The Dallas Mavericks were in the midst of turmoil just one year ago. The Athletic’s dropped a bombshell report (subscription required) that was the precursor to longtime general manager Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle leaving the organization. The duo had worked for the Mavericks for more than three decades combined, and there were plenty of questions about the direction of the organization.
Owner Mark Cuban formed a committee featuring Dirk Nowitzki, which helped hire Nico Harrison as the team’s lead decision-maker and Jason Kidd as head coach. It was Harrison’s first role in a front office after decades at Nike, and Kidd had failed in his previous two head coaching stints. The fan base had questions after the moves were made, but they were quickly answered.
Kidd was replacing arguably the best coach in Mavericks' history, and the only one who ever lead them to a championship. It was big shoes to fill and many predicted Dallas to take a step backward under the Hall of Fame point guard, but he exceeded all expectations in year one as the Mavericks finished fourth in the West and reached the Western Conference Finals.
Grading Jason Kidd in his first season as Dallas Mavericks head coach
Kidd changed the team’s culture and got everyone on the same page. Their togetherness was a massive reason why the Mavs reached the conference finals. Coach Kidd also got everyone to buy into a defense-first mentality, and it gave Dallas a chance to win every single night.
Jason Kidd exceeded all expectations in his first year coaching the Dallas Mavericks, but here is a look at how he graded out in four specific areas before handing out an overall mark for the 2021-2022 season.