For better or for worse, the Dallas Mavericks fundamentally transformed their direction this offseason. Gone is Donnie Nelson, one of the best international scouts and recruiting minds the NBA has ever seen (he hit on Giannis, Dirk, and Luka, after all). Gone is Rick Carlisle, a world champion and mainstay on all top-5 current NBA coaches lists.
Both fixtures technically represented a mutual parting of the ways, but it was clear there was not a real opportunity for either to remain. Mark Cuban wanted a new direction for his Dallas Mavericks. A direction that made comparisons between the old guard and new guard, an apples to oranges situation…
We can’t compare the Dallas Mavericks old coach/GM with the new, because the jobs are fundamentally different.
If you’re looking at the standard job description, there’s really no way you can conceivably argue the Dallas Mavericks upgraded at coach or at GM. Even with Donnie’s spotty record in the draft, he has a rare eye for international talent, a deep understanding of financials, and a knack for trades.
Carlisle, even more so, is in another league than the man replacing him. He’s done much with little, he’s managed extremely difficult personalities and environments with effectiveness (save for Rondo), and he’s been a brilliant x’s and o’s mind on the dry erase board. We needn’t even delve into the “character” comparison to make the case for Carlisle over Jason Kidd.
it isn’t about outcoaching or out-GM-ing Rick and Donnie, it’s about out-recruiting them. The priorities have changed.
But to compare Nico Harrrison (GM) and Jason Kidd (coach) to Nelson’s and Carlisle’s job description is being unfair and essentially missing the whole point of the hires. That’s because it isn’t about outcoaching or out-GM-ing Rick and Donnie, it’s about out-recruiting them.
As Adithya Prabakaran dove into this weekend in his article about Nico Harrison, this is about recruitment. Players around the NBA love the Dallas Mavericks new GM and that’s why, despite not having actual GM experience, he was a sought-after commodity around the league.
Similarly, Jason Kidd is loved and respected by players around the NBA. His coaching chops don’t hold a candle to someone like Rick Carlisle but Carlisle’s recruitment ability doesn’t hold a candle to Kidd’s.
This is about becoming a desirable place for star players. Plain and simple. After years of striking out in free agency and seeing star players demand trades to cities not named “Dallas”, the Mavs are shifting gears. They are focusing on sales even if it comes at the cost of operations.
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Job satisfaction is based on the same factors in the NBA as it is for us in the real world. As you may have heard before, relationships with management is the top factor in job satisfaction today. You could be in the dream job doing what you love to do most, but if you have a toxic boss, you’re probably going to be miserable.
In the same way, you can find yourself happy as a clam in an average job if your leadership and the environment around you is a good one. Most of us have probably experienced this firsthand. That’s what the Mavs are going for here.
Over the past few seasons, the Dallas Mavericks have struggled with winning their share of cutch situations. Even with a top-5 coach like Carlisle preparing and drawing up plays, doesn’t really matter if the talent can’t execute. Mark Cuban has chosen to upgrade the talent and hope the x’s and o’s sort themselves out.
If you’re trying to sell cars you aren’t going to find much success asking the engineers and mechanics to sell them. It doesn’t matter if they’re the product experts or not, they don’t have the people skills or contacts required to be effective. That’s likely how Mark Cuban sees the situation in Dallas.
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Mark Cuban is collecting a sales force and focusing on selling the Dallas Mavericks to players around the league. He’s changing the top objective and only time will tell if that’s wise…
- Published on 06/28/2021 at 16:01 PM
- Last updated at 06/28/2021 at 14:26 PM