Aguirre averaged 20 points per game over the course of his 13-year NBA career. He was selected as the first overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1981 NBA Draft and remained with the Mavericks until 1989.
In his first season Aguirre was limited to 51 games and averaged 18.7 points, second on the team to Jay Vincent (21.4 ppg). The Mavericks improved by 13 games in the win column and finished ahead of the Utah Jazz, but were still twenty games behind division-leading San Antonio Spurs.
Beginning with the 1982–83 season Aguirre reeled off six straight campaigns in which his average topped 22 points per game. In the first of those seasons he scored 24.4 points per contest, tops on the team and sixth in the league. The Mavericks continued their ascent, bettering their record to 38-44 to finish ahead of Utah and the Houston Rockets in the Midwest Division.
During the 1983–84. Aguirre averaged 29.5 points per game, second in the league to Dantley’s 30.6 ppg. He finished the season with 2,330 total points.
While Aguirre’s time in Dallas was full of high-scoring efforts and playoff visits, the Mavericks were postseason underachievers (their only Western Conference Finals visit was the 1988 loss to the Lakers), and Aguirre had repeated conflicts with coach Dick Motta and players like Blackman, Derek Harper and James Donaldson. Then-team owner Donald Carter was a huge fan of Aguirre and hoped he would remain in Dallas for his entire career, but eventually conceded that the gulf between Aguirre and the team was unbridgeable. Midway through the 1988–89 season Aguirre was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Dantley, who was also one of the league’s top scorers, and a first round draft pick on February 15, 1989.
After Aguirre joined them, the Pistons became NBA champions in 1988-89 and then repeated as champions in 1989–90. Aguirre came off the bench for Dennis Rodman and averaged 14.1 points, fourth highest on the team. He showed he could blend into a successful team by taking fewer shots, playing hard on defense, and not complaining when Rodman’s minutes increased greatly over time. In the 1990 playoffs, which culminated with a five-game Finals win over Portland, Aguirre averaged 11.0 points.
Aguirre played three more seasons with the Pistons in an increasingly limited role, due to both Rodman’s play and his own age and injury issues. In 1993, the Pistons released Aguirre and after he cleared waivers the Los Angeles Clippers signed him for $150,000 for a partial campaign in 1993–94. Through the 1993–94 season Aguirre had accumulated 18,458 points for a career average of 20.0 points per game. He retired in 1994.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes Mark Aguirre.
|1993–1994||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||18,458 (20.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,578 (5.0 rpg)|
|Assists||2,871 (3.1 apg|