Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has rejoined the franchise as a special adviser who will assist in the hiring process of a new general manager and coach and consult on other front-office decisions, the team announced Friday.
"Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special advisor and I am happy to support my Mavs," Nowitzki said in a statement. "Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were both mentors and played huge roles in my career and the success of this franchise, and I am going to miss them. It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward."
Nowitzki's return comes as the Mavericks head in a new direction after Carlisle resigned Thursday following 13 years as Mavericks coach. That decision was revealed one day after the departure of Nelson following 24 seasons with the franchise.
Nowitzki, who scored a franchise-record 31,560 points in his 21-year career spent entirely with the Mavericks, has not been involved with the franchise in any official capacity since retiring after the 2018-19 season.
Nowitzki, former teammate and current Mavericks executive vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley and a select group of trusted, longtime staffers met with Cuban at his request Thursday morning to discuss the franchise's path forward, sources told ESPN.
Sources said that Jason Kidd, Nowitzki's co-star on the Mavericks' 2010-11 championship team, was informally discussed as a coaching candidate among the group, but Cuban intends to hire a new head of basketball operations before conducting the coaching search.
Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, who has a strong relationship with Luka Doncic, is expected to be among the candidates considered to replace Carlisle.
Cuban has hired Sportsology, a consulting firm frequently used by NBA teams hiring general managers, to assist in the search for Nelson's replacement.