With the Dallas Mavericks front office breaking down around him, head coach Rick Carlisle resigned after 13 amazing seasons where he led the franchise to its only championship. Now he is going back to the Indiana Pacers 14 years after Larry Bird fired him.
Have you ever imagined what it’s like to regret a big career decision for over a decade? Ask the president of basketball operations Larry Bird why he decided to fire Carlisle after the 2006/2007 season!
On Thursday, the Pacers declared that they had reached a four-year deal worth $29 (plus incentives) with Carlisle.
What is going on in Dallas is both shocking and sad, but clearly, there is something deeper going on that we fans could not see.
“You never want to get to a point where you ever feel like you’re overstaying your welcome, and I just felt like this is the right time,” Carlisle told the press today. “I just have such great reverence for [Mavs owner Mark Cuban] and everyone there, and I’m fortunate to move on to another great opportunity.”
In four seasons with the Pacers (between 2003 and 2007), Carlisle posted a winning record of 181-147. The Pacers made the playoffs three out of the four years.
The Pacers are committing a lot of money to the former Mavs leader, but it makes a lot of sense. Given his track record and the talented teams he led while in Dallas, Rick Carlisle is a top coach who gets the best out of his teams year after year.
Carlisle also took the time to thank the Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, during his press event Thursday and suggested to Jason Kidd taking control of the team in his wake.
“I just have a significant amount of gratitude to the city of Dallas, the Mavericks organization, all the players and coaches that I’ve had the chance to work with. Dirk, J-Kidd, [Jason Terry], Luka, Tyson [Chandler], Shawn Marion, J.J. Barea — there’s just so many. It would be very emotional to just try to show all the feelings that I have about it.”