The storm in Dallas seems to slowly be settling as it appears to be that the vacancies in the front office are close to being filled. With the official announcement of longtime Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle agreeing to return to the Indiana Pacers as their coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported soon after that Carlisle’s former team had progressed talks with former Maverick and current Lakers Assistant Coach Jason Kidd. Alongside reports of Kidd’s talks with the franchise, a less familiar name was thrown in the mix for another Mavericks front office role, Nike Sports Marketing Executive Nico Harrison
While we are aware of Kidd’s relatively brief experience as a head coach, we know from news around the Lakers that he is well-respected by league superstars such as Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Knowing this, the seemingly unconventional move of bringing in Nico Harrison starts to make sense and could actually be Mark Cuban’s greatest stroke of genius. It also may not be as surprising to league execs as Woj also reports that Harrison is a name that has been in such talks for years now.
Harrison is one of the leaders of Nike’s Sports Marketing division, a department dedicated to serving the athlete and arguably the most integral part of the brand’s market dominance over the past 25 years or so. As reported by Woj, his tenure and competence in the various roles with Nike have allowed him to build connections with some of the greatest to ever play the game, including the late Kobe Bryant.
Nico brings more than just connections to players; he brings experience in leading a group of athletes toward a common goal. Albeit a group of athletes of varying backgrounds and levels, he knows how to captain a ship and thrive in a high-pressure, results-driven environment of inspired but headstrong individuals. While this can be said of many NBA executives, the success that Nike has achieved as a brand and a place of work is second to none, and Harrison was an integral part in building this. This could also very well translate to how the Dallas Mavericks are viewed as a destination and could potentially lead to big wins in future free agency pitches, but that is not even close to being the number one reason for this savvy move.
Nico Harrison spent part of his career at Nike as the VP for Global Basketball Sports Marketing, working not only with the NBA’s best but with the world’s greatest. It was reported by sources that Harrison has a close relationship with Slovenian Superstar Luka Doncic, and his knowledge of the game goes well beyond the best players outside of the United States of America. It also extends to an understanding of how the game is played, watched, and received across the globe.
Beyond the current hotbeds of NBA talent such as Australia, Canada, and many countries in Europe, Nico has a deep understanding of the culture around the game in big markets for the NBA such as China and the Philippines. Somehow this should all prove to be useful information in building a winning culture and larger global fan base in Dallas should Harrison officially come on-board; how it all comes together is something only he and the rest of the next generation Mavs brass can figure out.
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