Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Nelson, Doncic, Walker IV, Ingram

The Mavericks issued a statement in response to former general manager Donnie Nelson suing the organization, Tim MacMahon of ESPN shares (via Twitter). As we previously relayed, Nelson alleges he was fired by team owner Mark Cuban as retaliation for reporting sexual misconduct.

Dallas vehemently denied the allegations, claiming that the team was investigated by outside counsel and that Nelson refused to cooperate.

“Nelson’s claims of being terminated because of retaliation are completely unfounded and the lawsuit filed today is baseless and full of lies,” the club said in its statement. “Mr. Nelson is fully aware, as is the NBA, of the reasons for his termination at the end of the 2020/21 season. The Mavs have always intended to hold private the inappropriate actions of Donnie Nelson that led to his termination.”

As relayed by MacMahon (Twitter link), the Mavericks’ formal legal response accuses Nelson of extortion and demanding “in effect, a blackmail payment in exchange for his promises not to expose the sexual orientation of a former Mavericks front-office employee.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division today:

  • Speaking of the Mavericks, Luka Doncic revealed an interesting strategy for keeping his composure and avoiding technical fouls, MacMahon writes in a separate story for ESPN. “It’s a funny thing — I just start singing a song in my head,” Doncic explained. “One of my favorite songs I pick and just start singing and let [the frustration] pass. I think these last couple of games I’ve been great with officials. If I think I’m fouled, I just go to him and talk to him normal. But that’s it. It’s got to be this way.”
  • Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV has been heating up ahead of free agency this summer, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Walker is set to become a restricted free agent. He’s had a respectable campaign, averaging a career-high 12.2 points and 2.1 assists per game.
  • Pelicans star Brandon Ingram (illness) didn’t travel with the team on its three-game road trip, Christian Clark of tweets. Head coach Willie Green is unsure if he’ll join the club on the trip. New Orleans won 124-91 at San Antonio on Friday and has upcoming games at Golden State on Sunday and Portland on Wednesday.
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