When Shawn Marion came to the Dallas Mavericks approximately three years ago, he had a difficult time fitting in with his new teammates.

Even last year, Marion was shuffled in and out of the starting lineup until he became the permanent starter at small forward after Caron Butler suffered a season-ending knee injury on New Year's Day.

"The thing I most respected about (Marion) is that when he caem to us two-and-a-half years ago it wasn't a seamless transition for him or us,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "There were struggles the first year, and there was frustration.

"The second year when he came back he made massive adjustments to his game and his approach. He was willing to come off the bench for us with Jet (Jason Terry), and we got off to a great start when Butler was still healthy.''