchise's fortunes would change drastically with the acquisition of Dirk Nowitzki, who would become the cornerstone of the most successful period in franchise history, leading the team to its first NBA championship in 2011. The Mavericks later entered a rebuilding phase in the tail end of Nowitzki's storied career. They missed the playoffs in three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, after which Nowitzki retired following his record-breaking 21st season with Dallas. After acquiring the eventual 2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić in the 2018 NBA draft and trading for All-Star Kristaps Porziņģis in 2019, the Mavericks, led by their two young European stars, returned to the playoffs in 2020. As of December 2019, the Mavericks have sold out 731 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest currently running sellout streak in North American major league sports. When combined with the 67 sold-out playoff games during that span, the American Airlines Center has been sold out for 798 consecutive games.Currently, the Dallas Mavericks are owned by investor Mark Cuban. Since the Mavericks' inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won four division titles (1987, 2007, 2010, 2021), two conference championships (2006, 2011), and one NBA championship (2011).
The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland. The Cavaliers compete in the NationalThe Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland. The Cavaliers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division. The team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1994. Since 1994, the Cavs have played home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, which is shared with the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Dan Gilbert has owned the team since March 2005. The Cavaliers opened their inaugural season losing their first 15 games and struggled in their early years, placing no better than sixth in the Eastern Conference during their first five seasons. The team won their first Central Division title in 1976, which also marked the first winning season and playoff appearance in franchise history, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. The franchise was purchased by Ted Stepien in 1980. Stepien's tenure as owner was marked by six coaching changes, questionable trades and draft decisions, and poor attendance, leading to $15 million in financial losses. The Cavs went 66–180 in that time and endured a 24-game losing streak spanning the 1981–82 and 1982–83 seasons. George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in 1983. During the latter half of the 1980s and through much of the 1990s, the Cavs were a regular playoff contender, led by players such as Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1992. After the team's playoff appearance in 1998, however, the Cavs had six consecutive losing seasons with no playoff action. Cleveland was awarded with the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, and they selected LeBron James. Behind James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers again became a regular playoff contender by 2005. They made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007 after winning the first Eastern Conference championship in franchise history. After failing to return to the NBA Finals in the ensuing three seasons, James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. As a result, the Cavaliers finished the 2010–11 season last in the conference, enduring a 26-game losing streak, the second-longest in NBA history. Between 2010 and 2014, however, the team won the top pick in the NBA draft lottery three times, first in 2011 where they selected Kyrie Irving, and again in 2013 and 2014. James returned to the Cavs in 2014 and led the team to four straight NBA Finals appearances. In 2016, the Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship, marking Cleveland's first major sports title since 1964. The 2016 NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors marked the first time in Finals history a team had come back to win the series after trailing three games to one. The Cavaliers have 22 playoff appearances, won seven Central Division titles, five Eastern Conference titles, and one NBA title.