Nowitzki joins Mavs as adviser after Nelson, Carlisle leave
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki is joining the Dallas Mavericks as an adviser in the wake of the abrupt departures of general manager Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle.
The franchise leader in nearly every category said Friday he considered Nelson and Carlisle mentors and wanted to do what he could to help the Mavericks find their replacements and build for the future.
Nowitzki, who turns 43 on Saturday, retired two years ago after playing one season with young superstar Luka Doncic. The 7-foot German set an NBA record by spending all 21 seasons with the Mavericks, leading them to the 2011 championship.
Nelson, who has strong ties to European basketball, discovered Nowitzki and Doncic when both were teenagers, about two decades part.
Dallas traded down two spots in 1998 to end up with Nowitzki. Mark Cuban bought the team two years later and developed a bond with Nowitzki that helped keep him in Dallas.
“Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special adviser and I am happy to support my Mavs,” Nowitzki said. “It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward.”
Nowitzki, a 14-time All-Star who is sixth on the all-time scoring list and among seven to score at least 30,000 points, was the 2007 MVP and the 2011 NBA Finals MVP.