The Mavericks seem to have taken an unconventional approach in hiring the next general manager.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN Thursday report The team is “making progress” and agreed to bring Nico Harrison to Dallas as the next president of basketball operations. Wojnarowski also reported that Jason Kidd is about to become the new coach of the Mavericks.
Mavericks fans are familiar with Kidd, but Harrison is not. In fact, this Nike executive does not have any NBA experience, so owner Mark Cuban seems to be hiring him to make a leap of faith.
So, who is Nico Harrison? As he prepares to transition from one of Nike’s top figures to the head of the Dallas front desk, here is the information about him.
Who is Nico Harrison?
Harrison told Carol Schmidt of Michigan State University News In 2016, he was hired by Nike as an NBA representative on April 2, 2002.
He started his career with the company as a marketing representative for the Southwestern United States, dedicated to promoting stars such as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but in the second year of the company, he became Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s marketing liaison.
Harrison has established a strong relationship and friendship with Kobe, and his work to improve Kobe’s image has helped him climb the ladder of Nike. During his tenure as a marketing manager, he established relationships with NBA players.
In recent years, Harrison has placed himself on the NBA map by virtue of his relationship with players. According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, Harrison has a close relationship with Mavericks star Luka Doncic and has been pursued by other teams as a front office.
Source: The Mavericks discussed joining the Dallas front office with Nico Harrison, a longtime Nike executive. Harrison has strong relationships with players throughout the NBA — including Luka Doncic — and has been pursued by other teams for front office work.
— Tim Mcmahon (@espn_macmahon) June 25, 2021
Despite this interest, Harrison remained at Nike, but now it seems that he is ready to jump into the league.
Lakers forward Jared Dudley said that if the Mavericks can sign Harrison, it will be a “big show.”
Harrison is an out-of-the-box option, but if Doncic and other players in the league have confidence in Harrison like Dudley, then this move may succeed. Either way, Cuban seems willing to try Harrison Kidd’s partner.
Has Nico Harrison played professional basketball?
Harrison did play professional basketball. He never entered the NBA, but after the end of his college career, he played in Europe for seven years.
During college, he played for a season in the Army and then transferred to Montana. During his four-year college career (1993-96 season), he averaged 11.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
In 1996, Harrison helped Montana State University participate in the NCAA tournament, and the Bobcats won the Big Sky Championship. They were eliminated by Syracuse and never participated in the game since.
“He is recognized as the best defensive player in the league,” Michigan State University Media Assistant Sports Director Bill Lambert said of Harrison.
Harrison was inducted into the Bobcats Hall of Fame in 2016.