The Mavericks organization introduced new head coach Jason Kidd during a press conference Thursday morning at the American Airlines Center.
The former player’s hire has not been without controversy.
Team owner Mark Cuban and CEO Cynt Marshall were all smiles as they introduced new general manager Nico Harrison and Kidd to members of the media.
The organization’s top brass expressing confidence Kidd aligns with the organization’s values on and off the hardwood, despite a checkered past.
In 2001, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, Kidd pleaded guilty to spousal abuse.
He admitted he hit his then-wife who later accused him of constant ‘physical and emotional abuse.’
Kidd also pleaded guilty in a DWI crash 12 years ago, during his time with the New York Knicks.
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Marshall personally vetted Kidd and sought help from experts about how to address Kidd’s past.
“We walked me through his journey, which I will call it a journey,” she said. “He walked me through that and at the end of that process, I very much felt like we were doing the right thing. We didn’t feel like we were undermining our zero-tolerance policy or our values or our code of conduct at all.”
The organization often recites its expressed values: character, respect, authenticity, fairness, teamwork and safety on and off the court.
Kidd did not want to detail his conversations with Marshall during the hiring process but did open up about some of his ‘journey.’
“The journey that I’ve been on has not always been perfect, but we learn from our mistakes,” he said. “Understanding that God is great and understanding that given the opportunity to prove yourself, to learn from your mistakes.’
Kidd’s hire has also raised questions about the organization’s ‘zero-tolerance policy,’ for inappropriate behavior.
Marshall implemented the policy after allegations of a ‘predatory work environment’ surfaced in 2018.
Marshall has also opened up about her own painful past surviving domestic violence at the hands of her father.
Asked by NBC 5, what she would then tell women currently suffering domestic violence who are heartbroken about her decision, Marshal responded:
“As a domestic violence survivor, myself, I can tell you what I have told myself. And what I have told myself when I was in pain, what I told myself when I have thought about what my mom and sibling have gone through is that it’s inappropriate. It’s not right what we went through and that we have gone through our own process. We’ve gone through our own journey. We’ve gotten counseling. We have done the things we needed to do to get on with our lives. I’m a woman of faith and so I’ve spent a lot of time on my knees. A lot of time praying to get to where I am right now to where I can talk to you about this… My heart goes out to anyone, anyone who has suffered at the hands of another person.”
Asked by NBC 5 what he would tell men who are domestic violence abusers about what they need to do to change, as he says he has, Kidd responded:
“This is a serious matter. And the first step is you have to get help. And if you don’t get help, nothing changes. So, you have to get help.”
Kidd underwent anger management after the 2001 charge.
He also praised the help he received for his mental health.
“Now being a coach, I can go out and talk about these things because a lot of people are afraid to talk. It’s ok to talk,” said Kidd.
Cuban told reporters employees receive ongoing training and there are reviews in place to ensure the organization’s values are upheld.
“If you don’t adhere to our code of conduct and our values, you don’t get the benefit of enjoying employment at the Dallas Mavericks,” said Marshall. “And I have no doubt that these fellas will adhere.”