Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has been hired as a special advisor to the organization, the team announced in a release.
“Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special advisor and I am happy to support my Mavs,” Nowitzki said. “Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were both mentors and played huge roles in my career and the success of this franchise, and I am going to miss them. It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward.”
The Mavs are undergoing a facelift at the top, searching for both a GM/president to replace Nelson ad a coach to replace Carlisle. Word is, they will hire a GM first. Nelso had been with the franchise for 24 years. Carlisle, who announced he was leaving a day after the team parted ways with Nelson, had been coach for 13.
Nowtizki spent all 21 of his years as a player with the Mavericks, leading them to the Finals in 2006 and their lone championship in 2011.
He made the All-Star team 14 times and is the franchise leader in nearly every statistical category, such as in points (31,560), rebounds (11,489), defensive rebounds (10,021), field goals made (11,169), 3-pointers made (1,982), free throws made (7,240), blocks (1,281), games (1,522), starts (1,460) and minutes (51,368).
He completed his career with averages of 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34 minutes per game.
As the New York Times’ Marc Stein first relayed, the Mavs have hired a search firm to potentially pursue external candidates. That firm is Sportsology, and headed by longtime English soccer executive Mike Forde, Stein noted.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban told ESPN after the Mavericks lost to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs that he intended to keep Carlisle as coach.
“Let me tell you how I look at coaching,” Cuban said. “You don’t make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.”
The Mavs have had just two coaches in the 22 years that Cuban owned the team — Carlisle and Don Nelson.
“After a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks,” Carlisle told ESPN in a written statement. “This was solely my decision. My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city.”
Carlisle was Dallas’ coach during the championship run of 2011 and compiled a 555-478 record with the Mavs overall. He previously coached the Pistons and Pacers.
“I truly love Rick Carlisle. He was not only a good coach but also a friend and a confidant,” Cuban told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “Our relationship was so much more than basketball. And I know that won’t ever change.”