Scenes From Saturday's Dallas Mavericks Fan Jam at the American Airlines Center.
Dallas Mavericks fans got their first chance to see the new 2014-15 roster on Saturday afternoon at the American Airlines Center as the team's annual Fan Jam featured autograph sessions from players, appearances from the team's dancers, ManiAACs and mascots, and, to cap things off, an open practice and scrimmage.
And fans certainly had reason to be excited: Over the course of an active offseason, the team acquired a few high-profile players in Chandler Parsons, Jameer Nelson and Richard Jefferson — although none of them received greater fan reaction on Saturday than Tyson Chandler, who's rejoining the team this year after a three-season departure following the 2011 championship season. During the autograph session, fan after fan expressed their excitement and gratitude toward the 7-foot-1 center with numerous cries of “Welcome back!,” “We missed you!” and “Let's when another title!”
During the starting lineup announcements emceed by head coach Rick Carlisle, Chandler even received a standing ovation — one almost toppling the reception reserved for Dirk Nowitzki. Almost: On this day, it was clear that Nowitzki, who's returning for his 17th season with the team, remains the top fan favorite. And, in turn, he hammed things up for fans during the autograph session and kept things light and loose on the court, palling around with his teammates new and old.
As for other observations of note? Well, the crowd on hand got a solid look at the first semblance of the Mavs' new starting rotation, which included newly acquired point guard Jameer Nelson filling the starting role over returning point guard Devin Harris and Raymond Felton, who the team acquired alongside Chandler and will be suspended the first four games of the season. Monta Ellis, reprising his role at shooting guard, rounded out the starting backcourt alongside Nelson. Meanwhile, new small forward Chandler Parsons joined Nowitzki and Chandler in the frontcourt.
Most eyes were on Parsons and Chandler, though, with the crowd letting out audible reactions after each attempted shot or defensive stop from the Chandlers.
Yes, Mavs fans have much to be excited about with this new-look team — and this, of course, was but their very first glimpse.
The preseason kicks off Tuesday, October 7, with a matchup against Parsons' old Houston Rockets squad. The regular season, meanwhile, is slated to start on Tuesday, October 28, with a game against another in-state rival, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.