Daniel Gafford Appreciates Trust The Mavericks Have Put In Him: “It Means A Lot”


Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves – the breathtaking Conference Finals Series delivers as promised so far, with four incredibly close games.

Game 4 saw the end of Kyrie Irving’s historic playoff closeout streak. The Dallas Mavericks’ guard, known for his clutch performances, faced his first defeat in a closeout game as the Timberwolves secured a 105-100 victory. Irving’s record, which stood at an impeccable 14-0, was a testament to his ability to deliver when stakes were high. Despite the loss, Irving’s legacy as a decisive player in critical moments remains untarnished.

On the other side of the court, Daniel Gafford’s performance throughout the playoffs has been nothing short of remarkable. The Dallas Mavericks’ center has been a key player, providing the team with much-needed energy, scoring, and rim protection. Gafford’s playoff statistics have been impressive, with averages of 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game, shooting at a high efficiency of 57.6% from the field. His consistent role as a threat near the rim and his defensive prowess have been pivotal to the Mavericks’ success.

Gafford’s journey from a small-town hero to a playoff star is a narrative of hard work and determination. His emergence as a valuable asset for the Mavericks signifies a bright future with his impactful presence on both offense and defense.

Before Game 4, I had the chance to talk to Gafford, who was traded from the Wizards to the Mavericks on February 8, and has helped turning their season around.


Aurelia Rieke:

Hi Daniel, thanks for taking the time. You got traded to the Mavericks in February. What does that trust, the Mavs have put into you right from the beginning mean to you, also now being in the staring 5 during the conference finals?

Daniel Gafford:

It means a lot. I don’t want to take any opportunities lightly for me. I come in every day and I work hard. I just want to be the best that I can be, to be able to help.

So much trust and so much, I would say, enthusiasm that has been brought towards me. It’s something that I’m grateful for, because it’s something that I never would have seen myself in position-wise. 

So I just take it one day at a time and just have that mindset to come out and do it all. Really, just stand up to the standard that I’m held upon when it comes to doing it on a team, like this for sure. 


Were you kind of surprised when you heard about the trade?


I was and wasn’t at the same time. You know, it can be a lot of emotions that are put into it. But I used this as an opportunity to try to make a career and create some type of an image for myself at the end of the day. 

I just want to embrace the fact that I’m in a better position now. When it comes to the team, I’m just happy to be in the position that I’m in. I want to make sure I take it one day at a time. Being patient because I don’t want to take it for granted at the end of the day. 


And being in the situation to have Luka and Kyrie in your team, can you share how that was for you? Like the best moments you’ve had while training with them or something that has impressed you the most?!


I mean, it’s just all of it honestly. The consistency… Just seeing them night in and night out, the 30-point games, 40-point games, you call it, you name it. It’s just something that you never see on a night-to-night basis when it comes to just like two guys on the road. Just seeing it. What happens on a night-to-night basis, the energy, the love and the atmosphere that’s around the Dallas Mavericks is something I’ve always dreamed of just being a part of.

At the end of the day like no matter what team I was with, I’ve always dreamed of just being embraced, just being loved and just having you know the energy that’s around just watching it. It’s just great, being in this atmosphere for sure.


When you heard you’re going to be drafted by the Chicago Bulls and knowing how this franchise carries such and impressive history with Michael Jordan and his legacy, what did that mean for you back then?


It’s like all the work that I’ve done, paid off. Just to be in the position that I’ve actually wanted to be in and I’ve worked to get to this point.

It just made me feel good about myself, because I never quit at the end. I never gave up, no matter how hard it got, you know. No matter how many times I wanted to. Man, many times I wanted to throw the towel, but I just kept going. I kept sticking with it, you know. I got better and better. 

As the days go by, mentally, physically and emotionally, and I just, for sure, did something that really just helped me out, you know what I’m saying?


Yes, I know what you’re saying, thank you for sharing this. Thank you for your time. 


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