The Mavericks front office is an intriguing one, starting with owner Mark Cuban, who is probably one of the best owners in professional sports. At times, he can be annoying with his slighted remarks and condescending attitude, along with his desperate need for stardom and media attention. I heard a rumor on the radio today that he might be on the hit reality show, Dancing with the Stars. I am going to watch and set the DVR so that when I have a bad day, I can turn it on and laugh my ass off.
And the there is Donnie Nelson – general manager and son of the great Nellie. What makes this all so interesting especially this year is the “six degrees of separation.” First, there is the whole Nellie suing Cuban issue over some kind of deferred money, and then Cuban suing Nellie for utilizing “inside information” in the Golden State play off series.
Now this should be Cubans dilemma: the players and coaching staff should start evaluating their careers and reputation. I wonder if Donnie was chuckling just a little bit inside, watching that series? Although I don’t think there is any validity to the frivolous accusations of “inside information,” I am not a multi-billionaire “blogmaverick,” but common sense tells me that if a coach drafted and mentored a certain key player and then coached him throughout the first half of his career, he is going to know a few soft spots. Not to mention Nellie brought in and mentored Avery. Then there is Donnie and the obvious connection there.
Nellie knows the type of players Donnie is going to draft, scout, trade for, etc. It’s an obvious advantage, but it works the other way, too. And Del Harris is gone now – is this a good thing? Yes it is. There is going to be an inevitable sense of loyalty with most of these guys – some deeper than others.
Do you really believe Del is going to retire for good? He will probably end up on the Golden State bench, but definitely not back with the Mavs. Maybe he will pursue a head coaching position if one opens up. Though Donnie says there is not any thing weird about the whole Nelly / Cuban feud, that’s just a typical business stance, isn’t it? Or does business really override the father / son loyalty card?
Is it really not a source of contention? I bet it is. I like the Nelsons and Del Harris and what they have done for Dallas basketball. The connections between the coaches and GMs is obvious. Poppovich served as an assistant with Nellie in Golden State and then went on to the Spurs, where Avery played for Pop and then later Nellie. Donnie was in the mix the whole time.
I think it’s time for new management to start fresh. Aside from Avery, I think all the other Nelly connections should go. Since Del is gone, that would include Donnie and any of the other assistants remaining from the Nellie era. Why? Why not?
The team has had a drastic change in persona, now that it is led by the hard-nosed Johnson. Why not capitalize off the hard nose concept starting at the top? Why not sever ties that could be detrimental to the growth and decisions of this Mavericks team?
Even if there isn’t contention between Donnie and Mark, why not overhaul it and eliminate any potential suspicion and misguided direction? It’s essentially the same concept and identity with Nelly and Donnie.
They have already brought in Paul Westphal, which is a good move. They should bring in a different defensive minded assistant, like Scottie Pippen. They should try to woo an ex-NBA point guard star to help with the development of Devin Harris. What about the idea of Mark Price or Kevin Johnson?
Maybe another ex-NBA center like Ewing. He might be available, now that Van Gundy is out of the picture in Houston. Ewing could coach Diop and Damp. Speaking of Van Gundy, he might be a good fit for the general manager role. How about Larry Brown as GM? All of these might seem far fetched, but Mark’s got the money. He could make it happen.