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View Full Version : Kravitz - Memo to Pacers: Either extend Carlisle's contract or fire him



MagicRat
05-18-2006, 08:34 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060518/COLUMNISTS01/605180418/1004/SPORTS

Memo to Pacers: Either extend Carlisle's contract or fire him

Either that, or a pink slip.

Because the alternative -- a lame-duck coach who has been publicly dissed by his boss and is working with a noose hanging loosely around his neck -- is a recipe for another Indiana Pacers disaster.

Think about it:
After the Pacers quietly exited the playoffs without much fanfare beyond Anthony Johnson's calls for a "change of culture,'' the front office could have made some roster moves, Carlisle could have made some changes on his bench and nobody outside of Carlisle's agent would have made a big deal about the fact the head coach was heading into the final year of his deal.

Since then, though, team president Larry Bird has used the occasion of his postseason postmortem to publicly scold Carlisle with words usually reserved for a private office, suggesting his coach lost the team, failed to demand accountability from players and lacked communication skills.

And, oh yeah, there was that telling little quip about arrogance.

"Rick doesn't come in and get my advice very often,'' Bird said. "He's one of those guys who thinks he knows more than me, so why should he ask me?''

To me, that changes the equation completely, and makes Carlisle's upcoming summit meeting with Donnie Walsh and Bird all the more compelling and unpredictable.

After that, how can Carlisle come back without added security, or at least a promise that the roster will be overhauled?

He can't.

Contract extension.

Or pink slip.

One, or the other.

If, as Bird suggested, Carlisle lost his team this season, what happens next year if Carlisle enters the year as a lame duck who's been made even more toothless by his boss/friend?

If last year's team wouldn't perform for a coach with a modicum of security, what makes anybody think next year's team is going to leave its DNA on the floor to ensure the continued employment of a coach many of them barely tolerate?

If they played last year like they were trying to get him fired, how about next year, when they know Bird, who talked about Carlisle last week like he was Paul Westhead or something, has gone on the record saying he's going to keep an unusually close watch on the team?

If Bird isn't careful, he's going to turn into Pat Riley. He says he doesn't want to coach. But you wonder.

"I probably should have done more last year,'' Bird said last week. "I don't like to walk into the middle of the season and sort of discredit Rick, but I know what I have to do and we're going to do it.''

Well, he didn't discredit Carlisle during last season; he did it the other day, committing a verbal Flagrant 1 that wasn't necessary or particularly well-deserved.

If you're the Pacers' coach, and you've been through two years of Ron Artest- and injury-related madness, how is that public scolding supposed to make you feel? Was Carlisle the one who kept propping up Artest? Was Carlisle the one who gave those mind-bending contracts to Austin Croshere, Jonathan Bender and others? Even the immortal Sarunas Jasikevicius, whose presence is becoming a heightening source of tension between Bird and Carlisle, earned more praise from Bird than the coach.

No, he's not Mr. Congeniality -- he's paid to win, not sing and dance -- but give Carlisle a reasonably healthy and sane team, he's going to win 50 games and get you deep into the playoffs.

Now, Bird has some decisions.

If he keeps Carlisle, he is forced to change most of the roster.
If he keeps most of the roster, he is forced to either extend or fire Carlisle.

Players or coaches?

Players win that battle every time, whether they deserve to win it or not.
If I'm Carlisle -- which means I'm tall and own several dress white shirts -- I'm going into that meeting with Bird and Walsh, I'm demanding a contract extension and finding out quickly whether I'm their guy.

And when they tell me they're not sure -- or hell no -- then I start to play hardball when they bring up the subject of coaching-staff changes.
Want to fire me?

Fine.

Put me on the Larry Brown payment plan.

Now, you wonder, is that how it will play out?

I asked Carlisle the other day, and he responded with his usual bland brand of Kissingerlike diplomacy.

"These last two years, we've been faced with extraordinary circumstances and we've done some extraordinary things,'' Carlisle said carefully. "I'm looking forward to sitting down with Larry and Donnie and talking to them about this team's future.''

Zzzzzz.

I asked him all kinds of questions. If he was bothered by Bird's words. If he thought he needed a contract extension. If Bird ever came to him during the season and told him, "Look, you've got to bring the hammer down on these guys.''

Nothing.

No response.

Like asking my kids about their day at school.

Still, it would be naive to think Bird's words didn't wound Carlisle or leave some scars. That relationship is not what it used to be, or what we think it is. Even if nothing dramatic happens these next couple of days -- even if this doesn't turn into a Madison Square Garden-quality mess -- it's not impossible that something interesting will happen down the line.

I say address that issue now, before an already unhealthy situation gets downright toxic.

Contract extension or pink slip.

Choose.

