Bozeman, Montana started off it all. An unassuming city in Southwest Montana, Bozeman is dwelling to Montana State College, the state’s major university with an enrollment of practically 17,000, in a metropolis with just less than 50,000 people.
In 1992, a young Nico Harrison — after a period at West Point Army academy — still left his indigenous Tigard, Oregon and arrived at Bozeman’s airport to embark on the second portion of his collegiate profession. Harrison described his very first impressions of Montana in an job interview he gave to his alma mater.
“There had been like moose on the walls in the airport and I considered ‘What have I bought myself into?’, Harrison said. “But, coming right here turned out to be 1 of the finest decisions of my everyday living.”
Harrison, like most college or university learners, picked a major with hopes of pursuing through with it professionally. And like most school college students, that key did not fairly pan out.
“I thought I was going to be a doctor”, Harrison recollects. To this conclusion, Harrison labored difficult to excel in the classroom, at some point earning educational honors.
Athletically, Harrison made an effect on the Montana State College basketball group. Throughout his time at MSU, Harrison was a three-time, very first-group All-Major Sky collection who excelled offensively — Harrison scored more than 1,000 factors in his initially 3 seasons. He also made a name for himself on the defensive facet of the ball.
Harrison’s senior time at MSU located his Bobcats in the NCAA Match, a journey slash limited when the Bobcats have been finally eliminated by Syracuse.
The good results he garnered in the course of his time in Bozeman showed Harrison that maybe he had a long run in basketball. Harrison graduated from Montana Condition University with that biology diploma, but his strategies to show up at professional medical faculty were shelved when an abroad qualified basketball option presented itself.
Harrison pursued his pro basketball hoop goals for just beneath eight several years in Belgium, but all excellent items appear to and stop. At some point, Harrison uncovered himself again in the United States. The prepare, for the holder of a biology degree, was to appear for a graduate college and when performing in pharmaceutical income.
Then his life improved.
“Then somebody informed me that Nike was looking for an NBA rep and I used. I received the career on April 2, 2002,” Harrison recalled in an interview with Montana Condition College.
No question, his virtually 10 years of skilled basketball taking part in knowledge place the people at Nike at simplicity with Harrison. His first assignment with the attire behemoth was doing work in the Southwest as advertising agent. The San Antonio Spurs were being undeniably the hottest NBA crew at the time as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginóbili led the Spurs to a 60-22 history and an NBA Championship that 2002-2003 season.
Harrison got to operate with championship caliber talent through his inaugural year at Nike, and this went a long way to cement his track record in the marketplace. In 2003, Harrison’s get the job done ethic and acumen led him to be assigned to operate with Lakers mega celebrity, Kobe Bryant.
Nico Harrison’s life would improve once more at this juncture.
Kobe Bryant had been arrested for rape in Colorado, a situation that would grab the rapt focus of the sports activities and non-athletics worlds alike. Bryant was in the midst of a trial that tremendously tarnished his brand name id — his model charm was rock bottom.
Nike assigned Harrison as Bryant’s marketing and advertising liaison, a rough talk to for a somewhat inexperienced personnel with just a 12 months less than his belt on the work. But Harrison was far more than up to the activity. Operating with Bryant, Harrison was ready to connect his client with the community in a sequence of effectively-coordinated situations.
As Bryant’s brand name enchantment started to rise up yet again, so did Harrison’s inventory in just the Nike ecosystem.
Harrison deployed the very same community-targeted initiatives he experienced used with Bryant to his work with myriad athletes throughout the skilled athletics landscape. He would go on to undertake collegiate athletes, and much more not long ago, higher school athletes, as well.
Relating to the athlete and the athlete’s enthusiasm for basketball is the hallmark of Harrison’s solution. Coupled with a emphasis on group, this 1-two combo served vault Harrison’s stock to meteoric heights in his pretty much two a long time with Nike.
“Being ready to perform with the group at a higher level, and creating interactions. If you can do people factors, you will be thriving,” Harrison mentioned in his interview with MSU prior to currently being inducted into the MSU Bobcat Hall of Fame (2015).
In modern yrs, it has been claimed that Harrison was remaining pursued for quite a few NBA franchise entrance office environment positions. But Harrison seemingly shunned the offers — until eventually that is when Mark Cuban came calling in 2021 just after the Dallas Mavericks and GM Donnie Nelson separated soon after virtually 20 several years alongside one another.
Harrison leaves at the rear of a worthwhile and properly-gained placement with Nike to come to Dallas, a franchise that, in excess of the very last decade, has notoriously missed out on various totally free agent gamers for just one rationale or yet another. With a the moment-in-a-era expertise in Luka Doncic, Harrison’s to start with demand will be to construct a roster that flawlessly accompanies Doncic.
So Harrison will shortly land at Dallas Forth Worth Global Airport, and just like when he landed at the Bozeman airport practically 30 yrs back, he could pretty seem all around at the Texas-centric decor and check with himself what he’s gotten himself into. But Harrison in 2021 has the profit of a long time of encounter beneath his belt, together with a standing as a group builder and participant beloved.
And he’ll require all of that to assistance patch up a reeling, and damaged Dallas Mavericks franchise again with each other.