Dallas Mavericks on international scouting: drink, order food and curse in at least three different languages

  • Jason Whitney

Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson, reveals his secrets in international scouting

So here are the secrets to all the Dallas Mavericks success in bringing in international players over the years: boozing, cursing and being able to order a nice meal.

Donnie Nelson had some interesting comments about how the Mavericks have had success in acquiring international talent. After all, the Dallas Mavericks brought in the greatest international player to date in Dirk Nowitzki. Well, unless you’re Skip Bayless and think Manu Ginboli is. Anyway, the Mavericks were known to be the first NBA team to fully tap into international pool of players.

The secret you ask? Donnie spilled it to the Dallas Morning News.

“You have to be able to order food and drinks or curse in at least three languages,” the president of basketball operations said.

“We just show up and go drinking with the coaches, and if it’s 3 a.m., we break out the napkins and the salt and pepper shakers, draw up some plays and we don’t care if we’re talking Spanglish or what. We’ll talk basketball in whatever language we can communicate in.”

Count me in if this is what being a Dallas Maverick scout is all about.

Donnie continued to shed some light on international scouting and why it is second nature to him.

What we do when we go to these different lands or meet people here who come from somewhere else, we just shake people’s hands and make people feel safe,” Nelson said. “It’s just about making people feel comfortable. I’m Charlie Brown.

“Some people show up and say, ‘I’m from the NBA, bow down there or kiss my ring here.’

It’s being the antithesis of the ugly American,” he said. “It’s going into their house and eating their food and hanging out with them and becoming interested and asking questions about their culture and not trying to come in and say, ‘Oh, we’re from the greatest country in the history of the world and we invented basketball and this is the way you should do things.’

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