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The Dallas Mavericks had a 2-0 and 3-2 series lead in the first round against the L.A. Clippers and everything appeared on the right track for the franchise to advance in the playoffs.
But after the Mavericks blew both leads and suffered elimination, the front office underwent major shakeups shortly after Tim Cato of The Athletic reported the dysfunction transpiring in the front office.
Dallas parted ways with longtime general manager Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle, opening the door for new hires.
Former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd joined Dallas as the head coach soon after Rick Carlisle publicly vouched for him to be the replacement, and Nico Harrison came on as the new general manager.
Harrison’s path to the position is an interesting one; he previously served as an NBA representative with Nike.
Though Harrison didn’t have experience in an NBA front office setting, teams eventually desired his expertise on their staff, and according to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Lakers were once one of those teams:
“At his introductory news conference Thursday, new Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison acknowledged being pursued by multiple teams in the past for a front-office role but electing to stay with Nike each time until Dallas made a run at him. Two of those teams to express interest, according to league sources: San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs were high on Harrison’s potential as an executive and the Lakers knew him well after Harrison’s extensive work with the late Kobe Bryant.”
It’s unclear exactly when this interest occurred, but the San Antonio Spurs and Lakers have had many talented people run the behind-the-scenes work throughout their respective histories.
If both of those teams coveted Harrison, he could be a beneficial hire for the Mavericks, who need to build a stronger roster around young star Luka Doncic.