Mavericks counted Jason Kidd as head coach, Nico Harrison as Nike CEO: sources

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Why Harrison and Kidd?

Tim Cato, Beat Mavericks writer: Dallas has hired Harrison, who is expected to work alongside Michael Finley to lead the team’s front office, due to his close ties to the league players due to his former role at Nike.

The team have a long history of free agency chess, something Harrison is a clear candidate for to help with in the coming offseason.

Kidd, who was going to be a strong candidate regardless of Harrison’s hiring, may have been shortlisted for the vacancy due to the strong relationship between the two.

Initial reactions

David Aldridge, Senior NBA Columnist: Harrison is well worth the thought to think outside the box for a prominent front office position. His stint at Nike has made him a major behind-the-scenes player for years, with direct access to players and a reputation for not breaking the bank, making him trustworthy of the biggest players.

Evaluating players in the draft, staying aligned with your head coach, making trading decisions on who to pay and how much – these are different skill sets. No one is ever mad at the Nike guy. It’s going to be different and put new strain on these relationships. But Harrison is great with people.

As for Kidd, it’s not about Xs and Bones. He can do it. He’s smart and will be on the same page with Luka Doncic.

But for an organization that has been in shock for years since Sports Illustrated’s initial story in 2018 over the toxic work environment inside the building for multiple employees – followed by further reports from a senior executive charged with sexual assault in 2020, leading to his dismissal earlier this year – hiring Kidd, with his own sordid history of domestic violence, appears, to say the least, to be genuinely deaf.

There are a lot of extremely skilled people who can coach Doncic – including Jamahl Mosely, the Mavs assistant coach. Kidd is also qualified, but the Mavericks don’t have the luxury of not understanding how this is going to affect a lot of people – badly.

What are their priorities and their biggest challenges out of season?

Cato: The roster around Doncic is not good enough, and the bigger question is whether the team will actively try to trade Kristaps Porzingis this summer and next season.

That’s the main question for Harrison and the team’s front office, who will always report directly to Mark Cuban, still the ultimate decision maker on the team.

As for Kidd, outgoing head coach Carlisle left with a sour relationship with Doncic. It is important for Kidd to make sure that their partnership starts on a good note.

(Photo: Ron Hoskins / NBAE via Getty Images)



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