Rick Carlisle out as Mavericks head coach after 13 seasons and one NBA title in Dallas


In a continuously busy week for the Dallas Mavericks, Rick Carlisle told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski he will not return next season. Carlisle has coached the Mavericks since 2008, leading the team to its first and only championship in 2011. He has a record of 555-478 over 13 seasons with Dallas and has missed the postseason only four times in his tenure.

“Rick informed me today about his decision to step down as head coach,” team owner Mark Cuban said via the team’s release. “On top of being a tremendous basketball coach, he was also a friend and a confidant. Rick helped us bring the O’Brien Trophy to Dallas and those are memories I will always cherish. I want to thank Rick for all he gave this franchise and this city. We wish him all the best.”

Although the Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series since their championship in 2011, Carlisle has been a master of turning some truly mediocre Dallas rosters into playoff teams. The best example of that is in 2014, when the Mavericks pushed the eventual champions in the San Antonio Spurs to a seven-game first-round series with a roster that featured the likes of Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and a 37-year-old Vince Carter around Dirk Nowitzki. Carlisle did the same thing again this season when the Mavericks pushed the Clippers to seven games in the first round, after making savvy adjustments to counteract L.A.’s championship-level roster.

The Mavericks will now enter the offseason in search of a new head coach as well as a new general manager after the team parted ways with Donnie Nelson on Wednesday. 

Here’s the message Carlisle sent to Wojnarowski:

“After a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. This was solely my decision. My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city. 

Dallas will always be home, but I am excited about the next chapter of my coaching career.”

While it’s not clear what the driving force is behind Carlisle’s decision to depart the Mavericks, there’s reportedly been some “simmering tension” between Doncic and Carlisle that’s been a concern within Dallas’ organization, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. If Carlisle returned to coach for next season, there was a chance he could’ve been on the hot seat, per MacMahon. 

Although Carlisle’s time with the Mavericks is coming to an end, he surely won’t be unemployed for long, with six other coaching vacancies around the league not including Dallas. There’s the obvious tie to the Boston Celtics, who Carlisle played for and won a championship with in 1986, and he’ll probably garner interest from other teams around the league looking for a championship-caliber coach.

For the Mavericks, this offseason just got even more pivotal, as they bring in a new regime from the front office down to the coaching staff to try and make a deeper run in the postseason with Doncic as its centerpiece. An early candidate who the Mavericks could target is current assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, per MacMahon, who Doncic has been a strong supporter of. Whoever Dallas brings in as the new head coach, as well as general manager, will have high expectations played upon them as Doncic’s performance in his last two postseason appearances shows he’s ready to win in the playoffs right now. 





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