10 things to know about Mavericks’ Dwight Powell – The Dallas Morning News

Here are 10 things you need to know about Mavericks forward Dwight Powell.

1. The ideal teammate

The Mavericks signed Javale McGee to replace Powell as the team’s starting center after struggling with interior defense during its 2022 playoff run to the Western Conference Finals. Merely eight games into the season though, and Powell has taken his starting spot back after struggles from McGee and some inspired play.

Even coming off the bench, Powell was still known as one of the best and most hardworking teammates in Dallas. Spencer Dinwiddie specifically, gave a monologue endorsement of the center after a 103-100 win vs. the Jazz. Powell only had 9 points and 5 rebounds, but that was the whole point of Dinwiddie’s speech.

“Does all the things that you should do as an ultimate pro,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s an extreme credit to his character. It is the hardest role to have in this league, to know that you can play, to have started, had success, and be relegated to the bench, not playing at all, stay ready, stay focused, and then when they call your number, to have extreme success, whether it’s stat sheet or not.”

In his first game starting this season, Powell played 26 minutes and had 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in a win vs. the Toronto Raptors.

2. Captain of being hit in the face

Powell will probably never lead the NBA in points, assists, or even rebounds. However there is one category that he is likely the league leader in: hits to the face.

The game hasn’t started until Dwight Powell gets hit in the face.

— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) April 23, 2022

Even his new teammate Christian Wood has partaken in the legendary ritual of hitting Powell in the face. Props to Wood though, as he tried to get somebody to check on Powell after the blow.

Nevertheless, his willingness to do the small things and his tough play are an important part of Dallas’ team. Therefore, it seems that he will continue to take those hits – even if it means losing more teeth.

3. He’s not just a basketball player

Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) celebrates being named the MVP with White Sox...
Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) celebrates being named the MVP with White Sox teammate Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during Dirk Nowitzki’s 2016 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Friday, June 10, 2016 at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The White Sox won 16-12 over the Blue Sox. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)(Ashley Landis / Staff Photographer)

While participating in a celebrity baseball game may not actually show baseball skills, it can be confirmed that Powell is a multi-sport athlete with at least some ability after he was named MVP of Dirk Nowitzki’s 2016 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. We do know this photo proves Powell is a lot taller than ex-teammate J.J. Barea.

4. Money, money, money

Powell has always planned to remain in Dallas long term. The Mavericks signed Powell to a 3-year, $33 million extension, which kicked in at the start of the 2020-21 season.

As a key piece and the longest tenured Maverick on the roster, the feeling is certainly mutual for the organization.

“People don’t realize, Dwight Powell is the ultimate, consummate team player,” owner Mark Cuban told The Dallas Morning News last year. “No ifs, ands or butts. Dwight Powell you could say is the heart and soul of this team. He does everything it takes to win and nothing for his personal stats. Nothing.”

5. He did not hear his name being called when drafted in 2014

Rajon Rondo (left) and Dwight Powell hold their new Dallas Mavericks jerseys during a press...
Rajon Rondo (left) and Dwight Powell hold their new Dallas Mavericks jerseys during a press conference at the American Airlines Center December 19, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News) / mug – mugshot – headshot – portrait / 12202014xSPORTS 01022015xSPORTS 01232015xSPORTS(G.J. McCarthy / Staff photographer)

NBA draft night is stressful enough for players, but even more so for those who most likely will not be selected in the first round.

“Draft night was probably one of the most stressful nights of my life, to be honest,” said Powell, picked in the second round, 45th overall, by Charlotte in 2014.

To make it worse, when Powell was picked, he didn’t even hear his name being called.

“I was drafted during a commercial break, so I didn’t even hear my name get called,” he said. “They came back with the 48th pick and they did a recap and my name was there.”

6. He’s Canadian

Born and raised in Toronto, Powell is part of a growing legion of NBA players that hail from the traditionally hockey-heavy nation. However, despite growing up in a country that is not associated with basketball, Powell has said that the sport was popular in Canada when he was growing up, and that the spotlight on the country’s participation has only grown.

Upon arriving in Dallas, he became the fifth Canadian to suit up for the Mavs after Bill Wennington, Steve Nash, Jamaal Magloire and Samuel Dalembert.

7. Doncic’s pick-and-roll partner

Powell probably wouldn’t be able to play wide receiver in the NFL, but his connection with Luka Doncic in the pick-and-roll is similar to the receiver to quarterback connection in football.

“They have a great sense, a great relationship, [like] quarterback-receiver,” Kidd said of Powell and Doncic. “DP plays his role at a very, very high level. He’s playing extremely well for us on the offensive end and on the defensive end, being able to come up with those rebounds. But I think they understand — if there’s a blitz or there’s a trap, a short roll — now he becomes the play-maker. There’s a trust between the quarterback and receiver.”

The two have developed a rapport that is difficult to replicate without the experience they have playing with each other. Last season, Powell shot a career high 67.1% from the field while being Doncic’s primary roll man thanks to his vertical threat and Doncic’s sublime passing. When facing doubles, Doncic has no problem tossing the rock to Powell, who often knows exactly what to do from there.

8. Standout at Stanford

Upon leaving IMG, Powell choose to play college basketball at Stanford over Harvard and Georgia Tech after being rated the No. 29 recruit in the country by Rivals. In his first season with the Cardinal, Powell contributed immediately. He averaged 8.1 points in 5.2 rebounds per game, starting in 24 of 31 games played. Although the team finished below .500, Powell was named to the 2010-11 Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

“Stanford for me was a pretty easy choice,” Powell said in the Mavs video. “I kind of committed to being the best I could on and off the court, and Stanford as an institution offers that.”

9. A tough loss

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While still at Stanford, Powell lost his mother, 53, to breast cancer. He had returned to his mother’s home in Boston after a Canadian national team camp to find her in much worse condition than she had originally indicated.

“I don’t think she realized the severity of the situation that she was in,” Powell said in a Mavericks article in 2018.

Coach Johnny Dawkins (right in photo above) and his staff, as well as some of Powell’s teammates, flew to Toronto for the funeral.

In October 2018, Powell hosted A Night Of Hope function in Dallas. At the event, cancer survivors had the opportunity to mingle and share their stories with the money going towards helping finding a cure to cancer through his foundation, the Dwight Powell Children and Family Support Fund. More than $600,000 was raised.

10. Making a promise

After promising his mother long ago that he would complete his education and earn a degree, Powell came back to Stanford emotionally charged, healthy and focused. He became Stanford’s leading scorer as a junior, averaging 14.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors and the conference’s Most Improved Player award. As a senior, Powell again was named first-team All-Pac-12, leading Stanford to its first NCAA tournament berth since 2008. In the second round, Powell’s Cardinal took down fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins’ Kansas team to earn a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The Cardinal lost the next game to Dayton and have not been to the NCAA Tournament since.

Powell graduated with a degree in science technology in society.