Hustle Mindset

The Dallas Mavericks Is The Only NBA Team With A Black CEO And GM At Its Helm


Representation matters. This concept becomes increasingly important for marginalized groups. As the world evolves and there is still much work to be done, great strides are being made, as evidenced by the Dallas Mavericks’ leadership team.

Emerging as potential NBA champions after winning the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks are under the dynamic leadership of Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, the league’s first Black woman CEO, and Nico Harrison, a trailblazer as the team’s general manager. This Texas-based team stands out in the NBA as the only one with two Black leaders at its helm, a testament to their unique achievements.

Cynt Marshall

Marshall is an accomplished executive. She spent over 35 years at AT&T, with her final tenure as senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer. Upon retiring from the mobile tech company, she launched Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm specializing in leadership, diversity and inclusion, culture transformation, and the overall optimization of human resources.

Her hiring in 2018 marked an exciting time with the Dallas organization but a surprise for the seasoned executive.

“In my wildest dreams – and I have had some pretty big dreams and some wild dreams in my life — I never saw this coming,” Marshall said at a press conference at the time. “While I grew up playing sports supporting my three children in their sports endeavors and can often be down cheering for my favorite sports teams, all of that is very different from receiving a call from the proprietor of an NBA team with a passionate – and I can’t express that enough – with a passionate and heartfelt invitation to contribute to sports and the community in a very unique way.”

Nico Harrison

Shortly after Marshall was hired as the Mavericks’ CEO, Nico Harrison was hired in 2021 as the team’s general manager. Prior to this role, he spent 19 years as an executive at Nike, most recently serving as vice president of North America sports marketing. He also brings on-court experience as a former professional basketball player in Belgium.

Recognizing his significant contributions to the team, Harrison recently extended his contract with the Mavericks. This move not only solidifies his position within the organization but also underscores the Mavericks’ commitment to diversity and inclusion in their leadership.

“I am incredibly grateful to [Patrick Dumont] and the entire Dumont and Adelson family [team owners] for their continued trust and confidence and to Mark [Cuban] for his willingness to hire an unconventional candidate,” Harrison stated in a press release. “Patrick and his family have accepted me as their own from day one, and I am honored to work alongside them, as well as [Coach] Jason Kidd, as we continue to build a winning culture in Dallas.”

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