Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle Deserves More Recognition
By Evan Siegel
The Mavs have not won a playoff series since their title run in 2011, but they should be ecstatic to have Rick Carlisle as their head man.
As grateful as Dallas-area sports fans were to Tom Landry, Jimmie Johnson, and even Barry Switzer, they should be every bit if not even more grateful to Rick Carlisle. Now in his ninth year as the head man in Dallas, Carlisle has consistently gotten his team to overachieve despite constant roster turnover, and a general lack of truly competitive talent in the Western Conference.
After being hired in 2008 to replace the fired Avery Johnson, the Mavs were quickly among one of the more feared teams in the NBA, with Dirk Nowitzki still on the back nine of his prime. Only three years later, Carlisle delivered the first championship in the team’s history after upsetting the favorite Miami Heat and their infamous big three.
Carlisle received a new five-year extension to remain the coach in Dallas in 2015. Despite not winning a playoff series since that magical title run, Carlisle has maintained his status as being one of the best coaches in the league, a sentiment confirmed by Gregg Popovich.
The Mavs should be thanking their lucky stars that they have a coach as experienced, knowledgable, and intelligent as Carlisle. A psychology major at the University of Virginia, Carlisle has a background in being able to motivate players aside from being among the best with the Xs and Os.
Despite constantly being given different rosters every year and frequently having to deal with contentious personalities such as Rajon Rondo, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher, Carlisle has won fifty games as coach of the Mavs four times, and narrowly missed that mark in 2014 when a missed buzzer-beating jumper by Monta Ellis left the Mavs at 49 victories for the season.
Rick Carlisle should be considered among the five best coaches in the league without a doubt. The Mavs are lucky enough to have a man in charge who played alongside Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, played against Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabar, and coached past greats such as Reggie Miller and Chauncey Billups.
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Regardless of how poor the Mavs’ record is at season’s end, the team and fan base should be absolutely thrilled that Carlisle is still around to coach the Mavs every night. If enough things go right and the Mavs rebuild their team properly, Carlisle could still be there to be a championship coach under the right circumstances.