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The Dallas Mavericks said they have mutually parted ways with Donnie Nelson, the team's long-time president of basketball operations.
“I just want to thank Donnie for his 24 years of service to this organization,” Mavericks Mark Cuban said in a team-released 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.”
It is not immediately clear what led to the departure, but the decision was made on Sunday, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. That person added the Mavericks plan to conduct e a wide-ranging search for Nelson's replacement Mike Forde's Sportsology, which is a consulting firm that NBA teams often used to fill front-office roles. The person was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal manners publicly.
Nelson, who had been with the Mavericks for 24 seasons, oversaw a franchise that made the playoffs in 17 of the last 21 seasons. But despite Luka Doncic's emergence as an NBA star, the Mavericks have lost in the first round of the playoffs for two consecutive years.
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A recent report published by The Athletic described tension within the Mavericks organization over the presence of Haralabos Voulgaris, who was hired in Oct. 2018 as the team's director of quantitative research and development.
Vulgaris has had an increased role in the past two seasons, and has sat in on coaches' meetings. But Cuban publicly dismissed the report's contention that Doncic has taken exception to Voulgaris and that he has held final-decision making power on how Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has handled his rotations and how the team has assembled its roster.
During his tenure, the Mavericks made the playoffs in 17 of the last 21 seasons, been to the Western Conference Finals three times, advanced to the NBA Finals twice, captured three division titles (2007, 2010, 2021), and won their first World Championship in 2011. Since Nelson joined the franchise the Mavericks have won 58.0% (1,087 of 1,873) of their games with three 60+ win seasons, including a franchise-record 67-win season in 2007, which tied for the sixth-best record in NBA history.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mavericks part ways with long-time front office exec Donnie Nelson