Sources told ESPN.com that the Mavericks intend to have Romo on the bench and in uniform for their final regular-season home date against the Denver Nuggets as a means of paying tribute.
With starting point guard Seth Curry ailing in recent days and officially out for the rest of the season because of a shoulder ailment, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said on multiple occasions over the past week that the club would be looking to add “a pass-first point guard” before playing out the season’s final five days.
People within the organization, sources tell ESPN, say he has been referring to Romo.
In a text message Saturday to reporters who cover the team, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, “Along with Mark Cuban and the Mavs organization, I very much look forward to honoring one of Dallas’ all-time best athletes and people with a very special experience. I can’t get into specific details at this time, but encourage fans to be in their seats when warm ups begin at 715 pm.”
Romo, who turns 37 later this month, announced earlier this week that he is moving to the television booth with CBS after 14 seasons with the Cowboys.
The Mavericks plan to treat him like an actual player on the roster for the day, sources said, even though Romo won’t actually play in the game. He last played competitive basketball in high school in Wisconsin.
Romo joined the Cowboys in 2003 and has become a frequent and vocal presence at Mavericks games during the years, developing a passion for the team and growing close along the way to Cuban, Carlisle, forward Dirk Nowitzki and others in the organization.
Yet sources say the move wouldn’t have been considered if the Mavericks weren’t already out of playoff contention.
The game against the Nuggets will be the last American Airlines Center appearance of an injury-riddled campaign for the Mavericks (32-47). It’s just the second nonplayoff campaign in Cuban’s 17 full seasons as Mavs owner.
Romo was officially released by the Cowboys on Wednesday and announced the move to TV after collarbone and back injuries limited him to playing in parts of just five games during the past two seasons.
Information from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon was used in this report.