Former Mavs GM sues team over firing, retaliation

Donnie Nelson, the previous longtime common supervisor of the Dallas Mavericks, is suing the crew over his June 2021 firing. Nelson alleges that crew proprietor Mark Cuban fired him as retaliation for reporting that his nephew was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by Jason Lutin, Cuban’s chief of workers, throughout a job interview. Nelson additionally alleges that Cuban tried to pay him off, providing him a staggering $52 million to signal a confidentiality settlement and withdraw his wrongful termination declare.

Cuban denied all of Nelson’s allegations in an email to ESPN:

“All the things in that submitting is a lie,” Cuban wrote. “We did a number of full investigations and the one person who didn’t reside as much as the requirements of the Dallas Mavericks was Mr. Nelson. He was fired consequently. He was effectively conscious of the investigation. He refused to completely take part. I’ll say it once more, every little thing he mentioned is a lie.”

Nelson’s claims towards Mavericks, Cuban

The incident on the heart of Nelson’s lawsuit issues his nephew, who has not been recognized, and Lutin, who ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. described as Cuban’s “right-hand man.” On Feb. 16, 2020, Nelson’s nephew went to lunch with Nelson, Lutin, and a number of other others to debate employment alternatives with the Mavericks. After lunch, the lawsuit claims that Lutin invited Nelson’s nephew as much as his resort room to debate job alternatives.


“Lutin requested Nelson’s nephew to take a seat subsequent to him on the mattress after which sexually harassed and sexually assaulted an unsuspecting, susceptible LGBTQ younger man looking for employment with the Mavericks,” the lawsuit states. “Lutin’s quite a few coverage violations and indiscretions had been clearly in breach of the Mavericks supposed ‘zero-tolerance’ coverage.”

Nelson did not discover out in regards to the alleged incident between his nephew and Lutin till 5 months later, after a settlement had been reached that concerned cash and a confidentiality settlement, in accordance with the lawsuit. Nelson claims within the go well with that he then confronted Cuban in regards to the incident within the midst of ongoing talks relating to a 10-year contract extension.

Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson answers questions during a press conference at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Former Mavericks common supervisor Donnie Nelson is suing the crew, claiming his June 2021 firing was retaliation for reporting that his nephew had allegedly been sexually assualted by a crew govt. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports activities)

The lawsuit says that Cuban ended up providing Nelson a 10-year, $66 million extension, and claims there is a hyperlink between Nelson confronting Cuban in regards to the harassment and Cuban ultimately withdrawing the contract provide.

By June 2021, there had been a number of studies that Nelson wasn’t getting together with Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavs’ director of quantitative analysis and improvement and a former skilled gambler. The studies claimed that Voulgaris had Cuban’s ear, and that Cuban wasn’t listening to anybody else within the group when it got here to basketball operations. By the center of the month, Nelson had been fired after 24 years with the group.

Nelson additionally filed a grievance with the Equal Employment Alternative Fee in December, claiming that since his job efficiency was high-quality, Cuban may have solely fired Nelson attributable to his report about Lutin.


“There have been completely no errors, warnings … or job efficiency points with Nelson between the time he reported Lutin’s sexual harassment and sexual predatory proclivities and the time interval that Mark Cuban revoked the 10-year provide and started a marketing campaign of retaliation,” Nelson’s grievance says.

Mavs investigated for hostile office in 2018

This is not the primary time claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment have come out of the Mavericks group. Sports Illustrated published an explosive exposé of the team’s “hostile” workplace environment in 2018, through which present and former staff alleged quite a few incidents of sexual harassment.

The NBA’s personal investigation discovered that over a dozen girls had skilled conduct that was categorised as “improper.” Nonetheless, nobody was fired on account of the investigation, as each staff who had focused these girls had been not working for the crew.

Cuban, who claimed that he had no thought about what was taking place within the group he owns, wasn’t formally punished by the NBA. He donated $10 million to girls’s organizations and says the crew has adopted all the necessities issued by the NBA on account of the investigation.

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