The Dallas Mavericks got bounced from the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year just 10 days ago. Already, the organization has decided to make a major change in its front office.
According to an announcement from the team, the Mavericks have “mutually parted ways” with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson. Due to mounting tension within the front office, Nelson’s tenure of 24 years within the organization will come to an end.
Nelson oversaw unprecedented success in Dallas with the Mavericks that reached a peak when the team won the NBA Championship in 2011. Over his last 21 years as the general manager, Nelson saw the team make the playoffs 17 times, which included three Western Conference Finals appearances and three division titles.
“I just want to thank Donnie for his 24 year of service to this organization,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement. “Donnie has been instrumental to our success and helped bring a championship to Dallas. His hard work, creativity and vision made him a pioneer. Donnie will always be a part of the Mavs family and I wish him all the best.”
The Mavericks announce that they have "mutually parted ways" with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 16, 2021
The Dallas Mavericks and Donnie Nelson have mutually agreed to part ways. pic.twitter.com/YRg8pF15oG
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 16, 2021
According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the decision for Nelson and the Mavericks to split came over the weekend on Sunday.
It’s hard to separate the recent rift within the Mavericks top brass from Nelson’s departure. In a shocking story from Sam Amick and Tim Cato of The Athletic on Monday, the Mavs general manager had reportedly grown increasingly upset with the role that Haralabos Voulgaris, the team’s director of quantitative research and development, played within the organization. What resulted in Dallas was a power struggle and one that ultimately led to major changes.
Nelson’s ousting won’t come without other alterations to the Mavericks power structure. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Voulgaris will also be removed from his role with the organization.
After a hectic day in the NBA, fans and media members tried to grapple with the latest bombshell out of Dallas.
KOC just reported Haralabos Voulgaris is also OUT.
— Esfandiar | Darth Es (@JustEsBaraheni) June 16, 2021
Me thinks Donnie Nelson might have been directly or indirectly sourcing Cato’s article.
— The People’s Tweeter (@RKonkle_Mavs) June 16, 2021
The decision for Donnie Nelson to leave the Mavericks was made Sunday, sources told ESPN.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 16, 2021
Last I knew, Donnie Nelson leads the ownership group that owns the Texas Legends, which is the Dallas Mavericks G-League team.
That could get awkward.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 16, 2021
read: “Tim Cato did not get Donnie Nelson fired” https://t.co/0S5CBcXpIr
— Mavs Network (@MavsNetwork) June 16, 2021
Craziest NBA news story this morning:
6. Scott Brooks/Wizards part ways
5. Donnie Nelson/Mavs part ways
4. SVG out as Pels head coach
3. Chris Paul COVID
2. Kawhi Leonard ACL injury
1. Jokic chilling with a horse in Serbia pic.twitter.com/rMmjwgvA2p
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 16, 2021
Nelson’s exit may come on somewhat of a sour note but he’s been a major reason for the team’s success over the last two decades. He’ll forever be remembered as the general manager that drafted Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitkzi and rising superstar Luka Doncic, 20 years apart, both after draft-day trades.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Mavericks have hired a search firm to look for a new head of basketball operations. With Doncic heading into the prime of his career, the organization’s next general manager will play a crucial role in deciding the trajectory of the franchise.