Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com
The Dallas Mavericks players are pumped up for the parade and Thursday was the only option for the championship celebration.
First there was talk of a Dallas Mavericks victory parade during the week of June 20, then it was announced late on Monday afternoon that the parade honoring the NBA Champions would happen Thursday.
Many wonder why the parade isn't being held on a weekend so that more people can enjoy it. The answer is simple, the players won't be here.
Most of the player plan to leave for their hometowns Thursday, Friday or Saturday so that ruled out a parade any later than Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
Thursday also works out for the city, which prefers to hold any victory celebration on a weekday morning when the crowd is less likely to get out of hand.
"Safety first. We have to ensure that this is a safe venue for everyone to enjoy," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. "If you plan on coming to downtown causing problems, we will quickly deal with you."
About 250,000 people are expected to turn out Thursday to cheer on the NBA Champions. Everyone will be there, from the players to the coaches, the front office to franchise founder Donald Carter, who accepted the championship trophy when the Mavs beat the Miami Heat for the title on Sunday night.
"The parade is going to be amazing," said Dirk Nowitzki, the finals MVP. "We're going to enjoy the heck out of that."
While this was the first championship in the Mavericks' 31-year history, and the first for any of the players in their NBA careers, they have a few parade veterans on the squad. Carlisle went through one as a player with the Celtics in 1986 and Jason Terry had one for winning the NCAA championship at Arizona in 1997.
Terry said the parade in Tucson was "unbelievable ... but they do it bigger in Texas, so I can only imagine." He already was trying to envision himself "on that float, just hoisting up that trophy, cigar on my mouth."
"That's probably when all this will sink in for us," he said.
The parade, which will start at the Dallas Convention Center downtown and wind its way north to the American Airlines Center, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., and the roads will be closed two hours earlier, the city announced. Fans can begin arriving at 7 a.m.
Officials warned fans to be for sweltering heat. Hundreds of people greeted the team in 90-degree temperatures when it arrived at Dallas Love Field from Miami around midday Monday.
At the parade's conclusion, a special event for season-ticket holders will be held inside the American Airlines Center. That part of the celebration will be broadcast on televisions in the plaza outside.
If you aren't able to attend the parade in person, it will be broadcast on TV by FOX Sports Southwest and streaming live on NBCDFW.com.
NBCDFW's Kevin Cokely and AP Sports Writer Jaime Aron contributed to this report