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New Era Begins with Dallas Mavericks Franchise

Jason Kidd named head coach; Nike executive named GM

mavs x head x coach x jason x kidd
Photo Courtesy of Dallas Mavericks

One is a former player who helped lead the franchise to its only championship in 2011.

The other is a legendary executive with sports giant Nike who worked alongside Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant.

Together they are the new faces of the Dallas Mavericks franchise and are ushering in a new era after a surprising end to the 2021 season.

New Head Coach

Jason Kidd was officially named the Mavs 10th head coach on Monday. He succeeds Rick Carlise, his former coach who spent 13 years with the team. He resigned early this month after GM Donnie Nelson – who hired him – was let go after 24 seasons.

Kidd, who was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, begins his third stint in Dallas after spending eight of his 19 seasons as a player with the team and helping the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title. 

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The 10-time NBA all-star and two- time Olympic gold medal winner joins the Mavericks after most recently serving two seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was part of the franchise’s 2020 NBA championship season.

“We are excited to welcome J-Kidd and his family back to Dallas,” said Mark Cuban. “He possesses a winning mentality that carried him through a Hall of Fame career as a player and has helped him successfully transition to the NBA’s coaching ranks. 

“We are eager for him to get to work and lead our franchise and talented young players into the future.”

“Dallas has meant so much to me as a player and I want to thank Mark Cuban for the opportunity to return as a head coach,” Kidd said. “I am excited to get to work with this young, hungry and incredibly talented team and to continue to build a winning legacy for the Mavericks organization.”

mavs x gm x nico x harrison
Photo Courtesy of Dallas Mavericks

New GM

Also announced on Monday was the naming of Nico Harrison as the team’s general manager.

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Harrison joins the Mavericks after spending the last 19 years at Nike, where he most recently held the title of vice president of North America basketball operations. In his role, Harrison supervised Nike’s basketball brand managers and worked closely with many of the brand’s star players, including Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

He replaces longtime general manager Nelson.

New GM Harrison, Cuban said, “brings a wealth of basketball knowledge along with both executive and leadership skills. He has proven to have a unique eye for talent on and off the court. I’m looking forward to watching Nico lead the Mavs to new heights.”

“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,” said Harrison. “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.”

Controversy

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Despite the hires intending to signal a new era in the franchise, Kidd’s hiring in particular has met with some controversy due to past issues including domestic violence allegations and a DUI.

Kidd pleaded guilty to spousal abuse in 2001 after he was accused of hitting his now-ex-wife Joumana. Per a report in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, quoting the New York Times, ESPN, and Associated Press, in 2007, Kidd filed for divorce accusing his wife of “extreme cruelty.”

A petition later filed by his wife alleged Kidd “punched, kicked or choked her, once giving her a concussion by striking her with a candlestick,” The Associated Press reported.

The hire is also troubling because of the Mavs history of sexual harassment in the workplace – detailed in a 2018 Sports Illustrated article that led to a front-office shake-up and the hiring of CEO Cynt Marshall. 

Neither Marshall or Cuban – nor Kidd or Harrison – have made any direct public comments but are expected to do so on July 15th when they will all hold a news conference. Details are forthcoming. 

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Stay tuned to TexasMetroNews.com for more on this developing story.

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Written By

Dorothy Gentry is the sports editor for the Texas Metro News.

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