Dirk Nowitzki Joins Mavericks as Special Adviser; Will Assist with HC, GM Searches

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 18, 2021

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks have lost their general manager and their head coach this week, but they gained a special adviser in Dirk Nowitzki.

The former Mavericks star, who will turn 43 on Saturday, told Marc Stein of the New York Times he will help the team search for replacements for Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle. 

Nelson departed on Wednesday after 24 years with the franchise and Carlisle announced Thursday he wouldn't return as head coach after 13 seasons. 

Nowitzki, who played for Dallas for all 21 seasons of his NBA career before retiring after the 2018-19 campaign, won't have an everyday role with the team, per Stein.

"[Team governor Mark Cuban] approached me and asked me to help out and of course I said yes," Nowitzki said. "Any way I can help my Mavs, I'm in." 

The return of a Mavericks figurehead comes amid turmoil regarding the future of the organization. Before the front office moves this week, reports surfaced about tension related to star Luka Doncic.

The first report centered around Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavs' director of quantitative research and development. Doncic is reportedly frustrated with the former professional gambler, who was hired by Cuban in 2018, according to Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic. 

Amid Nelson's departure, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported that Doncic was "really upset" about the move, though Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported that may have been more speculation than rooted in hard facts. 

ESPN's Tim MacMahon added there was "simmering tension" between Doncic and Carlisle, which concerned people within the organization. 

Hopefully this latest move satisfies Doncic, or the Mavericks will have to figure out another way to keep the star in Dallas as he's eligible for a supermax contract extension. 


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