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When the Detroit Pistons needed another capable player to join Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boys,” they called Mark Aguirre.

Technically speaking, the Pistons called the Dallas Mavericks, who held Aguirre’s rights. But when the Pistons acquired Aguirre in 1989, everything changed for a franchise on the fringes of winning an NBA title.

Nearly 30 years after playing his final NBA game, what has Aguirre done in retirement?

Mark Aguirre was the No. 1 overall pick in 1981

If one examines Mark Aguirre’s career in Dallas and compares it to the one that John Wall had in Washington, they’ll find some interesting parallels.

Aguirre, the No. 1 overall pick in 1981, played small forward and was among the NBA’s top scoring threats. Wall, a point guard who became the top pick in 2010, averaged 19 points a game in Washington but was a consistent double-double threat.

With that said, both were borderline elite players on teams that never really took advantage. Washington won two playoff series in Wall’s nine healthy seasons, while the Mavericks won four in Aguirre’s eight campaigns with the Mavericks.

Across 566 games in Dallas, Aguirre averaged 24.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists a night. Aguirre added 23 points and 6.7 rebounds in 45 playoff games with the Mavericks.

Aguirre won championships with Isiah Thomas and the Pistons

Midway through the 1988-89 season, the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons made a trade.

Detroit traded Mark Aguirre to the Detroit Pistons for Adrian Dantley and a 1991 first-round draft pick. The move paired Aguirre with Isiah Thomas, the Pistons’ all-world point guard.

Instead of being an elite scorer and a top-2 option, Aguirre became a key body in the rotation. Aguirre averaged only 12.6 points in 17 playoff games that year, a season that culminated in the Pistons winning the NBA Finals.

Now playing the sixth man role in the 1989-90 season, Aguirre averaged 14.1 points and grabbed 3.9 rebounds in 78 games and 40 starts. Detroit won the NBA Finals once again, the last time they’d win before Ben Wallace and friends did so in June 2004.

Aguirre spent the rest of his career as a sixth man and spot starter. He played three more seasons with the Pistons before closing his career with the Clippers in 1994.

Mark Aguirre has remained a popular ex-Maverick

Mark Aguirre spent several years as an NBA assistant coach, including two seasons with Isiah Thomas on the New York Knicks’ bench from 2006-08.

In 2016, Aguirre returned to the spotlight as the president of a new basketball organization. According to his LinkedIn, Aguirre remains president of the Champions League, a basketball league with former pro players.

Mavericks fans and players alike have suggested the team retire Aguirre’s No. 24 jersey. According to the Mavericks’ official website, Mark Cuban has remained open to doing so one day. 

In an August 2020 interview with the site, Cuban provided an update on where he stood at the time.

“I haven’t made a decision one way or another, and I’m not in a rush to make it, because there’s a lot of guys who are super special to this organization and have done a lot. It’s not a no. But I’m just not ready yet.”

Cuban had not provided another update as of publication.

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