Bob Kravitz s a columnist for The Indianapolis Star. Call him at (317) 444-6643 or e-mail <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- function SymError() { return true; } window.onerror = SymError; var SymRealWinOpen = window.open; function SymWinOpen(url, name, attributes) { return (new Object()); } window.open = SymWinOpen; //--> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- document.write( ''+'bob.kravitz'+'@'+'indystar.com.'+' (http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/+)'); //--> </script>bob.kravitz@indystar.com. <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- var SymRealOnLoad; var SymRealOnUnload; function SymOnUnload() { window.open = SymWinOpen; if(SymRealOnUnload != null) SymRealOnUnload(); } function SymOnLoad() { if(SymRealOnLoad != null) SymRealOnLoad(); window.open = SymRealWinOpen; SymRealOnUnload = window.onunload; window.onunload = SymOnUnload; } SymRealOnLoad = window.onload; window.onload = SymOnLoad; //--> </script>

Doug in CO
05-18-2006, 08:37 AM
My vote: pink slip

Unclebuck
05-18-2006, 08:48 AM
I've never agreed with Bob more.

If Rick is smart which I think he is, he'll demand a contract extension or he should leave. He won't have any trouble getting a good job either this offseason or next summer.

RWB
05-18-2006, 08:49 AM
Clue to Rick......If you see someone from Human Resources setting in your office upon arrival, you might want to find a cardboard box right away.

Doug in CO
05-18-2006, 09:17 AM
when is this meeting taking place?

Unclebuck
05-18-2006, 09:25 AM
when is this meeting taking place?



Bob said the next couple of days, whatever that means

beast23
05-18-2006, 09:32 AM
I agree with the main point of the article. However, I think one of Kravitz's premises is off base.

Kravitz seems to think that the season is over, and voila, just like that roster movements can be made. And if they are not made, it is not exactly a vote of confidence for the coach.

I think that multiple trades will be completed. But just like the Artest-Peja trade, I don't think it will happen overnight. I will take a couple of months to explore and put together the best possible trade in each instance.

But other than that one point, I think I agree with everything else.

mugsy27
05-18-2006, 09:34 AM
f he keeps Carlisle, he is forced to change most of the roster.
If he keeps most of the roster, he is forced to either extend or fire Carlisle.

i disagree with that...i think BOTH are in order.

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 10:16 AM
Bird has really mishandled this situation publicly.

WWDD? (What would Donnie Do?)

Could Donnie say the same thing about Larry?


"Rick doesn't come in and get my advice very often,'' Bird said. "He's one of those guys who thinks he knows more than me, so why should he ask me?''

bulletproof
05-18-2006, 10:27 AM
I asked him all kinds of questions. If he was bothered by Bird's words. If he thought he needed a contract extension. If Bird ever came to him during the season and told him, "Look, you've got to bring the hammer down on these guys.''

Nothing.

No response.

Like asking my kids about their day at school.

:laugh: Looks like Bob has lost the team...again.

Doug in CO
05-18-2006, 10:29 AM
Bird has really mishandled this situation publicly.

WWDD? (What would Donnie Do?)

Could Donnie say the same thing about Larry?


Some of the things Larry said are the types of things you only hear in a press conference where a guy is fired... and honestly, people are usually more cordial than that.

I think Bird is a straight shooter. He does not throw up smokescreens like DW does. Not a great trait for a GM.

McClintic Sphere
05-18-2006, 10:43 AM
Part of me agrees with Bird and part of me thinks he is in full-blown CYA mode over the disaster for which he has been largely responsible.

RWB
05-18-2006, 10:44 AM
I think Bird is a straight shooter. He does not throw up smokescreens like DW does. Not a great traight for a GM.

And is it possible we're finally hearing the frustration coming out of Bird, who let his friend have a free reign handling this team without interferance?

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 10:45 AM
Yeah, you can't both "rip" the guy like Larry did and make a public comment that you "expect him back for the last year of his contract."

The only good outcome is if Larry is trying to drive Rick to quit so he won't have to fire him. Still, its somewhat sleazy (or just plain stupid) the way it has happened publicly.

jcouts
05-18-2006, 11:10 AM
I'm sure that what Larry said to the public wasn't anything he hadn't already said to Rick face to face. I imagine that he's probably just raising a challenge to Carlisle, and if Carlisle steps up and proves his doubters wrong, Bird will know he made the right decision to stick with him through all of this. If he bows down with a "poor me, look at what the media and my President are saying about me...I must be a bad coach", I don't think Bird will have any guilt about firing him.

Roy Munson
05-18-2006, 11:23 AM
Bird has really mishandled this situation publicly.

WWDD? (What would Donnie Do?)

Could Donnie say the same thing about Larry?


