On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks have reached agreements with Jason Kidd to become their new head coach while bringing in Nico Harrison to become their new General Manager. The Mavericks continued to fill in vacancies that was left by Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle as they reshape their front office.
Kidd has 5 previous years of coaching experience, he started with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2013-2014 season, where he lasted one season that finished with a record of 44-38 that was good enough for the second seed in the eastern conference. During that season, he led the Nets to the postseason that resulted in reaching the semifinals before being defeated by the Miami Heat. Kidd would move on and was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks to be their next head coach. During his tenure with Milwaukee he led them to the playoffs in two of the four seasons, with a postseason record of 4-8. He guided them to a .500 record or better in three of the four seasons while securing a top five seed in the eastern conference in all four seasons. Kidd was fired by the Bucks but soon found work as an assistant head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he has spent the last two seasons, one of which resulted in winning an NBA Championship during the 2019-2020 season. His overall coaching record to this point is 183-190 (.491%) with a postseason record of 9-15 (.375).
Kidd is no stranger to the city of Dallas as he was drafted by the Mavericks in the 1994 NBA draft with the second overall pick and went on to share the “Rookie of the Year” award with Grant Hill during that season. He was then traded two seasons later to the Phoenix Suns after a few arguments with teammate Jim Jackson in exchange for Sam Cassell, A.C Green and Michael Finely along with a 1998 second round draft pick. Kidd would find his way back to Dallas in 2008. He spent five seasons with the Mavericks, during he helped the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki win an NBA Championship. After his time ended unceremoniously in Dallas in 2012 he spent one tumultuous season in New York before retiring. He finished his career with 17,529 points, 12,091 assists (2nd most all-time), 8,725 rebounds and 2,684 steals (2nd most all-time) in 19 seasons, all while being named 10x all-star, 6x All-NBA, 5x Assist Champ, 9x All-Defensive, 2011 NBA Champ, 1994-1995 All-Rookie, 1994-1995 Co-Rookie of the Year and a Hall-Of-Famer in 2018.
Kidd now becomes the 10th head coach in Dallas Mavericks franchise history. He now comes in to coach Luka Doncic, a player who many fans have compared to Kidd in some regards. It appears that the Mavericks have found their next guy to lead the franchise as they turn to the next chapter. This all comes after Mark Cuban gave longtime Mavericks great, Dirk Nowitzki, a role to help the Mavericks find their next coach as a result of Rick Carlisle stepping down. Carlisle went on to become the Indiana Pacers head coach but not before making what could be considered a very odd statement about who he thought should be the Next coach of the Mavericks and more specifically, Doncic. It didn’t take as long as many feared it would take, especially since the contract with Kidd seems to be a done deal even before a new GM had been hired.
This move brings mixed reactions among the MFFL’S (Mavs Fan For Life) as some appear to not like the move due to Jason Kidd’s issues both on and off the court. Kidd has a history beyond the court that includes domestic violence and DWI among other things and that has many Mavericks fans worried as they don’t want any distractions surrounding the team. Kidd’s coaching record is also a concern, as many think he cannot live up to a head coaching role after multiple chances at the helm. While there are some negatives surrounding Kidd, there are certainly some positives as well. Many fans think he’s the right one to help elevate Luka Doncic’ game to the next level. Specifically they believe Kidd could help Luka become a even better point guard. Kidd is regarded as one of the best guards in NBA history and he can transform parts of his game into Luka Doncic.
The Mavericks hope to have picked the right coach in the next chapter of the franchise as there were some good candidates out there for them to choose from, including their assistant coach, Jamahl Mosley, who is regarded as one of the top candidates for a head coaching gig. Many thought the Mavericks would make Mosley their next head coach but they decided not to go that route and instead brought in a coach that has won a championship with the franchise as a player. Kidd will now get a chance to coach one of the bright young superstars in the NBA in hopes of getting Luka Doncic something that he did as a player, bring a championship to Dallas. The Mavericks have got to get this right because Doncic isn’t getting any younger from here on and they need to capitalize on the opportunity to deliver Doncic multiple championships in Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks have also hired longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison to become their new General Manager.
Harrison, who has been pursued by multiple teams across the NBA for front-office roles, has strong relationships with players around the NBA stemming from his years at Nike. He also has a strong connection with Luka Doncic, he played a huge role in getting Doncic to commit to the Jordan brand in the fall of 2019.
Harrison began his career with Nike as a Southwest U.S. marketing rep, to promote superstar players among the NBA, but in his second year with the company he became a marketing liaison to the late Kobe Bryant.
In the most recent years, Harrison has put himself on the map in the NBA by developing connections with players. Harrison stayed at Nike while multiple teams have tried to lure him to accept a front-office role until he finally decided to accept one with the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a huge win for the Mavericks. In Harrison, the Mavericks now have an executive with strong connections to multiple star players. An example of this came when Damian Lillard took to twitter to support the idea of Nico getting the Mavs job. Many players across the NBA love Harrison and we will see how that impacts free agents potentially coming to play for the Mavericks.
It appears that the Mavericks have done a good enough job to reshape their front office after seeing Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle leave the franchise after long and successful tenures with the club. The front office now consists of Michael Finely, Nico Harrison, Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban and Jason Kidd. The group of five now make up key figures of the Mavericks newly reconstructed leadership. Of course Mark Cuban still has the final say but it will be interesting to see how the rest of this new leadership will effect the team. Only time will tell but all signs point to these being a fantastic hires for the Mavericks.
Follow me on Twitter @TheIsiahNunez for more updates on the Dallas Mavericks offseason.