The lone championship coach in the Dallas Mavericks’ 32-year history isn’t going anywhere. Rick Carlisle has agreed to a 4-year deal that will keep him in control through perhaps the season of 2015-16. Baseball scores
“I’m very pleased for the chance to return,” Rick Carlisle said. “This wouldn’t be feasible without good players. Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, all of these guys made this possible along with owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.”
Carlisle’s current 4-year agreement was set to expire at the end of June notwithstanding having guided the Mavs to the 2011 NBA championship, defeating the Miami Heat in his 3rd season with the team. While his Miami counterpart, Erik Spoelstra, was rewarded with an extension prior to the start of this season, Carlisle entered it in an identical position to half of his register, with no assurances beyond this season.
Across the season, owner Mark Cuban stuck to his stated policy of not extending agreements of players or coaches.
“We are happy that Rick will be back with the Mavericks for no less than the following 4 years,” Cuban said in an announcement. “He is an established winner; a good teacher and a coach that may help the Mavericks advance as a team and as an institution.”
Any supposition that Carlisle wanted to test free agency, perhaps eyeing a return to the Portland Trail Blazers where he once served as an assistant, was put away. The new 4-year deal comes 5 months after Carlisle, 198-114 with Dallas, raised the championship banner to the American Airlines Center rafters and less than 2 weeks since the ruling champs were swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After the series, both Cuban and Carlisle refused to talk about the contract status. After a tough 36-30 season in which Cuban did not bring back the title team intact, the silence added a level of confusion regarding the direction both parties were looking for.
“These things, they take time,” Carlisle said, “and it’s a very big dedication all ways and we had tons of great chats during the season and after the season… I’m really grateful and looking forward to the challenge.”
In ten seasons as a head coach, Carlisle is 479-325 (.596). He spent 2 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and then 4 with the Indiana Pacers, directing both franchises to the Eastern Conference finals. He was named 2001-02 NBA Coach of the Year after his 1st season with the Pistons. Carlisle became just the 11th person in NBA history to win a championship as a player and as a coach.
The Mavs now become the longest stop of his career. If he finishes out his new 4-year deal, he will pass both Dick Motta and Don Nelson for the longest coaching run in one stint in Mavs history.
Carlisle’s job heading into the season of 2012-13 could be his hardest in Dallas. The Mavs have cap space for the 1st time in Cuban’s dozen years as owner and will look to cause an effect by signing a heralded free agent. Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams tops the list.