I agree with this.

At this point I will be shocked if Carlisle coaches the Pacers next season. My guess is that in the next week or two they will announce a "mutual parting of the ways", which in reality will be a firing.

ABADays
05-18-2006, 12:00 PM
My question is - and I'm serious - based on the past couple of seasons who in the hell would want to coach this team?

Unclebuck
05-18-2006, 12:07 PM
My question is - and I'm serious - based on the past couple of seasons who in the hell would want to coach this team?



If the Pacers announce Monday morning at 1:00 Pm that Rick is out, within 24 hours about 25 coaches agents will contact the Pacers. There will be many, many coaches who want to coach here.

The Kings have been inundated by coaches agents

Gamble
05-18-2006, 12:08 PM
How much you offering ABA.

I would say any good assitant out there would want to coach this
team and from the looks of it we do have some good key pieces in
place unlike other teams.

Doug in CO
05-18-2006, 12:09 PM
My question is - and I'm serious - based on the past couple of seasons who in the hell would want to coach this team?

Well does Rick? Is his heart into it? I tend to think he wants out himself.

There would be plenty of people who have not gone through 2 years of hell that would jump at the chance. Hell, I bet we could even lure Larry Brown back for a year for a 5 year, 50 million dollar contract... nah, now who would do that?

Gamble
05-18-2006, 12:09 PM
I agree with this.

At this point I will be shocked if Carlisle coaches the Pacers next season. My guess is that in the next week or two they will announce a "mutual parting of the ways", which in reality will be a firing.

Or will it be I need to spend sometime with my family.

Doug in CO
05-18-2006, 12:10 PM
Or will it be I need to spend sometime with my family.

Or Stan Van Gundy's family.

Arcadian
05-18-2006, 01:00 PM
Where did Kravitz get that great insight that the Pacers must extend or fire Rick? I had never thought of that before. He has such a great basketball mind.

Anyway, my feelings on Larry is that he has a big mouth. It might be great for threads on conjecture but not a good trait for a professional.

CableKC
05-18-2006, 01:22 PM
After reading this article......I'm beginning to waiver on my support for Carlisle. I'm not entirely on the "Carlisle should go" bandwagon....but I'm beginning to consider reserving my seat.

There are positives that I see in Carlisle......but some of his negatives are beginning to knaw away at any confidence that I have in what he is capable of doing without some type of drama surrounding the Pacers.

Its not that he's a bad coach....I really believe that he is capable of being a very good coach....I just think that there are certain qualities that he has ( mainly his inflexibility on certain matters ) that hold him back from pulling this team to the next level.

I'm just wondering who would Bird replace him with....himself? Is Dennis Johnson still available?

Jose Slaughter
05-18-2006, 01:24 PM
If I recall correctly wasn't Bird a lame duck the final season he coached here?

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 02:13 PM
Hard to call him a lame duck when he never wavered from his "three years" story. Everybody knew he was in charge until the season ended (and many expected him to step into the front office immediately - not to go on a "vacation" and to later try to get himself attached to the Charlotte franchise.)

vapacersfan
05-18-2006, 03:24 PM
Its funny for me to see people who have such a problem with RC here (and yes, I am generalizing)

I will be the first to admit that RC has problems, he has many issues that are very much a pain in the butt to deal with. He is stubborn, and he does not like to develop talent.

With that said, who is going to come here and do a better job then he did?

Sure, everyone has names of coaches who are going to jump to coach this team (I keep hearing the Kings old coach, at least I was, I still need to get caught up on my forum reading) but even those coaches are human, they have faults.

I know that the NBA is a very small circle, and people talk. With that said, the way things have gone down, are people going to want to come and coach this team as it is now?

JO still hasn’t stepped up [enough]. Now personally I think he can be built around, and with the right talent he can be a great player as long as he has good players around him.

Our starting PG is made out of glass, and as such has caused a issue of should who should start, and whose feelings are going to get hurt at the start of the season. Of course, that is assuming our starting PG hasn’t pulled a hamstring or dislocated a elbow by the first game of the season.

We don’t have any true centers. Sure, we have two great back up 4’s that can play, but iunless you count Pollard who plays as often as I get paid (once every two weeks)……

Our 4 spot is pretty much set, and if we keep Peja he is going to have to prove everyone wrong that he just cant show up in the playoffs.

And at the 2, we have Fred Jones who may or may not be here, and S-Jax who most of the fans have turned on, and who has proved he would rather be “hood”, then try to fit in with a system and keep his mouth shut. He is also not consistent at all. To his credit, he does suit up for every game.

Now I realize these guys (coaches that is) get paid good money to do this, but with all of that said (and lets be real here, we don’t here ALL the stories, although lately we have gotten more news then we usually do) I just cant see a coach jumping at the chance to come to this franchise.

