The Mavericks are the only NBA team led by a Black CEO and GM

Abu Mubarik June 07, 2024
The team is led by Cynthia "Cynt" Marshall, the league's first Black woman CEO. Photo: Instagram/cyntgm

The Dallas Mavericks is the only NBA team with a Black CEO and GM, showing its commitment to diversity and inclusion in its leadership. In 2023, over 92 percent of the team presidents within the NBA were white, while 7.9 percent were African American, according to Statista.

The Mavericks is making history and led by Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, the league’s first Black woman CEO, and Nice Harrison, a trailblazer as the team’s general manager. Marshall was hired by owner, Mark Cuban, in 2018, making her the first Black female CEO to lead an NBA team.

Marshall told Time that she didn’t even know the job existed. In fact, she did not even know who Cuban was when he called to offer her the job. After that surprising call from the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, she responded to his request and set out a 100-day plan to run and rejuvenate the establishment. She wanted to diversify the team and make some leadership changes and disclosed that it was tough to learn and integrate with everything because certain standards had been set that she had to change – the season was also underway.

She used her experience in leading people to change the status quo, and with the help of people like her boss, colleagues, people in the leagues, and others, she finally grasped the basketball business.

However, the Dallas Mavericks CEO once had to battle stage 3 colon cancer at age 51. She disclosed to PBS that when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, she described it as a setup. When Marshall told her mother about the cancer diagnosis, her mother told her it was for God’s glory. She stood by her faith and her mother’s, and years later, she remains cancer-free.

Before taking on her role as CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, she had worked at AT&T for 36 years. While climbing the corporate ladder, she faced pressure from some female bosses who advised her to change her appearance and name to find success. After years of allowing their words and thoughts to influence her, she decided to stick to her uniqueness.

Harrison, on the other hand, was hired in 2021 as the team’s general manager. Before his current role, he was an executive at Nike, spending 19 years at the company and recently serving as vice president of North America sports marketing. He also played professional basketball in Belgium.

“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.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 7, 2024

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