The Mavs' Rise And Fall Of 3-Month GM Rosas
On July 23, I termed Gersson Rosas' climb to the top of his profession "a meteoric one,'' as just a decade ago he was a Houston Rockets intern working in the team's video department. ... and suddenly he was a part of the Dallas Mavericks' management-team "Triangle of Trust.'' Or, better, a "Quadrangle,'' coming to Dallas with the title "general manager'' while working under owner Mark Cuban and president Donnie Nelson and with coach Rick Carlisle.
Which corner of the "Triangle'' was rubbed wrong?
The Mavs have yet to come forward with public explanations. Those might be expected in on-the-record form on Wednesday evening, when Cuban takes to the treadmill to visit with the press in the hours before the tipoff of the Hawks-at-Mavs season-opener.
And when he does, I believe you will meet your rubbed-wrong corner. And I believe you will learn more about the "why'' that starts here ...
Some can postulate that there was fuzzy definition to Rosas' boundaries and role. ... though that is the sort of thing to be worked out on the day of hire, not the eve of the season. And indeed, in my conversations with Mavs execs over the course of the last three months, the definitions seemed quite clear to me.
From Rosas himself, a month ago: "Donnie is the team president. I'm the general manager. So I'm involved with many things, from players to analytics, you name it. So Donnie is the big-picture guy. And I'm the micro guy.''
It is my specific understanding that Nelson -- with whom Rosas was to work most closely -- found himself on the page with the new guy right down to some D-League involvement. Rosas shares characteristics with Nelson, and their shared backgrounds continue right down to the D-League. Nelson is also the owner of the Mavs' minor-league affiliate, the Texas Legends. Rosas has for three seasons doubled as the GM for Houston's D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
I was told recently by Nelson himself that Rosas' view of the D-League would serve as a major asset to Frisco.
Brace yourself for Rosas to suggest he didn't see the organizational chart that way ... even though he described it himself to a tee.
This never got to "philosophical clashes.'' Dallas officials made it quite clear to us what they were looking for and what they thought they'd found.
This never got to "help for Carlisle,'' either. Eventually it was going there, but it's too early for Rosas the "analytics guy'' or Rosas the "administration guy'' or even Rosas the "scouting guy'' to be in conflict with the head coach. Carlisle's plate is full right now in areas that aren't Rosas' concern.
Rosas, 35, is a native of Bogota, Colombia, and has a coaching history at the University of Houston and with the Venezuelan national team. He spent three seasons as the Rockets' video coordinator, in 2008 was the director of scouting, was director of player personnel in 2008-09 and from 2009-12 was vice President of player personnel. Last year, Houston elevated him to "Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations'' maybe in part because other teams (including the Spurs) were considering as a GM.
That all reinforced the truth of what Dallas believed it was getting here: A full-fledged basketball executive with experience in coaching, scouting, administration and even overseas connections.
And Mark Cuban said as much at the time.
"We try to take pride in being one of the most technologically advanced teams in all of sports, not just the NBA, and to keep on pushing the envelope in directions that I wanted to go, we needed to not just add brainpower but organizational management and process power,'' Cuban said then. "I asked Donnie to go out there and find out who he thought would be the best person to do this, and he came back with Gersson's name.''
If the new guy isn't the right guy, making this change now is more "embarrassing'' than it is "bad.'' Time, money and energy have been wasted. But you move on ... after you analyze what went wrong.
The key working phrase above from the owner: Rosas' job was "to keep on pushing the envelope in directions that (Cuban) wanted to go.''
But here, I suspect, Rosas didn't just push a Cuban envelope. He pushed a Cuban button. Rosas tried to flex a muscle he knew coming in he did not have, and then expressed some sort of "confusion'' over why.
And then, it says here, the owner pushed the button to the ejector seat.
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