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Ex-GM Nelson's suit vs. Mavs to go to trial in Dec.

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Published in Basketball
Tuesday, 20 February 2024 10:48

The wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson against the team is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 10, according to court documents.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in March 2022, Nelson claims he was fired by the Mavericks in retaliation after he reported that owner Mark Cuban's "right-hand person" allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted Nelson's nephew in a hotel room during the 2020 All-Star Weekend in Chicago.

Rogge Dunn, an attorney for Nelson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The Mavericks also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the complaint, Nelson says he did not learn of the alleged February 2020 assault until later that summer and says the team "quickly and quietly settled" the nephew's claims in an attempt to "sweep [the allegations] under the rug."

Nelson says that he was in the middle of contract negotiations when he reported the allegations to Cuban but that those talks abruptly ended. He was eventually fired in June 2021.

In their response to the lawsuit, the Mavericks deny Nelson was wrongfully terminated and claim that Nelson threatened to reveal the sexual orientation of Cuban's chief of staff if his contract demands were not met.

According to court documents, the Mavericks say they immediately reported the allegations to the NBA upon learning of them and hired an outside law firm to conduct an internal investigation. After the investigation, "the matter was closed to Nelson's nephew's satisfaction," the Mavericks said in a March 2023 court filing.

The Mavericks also said Nelson was fired "due to a number of factors," including "poor job performance," according to the filing.

The judge in the case is scheduled to rule on whether to extend a temporary seal on Mavericks employee depositions in a hearing scheduled for Feb. 26.

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