Jason Kidd's once-controversial plan led Mavericks to NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Dallas Mavericks fans thought the sky was falling just 14 months ago.

The Mavs had just tanked the final two games of the regular season, and as a result of that, they missed the playoffs after making the Western Conference Finals in the season prior. This was a decision made by the Mavs organization and there's no way that this was an easy pill to swallow for Jason Kidd or any of his players.

This infuriated some fans considering that the Mavs were still in contention to grab a spot in the Play-In Tournament, but Dallas decided to go another direction. The Mavs bet on their luck in the lottery instead of pursuing a spot in the Play-In (which would have been extremely hard to attain anyway considering the position they were in).

Jason Kidd and Mavericks' plan to tank led them to NBA Finals

The Mavericks had a top-10 protected pick, and them tanking allowed them to keep this selection. The Mavs used this first-round pick to trade back and draft Dereck Lively II, and although fans hated that the Mavericks tanked, they love that decision now as Lively II has been key to their success this season.

Kidd was asked about how they went from missing the playoffs entirely to playing in the NBA Finals in just one year, and he didn't hold back.

Kidd said that the Mavs "had a plan" but the media just didn't know it. He went on to talk about how missing the playoffs gave them the opportunity to draft Olivier-Maxence Prosper, and that "it's alright to fail." Kidd continued and talked about how the Mavs are building something special, and that it's "fun to be a part of."

Although some Mavs fans hated the Mavs' plan of tanking a couple of games last year at the time, that isn't the case anymore. Every fan is grateful for Lively II's impact throughout these 2024 NBA Playoffs, and without him, the Mavs likely wouldn't be where they are today.

Kidd and the Mavs gambled by tanking, but it paid off massively, regardless of how much money they got fined for it.

For all the latest on Jason Kidd, Dereck Lively II, and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Finals, stay tuned.