The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. They 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.