I am not sure where I stand on RC, I would have no problem if he did leave on his own, but its really a sad situation. He has had to deal with more ish then any coach should have to deal with, and when he finally thinks things are going to go good this year, the [franchise] player.ehh. moron decides he doesnt like our organization and wants to leave.

Cant say I am against us losing RC, but who ever comes in to replace is going to have to put up with the same crap he did, unless personel changes are made. I can only hope he doesnt have to deal with the suspension problems that RC did.

Putnam
05-18-2006, 03:45 PM
Who is going to come here and do a better job then he did?

With the way things have gone down, are people going to want to come and coach this team as it is now?

\

Cant say I am against us losing RC, but who ever comes in to replace is going to have to put up with the same crap he did, unless personel changes are made.




No one is saying that getting rid of Carlisle is going to fix the team all by itself, though some of us do believe that a lot of the crap was provoked or aggravated by Carlisle.

The "Throw Rick under the bus" crowd agrees that player changes are needed to go with the new coach. But the refit will be more manageable under a new coach than if Carlisle stays.

You can't be serious in suggesting that no one would want to coach the Pacers. Other posters have named several qualified candidates right off the top of their heads.

Once Bird and Walsh start making changes, the benefit is going to snowball. There is going to be a "fresh start" attitude that will be appealing. Coaches and players both will want to be part of it.

vapacersfan
05-18-2006, 03:53 PM
No one is saying that getting rid of Carlisle is going to fix the team all by itself, though some of us do believe that a lot of the crap was provoked or aggravated by Carlisle.

The "Throw Rick under the bus" crowd agrees that player changes are needed to go with the new coach. But the refit will be more manageable under a new coach than if Carlisle stays.

You can't be serious in suggesting that no one would want to coach the Pacers. Other posters have named several qualified candidates right off the top of their heads.



We have a throw Rick under the bus crowd now?

I am still reading about us possibly getting Steve Franchise, I really need to read faster.

With that said, I agree with the fact that RC has brought a lot of this upon himself, although I still think more of it then not was brought on by him coaching a bunch of grown men who either have not grown up or just dont plain care about anything but themselves.



You can't be serious in suggesting that no one would want to coach the Pacers. Other posters have named several qualified candidates right off the top of their heads.


Why cant I be serious?................


Once Bird and Walsh start making changes, the benefit is going to snowball. There is going to be a "fresh start" attitude that will be appealing. Coaches and players both will want to be part of it.

We can only hope it works out that way.

Peck
05-18-2006, 04:23 PM
You guys all saw that Bird interview differantly than I did.

I think Larry tried really hard to give out the Walsh like answers but two things stopped him.

1. He is not Donnie Walsh, when they kept pushing him for answers he eventually broke down & said what he was feeling.

2. We do not have the same press corpse that Donnie Walsh has had the pleasure of dealing with. Who knows how smooth Donnie would have remained if he was asked tough questions form a group that would keep hounding him. He might have been just as smooth, but we'll never know because he had a press corpse that was to say the least not tough on him.

Also if anybody saw that part where Bird said Rick thought he knew more than him they would see that Larry was laughing as he said it. It seemed like it was more of a fun jab instead of the forboding doom that Bob reported.

In all honesty I found myself likeing the Bird interview more & more as I watched it.

ChicagoJ
05-18-2006, 04:26 PM
"Press Corpse"?? :laugh:

Peck made a funny!

Peck
05-18-2006, 04:34 PM
"Press Corpse"?? :laugh:

Peck made a funny!


Yea, I thought that was clever but I never know until it goes out there.

grace
05-19-2006, 12:37 AM
My question is - and I'm serious - based on the past couple of seasons who in the hell would want to coach this team?

My answer is one of the following:

1. No one in his right mind.
2. A fool. They're born every minute.

GO!!!!!
05-19-2006, 01:46 AM
I'll coach.. whats the pay and sick leave like.... do i get a company car and fuel card.... C'mon at least look at my coaching credentials....

RWB
05-19-2006, 07:26 AM
Also if anybody saw that part where Bird said Rick thought he knew more than him they would see that Larry was laughing as he said it. It seemed like it was more of a fun jab instead of the forboding doom that Bob reported.


Bird has done that several times with the back handed jabs toward Carlisle. It maybe in jest, but when does reality finally hit that maybe that's Bird's way of pimp slapping someone yet gives him the "Oh I was only joking if needed excuse". Nah, I suspect Bird is feeling the heat and placing the blame on his buddy Rick.

Hicks
05-19-2006, 08:54 AM
I'm with Peck re: the Bird conference. I took it much differently than most of you.