DALLAS - After former head coach Rick Carlisle landed in his new job with the Indiana Pacers, the Dallas Mavericks swiftly moved on finding his replacement in Jason Kidd. Meanwhile, high ranking Nike executive Nico Harrison will join the front office, replacing Donnie Nelson.
The Mavericks have made official the hire of Kidd as the next head coach along with the hiring of Harrison as the general manager to lead basketball operations role.
Harrison's first comments come on Monday, as via a press release he says, “It’s a true honor to be the general manager of the Mavericks; an iconic franchise with a rich history not only within the NBA, but across sports. I’m grateful for this rare opportunity and want to thank Mark and the rest of the organization for putting their trust in me to move the team to the next level.”
Kidd not only had the support of team owner Mark Cuban, but also of former teammate and now special advisor Dirk Nowitzki, among other members of the organization.
Carlisle even had publicly endorsed Kidd as his choice to be the next Mavericks head coach -- citing the similarities Kidd shares with franchise-cornerstone Luka Doncic as a pivotal reason.
"My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players," Carlisle said. "I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I'm the only person on the planet that's coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that's just an opinion."
The decision to hire Kidd to become the next head coach is one that is undoubtedly far from being impervious to criticism. His history of domestic violence after the organization vowed to come out of sexual harassment scandals in recent years are atop the list.
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From just a pure on-court basketball perspective, Kidd has posted a losing record as a head coach between his tenures with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Those teams were not short on talent, either. But his BBIQ is unquestionable; now it needs to translate to running a team.
Kidd has most recently been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff as an assistant coach under Frank Vogel. He was on the staff of the Lakers team for the 2020 championship won in the NBA Bubble.
Much support from outside of the organization had been shared in current assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, who is revered as being a well-liked personality among players. Among his top supporters is Doncic.
As far as Harrison is concerned, Michael Finley is expected to work alongside him. Finley was also previously considered as a potential candidate to lead basketball operations for the Mavericks. Nowitzki will assist in the process in his role as special advisor.
Harrison is regarded as being highly connected across each level of basketball, including a relationship with Luka Doncic. Being one of the highest-ranking executives at Nike has afforded him opportunities to make those connections at major events.
Other NBA teams have pursued Harrison to help bolster recruiting efforts to attract top talents. The Mavericks have pulled off the move that will have him make the jump to being a member of a front office. And now comes the next move: the building of a contending roster around Doncic.