Dallas Mavericks

Nico Harrison's Journey from Nike to Mavericks GM

The Dallas Mavericks are preparing for a new season with a new face leading the way in the team's front office and for Nico Harrison, the journey to an NBA general manager position has been unconventional

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From Just Do It to Just Learn It, new Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison's first few months in an NBA front office have been a very new experience.

"Baptism by fire," Harrison said. "It's like really just jumping into the frying pan and figure things out as fast as you can."

Figuring things out as a first-time NBA GM, after almost two decades making his way up the ladder at Nike.

Question: "What about Nike is going to help you transition into this role that's different, though there are a lot of similarities I'm guessing too?"

"Yeah, I've been around basketball so I have a ton of relationships around basketball up, down, across, grassroots, the pro level, college level, so that helps for sure," Harrison said. "And then I think the leadership skills I learned at Nike.

"Having a team of 140 people, being a servant leader. That translates in any industry."

And it translated to eventually being referred to as the "general manager" of Nike basketball, picking which players the brand would promote, setting himself apart with a tireless work ethic, which he learned from his father, who spent thirty years working in an aluminum mill in Spokane, Washington.

"He would go to work before we were even up, coming home tired," Harrison said.

"Once you see his clothes all dirty and the aluminum popping out and burning holes in his shirts and pants, it motivates you because his thing is you don't want to be like me. Not in a bad way, but this is not the type of job you want. You want to go to school and get a good job. (It changes your perspective). 1,000%."

A changed perspective that resulted in Harrison playing professional basketball overseas for seven years before beginning his journey to the top at Nike, and now, after turning down multiple other NBA front-office positions, has him ready to help lead the Dallas Mavericks to the top of the NBA.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance," Harrison said. "You look at the owner, the city, you've got Luka, the fans, all those dynamics together? It's tough to pass up. That opportunity doesn't exist. There are thirty teams, but thirty teams don't look like this."

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