Mavs Media Narratives


In the past six months the narratives surrounding the Dallas Mavericks have been drastically fluctuating based on the outward appearance of the team. At the end of last season there was a lot of uncertainty but the negative narratives flared up with the departure of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle and they continued with the hiring of Jason Kidd.

Prior to this major change in leadership most major publications, like ESPN, praised Rick Carlisle for his coaching. Throughout his time he was met with positive feedback – despite the occasional notorious difficult player. Carlisle is very highly regarded among the NBA and his tenure as documented by the media expressed this.

Sports Illustrated alone has reported a rollercoaster of headlines about the team’s issues that were not widely discussed prior. At the beginning of the hiring of Jason Kidd an article was titled, “Has Jason Kidd Inherited a Headache as New Mavs Coach.” In the article it detailed how ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated that Luka Doncic was reportedly difficult to play with and no other players in the league wanted to play alongside him. Just recently Sports Illustrated came out with another article with the headline, “‘Great Vibe’: Mavs Chemistry Impressive Under Coach Jason Kidd.” This article spoke about the players and coaches comments on what is going right with the team so far in the preseason. It also noted that Doncic was able to get his teammates involved despite the reports of him needing to trust his teammates more. 

The narratives from Sports Illustrated on the verge of Jason Kidd’s hiring emphasized the struggles and issues he would face in Dallas. Now after open practices, media interviews, and pre season games the tides are definitely changing for this team and the talks around the team are much more positive. 

On top of the pushback from the media Jason Kidd was receiving, his hiring was also met with the publication of Mirin Fader’s book Giannis:The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP. Excerpts of the book involving Kidd’s method’s while coaching the Bucks began to go around social media. The notable story included Kidd scheduling last minute practice on the morning of Christmas Eve and then overworking members of the team at that practice. Overall it was not the most smooth transition by any means and as mentioned added fuel to the fire.

Overall Kidd’s tenure with the Mavs has been met by the media with a difficult start but they are turning it around after their 4-0 start in the pre-season. The narratives that once were the focal point like Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis’ relationship are slowly dying down, to a degree. It will be interesting to see how this changes as the season progresses. The Mavs first game is tonight against the Atlanta Hawks at 6:30.

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