Out in Frisco, Texas, the D-League affiliate for the Dallas Mavericks made headlines over this past off season when they signed Eduardo Najera as their new head coach. Over their brief history as a franchise in Frisco, splashy head coaching hires has become the norm as Najera is set to follow Del Harris and Nancy Lieberman.
Rivaling their rather big name head coaching hires would be co-owner Donnie Nelson. It is Nelson who has established himself as one of the most respected minds in the NBA today. It appears that the Texas Legends are looking to build a successful franchise from the top on down, and in their third season, the team will likely be positioning itself near the top echelon within the D-League.
Nelson has been a key figure in transforming the Dallas Mavericks franchise, from a team who suffered a decade-long playoff drought, to a perennial championship contender. His wake of success is expected to continue spreading onto his D-League franchise that is taking shape, and looks to be mimicking their NBA affiliate in terms of a winning formula. The well known son of NBA legend Don Nelson, Donnie and the rest of the group involved with helping the Legends grow in terms of success, and will be focused on continuing along the path that they have groomed themselves in just a short amount of time.
The past two seasons the Legends have finished with identical records (24-26), not necessarily what you would expect from a franchise that has instrumented so many respected NBA minds into it's team. However, with the new addition of Najera, they feel the team will be able to feed off of Najera's widely knnown work ethic and become a franchise to perhaps compete with their Texas neighbor the Austin Toros. The Toros have set the precedent in terms of building their franchise to the standard of their NBA affiliate. The San Antonio Spurs are like a well oiled machine when it comes to turning out successful results. Whether it be in terms of their dominance in the Western Conference, or in the players they have helped blossom into the NBA's top talent.
The D-League preseason will include the Legends as they will play host in a jamboree consisting of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Erie BayHawks, Tulsa 66ers, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and the aforementioned Austin Toros. Fans will have the opportunity to watch the Legends among the other mentioned teams make final roster decisions as they experiment before the regular season begins the week following. Head coach Najera has mentioned that he is excited to be able to participate in an event that will allow NBA personnel the opportunity to scout the D-League talent early on.
The Dallas Mavericks are expecting big things out of their D-League affiliate this next season and for the seasons to come, and in a state that prides itself in accommodating winning results on a large scale, the Texas Legends look to be in position to carry on that tradition.