Founder Don Carter of the Dallas Mavericks

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Mavericks To Retire Don Carter's Cowboy Hat

April 18, 2018 - 9:48 am

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – The next banner that goes up in the American Airlines Center's rafters won't be a jersey, but rather a "white Stetson cowboy hat."

According to's Dalton Trigg, the Dallas Mavericks will retire the iconic hat of the team's co-founder and first-majority owner, Don Carter.

"We will retire Mr. C's hat as a memorium to our founder," Mavs owner Mark Cuban told DallasBasketball. 

Carter passed away at his Uptown Dallas home on February 14. He was 84-years-old. 

“The entire Mavs family is heartbroken by the loss of Mr. Carter,” Cuban said at the time of his death. “Along with his wife Mrs. Carter, they have been our guiding lights for the organization since its founding in 1980.

“To say he will be missed does not do justice to just how important Mr. C has been to the Dallas Mavericks and the City of Dallas. Our condolences go out to Mrs. Carter and the entire Carter family.”

The Mavericks honored Carter with a moment of silence during the February 26 game vs. the Indiana Pacers and played a special tribute to him at the second time-out of the first quarter.

When Don Carter co-founded the Mavericks in 1980 with Norm Sonju, Dallas was a football town. “Everybody thought we were crazy trying to bring the NBA here,” Carter said back in 2011 when the Mavericks won the NBA championship.

After Dallas topped the Miami Heat in game six of the NBA Finals, Cuban had Carter accept the Larry O’Brien trophy from then-NBA commissioner, David Stern.

Carter made the initial $12 million investment of his own money to get the team off the ground, and according to Carter, he did it because his wife loved basketball. But after many tough seasons, Carter sold the team in 1996 to an investment team led by Ross Perot Jr. who then sold it to Cuban. But Carter’s love for the Mavericks never died, as his family still holds a minority stake in the team to this day.

“Mark Cuban is the classiest person,” Carter said in 2011. “When I first met him, the first thing I did was call my wife and tell her that I’d met somebody that loves basketball as much as she did.”

Until his death, Carter had a familiar presence at home games, always wearing his patented Stetson cowboy hat. That same cowboy hat became the inspiration for the Mavericks former logo. It will now live on forever in the rafters for fans to see every night.