Mavs From the Past: Devean George

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Devean George is known best for his years as a role player on the Los Angeles Lakers but what might not be remembered as much is that he also spent a few years with the Dallas Mavericks.

Early Years

George attended Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School and played on the school’s basketball team.

College Years

After high school, he decided to attend Augsburg College, now known as Augsburg Univerity, a private college in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Augsburg college’s athletic programs are Division III programs. George shined on the school’s basketball team and was the star of the team.

George spent four years at Augsburg College where he won several awards and honors. He was named a second-team Division III All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in his senior year. He was also named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Most Valuable Player in his junior and senior years. George was named to the All-MIAC Team in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

He finished off his collegiate basketball career in the top 10 in a majority of the school’s basketball records. He’s currently second all-time in career points at Augsburg with 2,258 points and first all-time in career points per game (PPG), having averaged 23.5 PPG in his four years there. George also led the Auggies to two MIAC regular-season championships and two NCAA Division III tournament appearances in 1998 and 1999.

Welcome to the NBA

George was drafted 23rd overall by the Lakers in the 1999 NBA Draft. He spent the majority of his career as part of the Lakers, even achieving his most significant career accomplishment with the team. Over his seven years with the Lakers, George started in only 94 of his 504 games played with the team. While in LA, George was mainly viewed as a solid role player who improved many aspects of his game, including his defense, three-point shooting, and willingness to do whatever the team needed. George’s personality and hard work on the court made him a fan-favorite among Lakers fans.

George was part of the Lakers dynasty that won three straight NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002. His contribution off the bench during the championship years earned him a contract extension with the team in 2002. Over the next four years, the small forward continued to be an effective player off the bench for the Lakers, even starting 48 of their 82 games during the 2003-04 season. In his seven years with the team, the Lakers made the playoffs in all but one year, and they made the finals in four of the years, winning three consecutive ones from 2000 to 2002.

By the time his tenure with the Lakers came to an end he had scored 6.0 PPG, grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game (RPG), dished out 1.0 assist per game (APG), and had 0.7 steals per game (SPG) with the team and added three championship rings to his trophy collection.

The Dallas Mavericks Years

George’s time as a Laker came to an end in 2006 when he became a free agent and signed with a different team, the Mavericks.

George continued his bench role as a Maverick and as the season went on he slowly became a key bench piece for the team and someone that coach Avery Johnson could put his trust in when he needed someone to step up. George averaged 6.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, and 0.8 SPG in his first season with the team. He also got some starter opportunities, starting in 17 out of his 60 games played that season. The Mavericks finished the season with the best record in the NBA, 67-15. In the first round of the playoffs, they faced off against the Golden State Warriors, and they lost the series in six games. Not only was it a huge upset that the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference lost to the No. 8 seed, but it was also the first time in NBA history that it happened in a seven-game series. George started in one of the six playoff games and averaged 3.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG in the series.

The following season he was relegated to even more of a bench role as he started in only 4 of his 53 games played. His numbers took a dip as he averaged 3.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 0.4 SPG. In February of that season, George and the Mavs had a bit of a disagreement as George would not agree to be traded to the New Jersey Nets, halting a trade that would bring Jason Kidd back to the Mavericks. The media got hold of the news and George received some bad publicity from it, but the Mavericks were still able to pull off the trade without him being part of the deal. Dallas finished the season 51-31, good enough to finish seventh in the West. The team faced another quick exit in the playoffs for the second straight year as they were eliminated in five games by the New Orleans Hornets. George came off the bench in all five games and put up 5.5.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 0.4 SPG, an improvement from his regular season scoring.

George’s third season with the Mavs would be his last and it certainly wasn’t his best as his stats continued to diminish. He averaged 3.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 0.9 SPG while starting in 17 out of 43 games played. On March 11, 2009, George injured his right knee in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, an injury that required arthroscopic surgery and kept him out for the rest of the season. The Mavericks made the playoffs as the sixth seed with a 50-32 record. Dallas defeated their rival, the San Antonio Spurs, in five games, before losing in the following round to the Denver Nuggets in five games. George was not able to participate in any of the playoff games due to his injury and his game against the Trail Blazers would be his final one as a Maverick.

Final Year in the NBA

During the 2009 offseason, George was traded to the Warriors as part of a three-team trade. He spent a season with the Warriors, a season that would be his last in the NBA. He played in 45 regular season games with the Warriors, coming off the bench in all but four games. In his lone season with the team, he averaged a modest 5.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 0.9 SPG, an improvement from the prior couple of years. The Warriors missed out on the playoffs with a 26-56, enough wins to finish 13th in the conference.

He tried out for his home state team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, during the 2011 NBA Lockout offseason, but he didn’t make the final roster.

Personal Life

After finishing off his NBA career George became a real estate developer.

In 2012, he proposed an affordable apartment project in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He developed two housing projects where he grew up in North Minneapolis. In 2022, George proposed building a modular home manufacturing facility in North Loop, also known as the Warehouse District, in Minneapolis.

George’s No. 40 jersey was retired by his alma mater, Augsburg College, in 2003. In 2019, he was named to the Augsburg University Hall of Fame.

Legacy

George had a successful collegiate and NBA career, winning numerous awards and honors along the way. He played his role perfectly off the bench throughout his whole career, whatever was asked of him he would do to the best of his ability. George’s hard work paid off when he won three NBA Championships with the Lakers. Even though he is best known for his Laker years, George became an integral part of the Mavs second unit. Even though he and the team had their minor disagreements, at the end of the day he did what needed to be done on the court.



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