The Legends have announced Nick Van Exel as the new head coach of the team.
Van Exel returns for his second season with the Legends after having served as Associate Head Coach for the 2014-15 season under head coach Eduardo Najera.
“Nick is a natural fit to fill the head coach role with his many connections to the Mavericks/Legends family,” said Dallas Mavericks General Manager and Legends Owner Donnie Nelson. “We were extremely pleased with his addition to the bench last season and he was a critical asset to the staff. His storied NBA career combined with the mentorship he’s received throughout that career, from notables such as Don Nelson and Del Harris, brings an elite level of experience to the locker room and will command respect and trust from our players.”
Prior to joining the Legends, Van Exel spent two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks in player development then joined the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant under Larry Drew.
“I am very grateful to Donnie (Nelson), Spud (Webb) and the Legends staff for giving me the opportunity to lead this team,” Van Exel said. “It’s been great to be back in the Dallas area with the greatest fans in the world. We have two goals in mind for the organization—our players development and our first championship—now it’s time to get started.”
Van Exel spent 13 years in the NBA as a player. He was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers where he spent five seasons and was named an NBA All-Star. Van Exel then played for the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks (alongside Legends head coach Najera), Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. He retired from the NBA in 2006 with a career total of 76 playoff appearances.