Mavericks General Manager Nico Harrison Reveals Lakers Previously Pursed Him For Front-Office Role

After an eventful 2020-21 regular season, teams around the league made several moves to reorganize themselves with the Dallas Mavericks undergoing a complete overhaul.

A disappointing first-round exit was enough for the Mavericks to hit reset as a franchise as they parted ways with former head coach Rick Carlisle and former general manager Donnie Nelson. Dallas moved quickly in rebuilding itself as they hired Jason Kidd away from the Los Angeles Lakers to become their new head coach and made an out-of-the-box hire to bring in former Nike executive Nico Harrison as their new general manager.

Harrison is a bit of an unknown among basketball fans but is widely respected in the hoops world for his relationships with players and his business acumen, two factors that should serve him well in his new role. Although this is the first time Harrison will be working in a front office, he admitted that he had been courted by teams in the past including the Lakers, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times:

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.

Harrison was assigned as Kobe Bryant’s marketing liaison in 2003 and he was able to help rebuild his image through a series of community-focused events. Harrison’s work with Bryant built up his equity within Nike and subsequently with the NBA as he was later assigned to players like Dirk Nowitzki, Steven Nash and Michael Finley.

The NBA has seen a shift in its power structure recently as player agents and other executives are getting their shot to run front offices and Harrison is now in a position to mold a team as he sees fit. It will be interesting to see what he can do with the current Mavericks roster, especially with a bonafide superstar like Luka Doncic on board.

Jason Kidd thanks Lakers

Even though there was drama surrounding Kidd’s arrival with the Lakers, the former point guard did his job and showed he was a team player. After being hired by the Mavericks, Kidd was gracious enough to thank the Laker organization for giving him an opportunity.

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