The Dallas Mavericks have been in a (nearly) constant state of upheaval since Mark Cuban bought the team in 2003—but today, the team has a new general manager, and he’s not someone you’d normally expect.
While many people know that the Dallas Mavericks are owned by Mark Cuban, few know how the recent hire of former Nike executive Nico Harrison has impacted the franchise. Harrison, who has a background in sports marketing and Nike’s global basketball business, has been a key figure in helping to guide the Mavericks through a transitional period, one that has seen the franchise end a prolonged losing streak and re-establish itself as one of the most attractive destinations for free agents in the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks just hired a new general manager. The choice was easy for Mark Cuban: He wanted someone who could help him run a professional sports team, someone who had a proven track record of winning, someone who would come in and help him build a championship team that he could win in the next few years without having to spend too much money. That new general manager, of course, is none other than former Nike executive Nico Harrison, who will sit on the team’s bench and help the Mavericks win a few more titles with Mark Cuban as the head of the franchise.. Read more about mark cuban mavericks and let us know what you think. There’s a lot to be said for Mark Cuban – and one will certainly have something to say about thestar of the Shark Tankif the current rebuild of the Mavs fails – but no one will ever accuse the 62-year-old billionaire of thinking outside the box. He certainly did that by hiring a new general manager for the Dallas Mavericks.
Cuban brought in Nico Harrison as the Mavericks’ new general manager in an office that already has a pro player. Harrison is not a scout or assistant general manager, or even a TV host or former NBA player. He is a Nike executive with no management experience.
While this is a wild hire for many NBA teams, for the Mavs it’s very common.
Again: Mark Cuban always thinks outside the box, that’s why he’s such a great businessman. Hiring Nike top man Nico Harrison as CEO and @RealJasonKidd as head coach is a game changer. These two acquisitions will make the Mavs champions for years to come! @mcuban
– Ervin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 25, 2021
Harrison has had a unique journey, from high school basketball star in Tigard, Oregon, to the new general manager of the Dallas Mavericks.
He played basketball at Montana State University from 1993-96 and helped lead the program undefeated in the NCAA Tournament in his final season, reports Montana.edu. After college, he put his burgeoning medical career on hold to play professional basketball in Belgium for seven years.
After his basketball career ended, Harrison returned to the United States and took a job representing a pharmaceutical company. Then someone told me Nike was looking for an NBA representative and I applied, Harrison said. I got the job on the second. April 2002.
The former Montana State Bobcat has become the NBA’s marketing representative for the Southwest. A year later, he was assigned by Nike to Kobe Bryant as a personal marketing liaison. They worked together to polish Bryant’s image after his trial for sexual assault in Eagle County, Colorado.
Harrison then continued his rise at the Oregon-based sneaker giant, becoming vice president of basketball operations for North America in 2016. He was still in that position when Cuban named him the new general manager of the Mavericks.
Mark Cuban | Photo Michael Reaves/Getty Images
When news broke that former Mavs superstar Jason Kidd would become Dallas’ next head coach,,reported that the incoming GM supported the coach’s decision. Harrison, it turns out, is the new general manager of Dallas.
According to ESPN, Harrison will replace Donnie Nelson, a 24-year veteran with the Mavs. Nelson came to Dallas in 1998 when his father, Don Nelson, was the team’s coach and general manager. The younger Nelson was an assistant general manager and assistant coach before becoming general manager and president of basketball operations in 2005.
Harrison inherited a team with one of the league’s best young superstars in Luka Doncic, but also a disappointing loss against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round and an unfortunate second star in Kristaps Porzingis.
The main goal of the new Dallas Mavericks general manager is to build a real league around Doncic and keep him in town for the long haul. However, he will have to do this while navigating through an interesting power structure within the office.
Three years ago, Mark Cuban apologized for a toxic workplace he claimed to be unaware of. Now he’s planning to… Jason Kidd? https://t.co/mMjGZHEENM
– David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) June 24, 2021
Donnie Nelson’s resignation comes after the former CEO lost a power struggle with Mark Cuban’s alleged ghost CEO, former pro Haralabos Voulgaris.
Voulgaris’ position is director of quantitative research and development, but he would have much more power in the organization because he has Cuban’s ear.
The others who will have a major impact on the future development of the Mavs are all former Mavs players from the glory days of the 2010s. During this rotation, Cuban Mavs brought back legend Dirk Nowitzki as a special advisor. In addition, Michael Finley, who Cuban was considering for the role of general manager, will remain vice president of basketball operations, ESPN reports.
The last former Mav was Kidd. The Mavericks selected former point guard Kal Behar with the second pick, but he had to leave Dallas after only two and a half seasons. He returned to the team for the 2007-2008 season and was part of the championship team in 2011.
As a coach, Kidd has not been as successful. As head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, he has a disappointing 183-190 record. The biggest problem is that Kidd pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2001. That’s not a good look for a head coach in any organization. But this is particularly problematic for a franchise trying to recover from reports that it has created a hostile work environment for women.
An unconventional attitude seems to be exactly what the Mavs need to deal with this potential problem. The new general manager of the Dallas Mavericks won’t have much time to adjust. The race for Luca’s long-term acquisition began yesterday.
All statistics provided by Basketball Reference
CORRESPONDS TO: Will Luka Doncic be part of the Raptors’ reunion with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in Dallas?
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