Reports: Mavs hire Jason Kidd, name Nico Harrison chief executive
Jason Kidd returns to where his career began and enjoyed his greatest success, but this time as a coach.
The Mavericks legend has struck a deal to become Dallas’ next coach, according to multiple reports. His hiring follows Rick Carlisle’s departure for the Indiana Pacers, which became official Thursday.
The organization has also hired a new chief executive under longtime Nike executive, Nico Harrison, according to multiple reports. Harrison has a strong relationship with Mavs star Luka Doncic and was instrumental in making Doncic’s move from Nike to the Jordan brand in the fall of 2019, ESPN Reports.
Kidd has been an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers for the past two seasons. He was drafted by the Mavs in 1994 and played for them from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2008 to 2012, winning an NBA title there in 2011.
According to ESPN, the Mavs are optimistic that longtime executive Michael Finley, Mavs vice president of basketball operations, will stay with the franchise and work alongside Harrison.
Harrison has reportedly been in the mix for similar positions in the past, with an eye for talent identification and a deep, well-nurtured network throughout the league.
Carlisle told ESPN on Thursday that he sees Kidd as good potential to succeed him in Dallas.
“I hope Jason Kidd will be the next Mavs coach because he and Luka have so much in common as players,” Carlisle said. “I just think it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet who has coached these two guys and who knows all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me it would just be a great wedding, but that’s just an opinion.
Kidd’s first coaching position was with the Nets in 2013-14, their second season in Brooklyn. Ahead of this season, the Nets acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in an attempt to speed up their window to compete in the East. They went 44-38 in the regular season, beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the first round before losing to eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in five.
A power struggle ensued in the front office, with Kidd aiming to add basketball decision-making responsibilities in addition to the coaching role. It ended with his move to Milwaukee, where he supplanted Larry Drew as a coach and went 139-152 in more than three seasons with the Bucks.
Most notably, Kidd spearheaded Giannis Antetokounmpo’s conversion to Milwaukee’s senior ball handler. The Bucks have reached the playoffs twice (2015, ’17), both exiting in Game 6 of the first round.
After a year of absence, Kidd joined the Lakers in 2019, when they hired him as Frank Vogel’s main assistant.
Last week, the Mavs announced that team legend and former Kia MVP winner Dirk Nowitzki will join the franchise as special advisor. Nowitzki and Finley, who played for Dallas from 1996 to 2005, are both said to support the decision to bring Kidd on board as a coach, ESPN reports.