Mavericks’ new general manager couldn’t pass up ‘special’ opportunity

Posted Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Gersson Rosas file Age: 35 Born: June 11, 1978, in Bogota, Colombia High school: Houston Dobie, graduated in 1996 College: University of Houston, graduated in 2000 Career highlights: Served various roles with Houston Rockets, including director of scouting (2007-08), director of player personnel (2008-09) and vice president of basketball operations (2012-13) ... GM of Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2009-13), the Rockets’ affiliate in the NBA Development League. The Vipers won D-League titles in 2010 and ’13. ... GM of Dallas Mavericks, hired Aug. 1.

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In less than a month this past summer, Gersson Rosas hit the equivalent of the NBA jackpot on two occasions with two franchises.

During the first week of July, Rosas was the vice president of basketball operations for the Houston Rockets and worked diligently as the Rockets outdueled all comers to sign highly regarded free-agent center Dwight Howard to a four-year, $88 million contract.

Then in late July, before all the candles were blown out on the Howard celebration cake, Rosas jumped ship and agreed to become the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks.

While his friends may want to rub his head a few times for good luck, Rosas believes his quick transition from the Rockets and Howard to the Mavs and Dirk Nowitzki was nothing more than his being in the right place at the right time.

“Life will throw interesting curveballs to you, and for me after being in Houston for a long time and then resetting that team with the group that we put together this summer, the timing was a little tough,” the 35-year old Rosas said. “But the reality of the situation is that being the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks was a special opportunity.”

A “special opportunity” Rosas couldn’t pass up.

“As I sat down and evaluated my future, the more I studied Dallas as a city, as an organization, as a fan base, ownership group, the coach that’s here, it made it very appealing,” Rosas said. “To be a new general manager in this league and to have those types of partners, and to walk into that type of situation was very attractive.”

The acquisition of Rosas comes with much praise because he is the highest-ranking Hispanic in the NBA in a front-office executive position.

“I’ve very blessed and humbled by that,” Rosas said. “I didn’t play in this league and I don’t have that player background.

“But I do have a passion, and it’s something that has driven me over the last 10-12 years that I’ve been in this industry in the NBA or coaching. For me it’s a special honor, but it also comes with special responsibilities, because I do think there’s minorities at all levels that deserve opportunities, and I was fortunate.”

Dennis Lindsey was the Rockets’ director of player personnel when he hired Rosas as an intern in 2001 and when Rosas was hired as the Rockets’ video coordinator and scout in 2004. Lindsey used to mentor Rosas on the values of working his way up through the NBA system.

“Besides being a great person and a really hard worker, he’s really honed his skills,” said Lindsey, who is now the general manager of the Utah Jazz. “He’s bilingual, he’s got great relationships around the league and I just can’t say enough about him and I’m proud of what he’s accomplished.

“He’s someone that collaborates very well, he understands the dilemmas of coaching and he’s got a lot of experience with management types. I think he’ll understand how to manage-up to [owner] Mark [Cuban] and do what Mark wants in the capacity that he wants it done, so I think he’ll be just a tremendous fit and addition.”

As the Mavs hold their Media Day on Monday and open training camp on Tuesday, Rosas will try to work his magic again while humbly standing in the background. He knows he made the right move by leaving the Rockets for the Mavs.

“There could have potentially been more options for me in the future around the league, but Dallas was a special place that I didn’t want to pass up on,” Rosas said. “I see a lot of potential here.

“There’s a championship heritage here that’s important to me, and you have all the resources to be successful. It’s just the opportunity to do the work, and that’s why I’m here.”

Lindsey, who has known Rosas since he was 22 years old, believes the Mavs have hired one of the fastest-rising young executives in the NBA who will do wonders for their franchise.

“I think he’s a great example of someone who is a great student that has grinded his way to the top, yet didn’t skip any steps,” Lindsey said. “So it’s just a terrific example of what a high level of character and work ethic can do for you.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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