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View Full Version : Just a great article on Carlisle



Unclebuck
05-06-2004, 08:59 AM
I really enjoyed this article. Sorry for all the highlights. As I was going through I wanted to highlight really good quotes, but it seems like I highlighted the whole thing.

There are so many things that this article brings out.
He treats everyone the same, coaches without an ego. Is a workaholic, players know their roles, there is no guessing as to roles, most of all he is just really smart

http://www.indystar.com/articles/7/144050-5127-158.html


Total focus
For analytical Rick Carlisle, coaching is all about the details -- and the players.


By Phil Richards
phil.richards@indystar.com
May 6, 2004


Forward Austin Croshere might be the most contemplative Pacer. He observes. He analyzes. He processes. He appreciates.


"I think he approaches everything from a businesslike standpoint," Croshere said of first-year coach Rick Carlisle, who will lead Indiana into the Eastern Conference semifinals tonight against Miami at Conseco Fieldhouse. "He doesn't play favorites, and over the course of 82 games it's easy for things to get personal or get emotional. He does a great job of managing those things, and that's been a great part of our success.


"I don't think he coaches with emotions. I don't think he coaches with ego."


Carlisle made a business decision last week. He declined an interview request for this cover story, and no combination of feints, moves or supplication would move him.


His ball, his ballgame. His court, his call. He would talk, but not for a cover story in which he was featured.


"I think it should be a player," he said reasonably, firmly, conclusively.


Carlisle toils in a players' game, a fact he professes freely. But in his first season as a head coach, the 2001-02 Detroit Pistons achieved an 18-game turnaround. They went from 32 victories to 50. The Pacers soared from 48 to 61 this season, his first in Indiana.


Through three seasons, Carlisle's teams have won four of six playoff series and 161 regular-season games. Only Pat Riley, a Hall of Fame member in waiting, has won more (162).


"He's got a presence about him," Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "They say he was a different guy in Detroit. When he got here, he was a great guy. He's been great for us."


Carlisle didn't suddenly get smart. He was an NBA assistant for 11 years, including 1998-2000 under Larry Bird with the Pacers. Head coaching jobs came and went. Carlisle kept his head down, and his offseasons almost never were off. He worked camps every summer. He consistently put himself around the best players and the top coaches.


"He paid every due you could pay," said Donnie Walsh, CEO and president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. "He wanted to be ready."


Carlisle was a Bird assistant when he made his first deep impression on Walsh. Much of what the Pacers wanted to do involved guard Reggie Miller, and opponents had closed that door. Miller wasn't getting the ball, at least not in position to do anything with it. The offense struggled.


Carlisle attacked the situation. He studied tape. He consulted his contacts around the league. He brainstormed and experimented. He is profoundly, singularly analytical, and he applied his skills.


"It was almost like he disappeared into the catacombs somewhere for a day or two," Walsh said, "and when he came out, he had the perfect answer."


Miller cites Carlisle's laser-like focus on detail. He compares it to Larry Brown, another future Hall of Famer, now coaching the Pistons.


"It's almost like a baseball manager," Miller said. "How's he going to manage the pitchers? Where to slide the fielders over? He really knows how to call a game."


Walsh is the original 24/7 guy, and he can't help but notice. When he arrives at Conseco in the morning, Carlisle's car is there. When Walsh leaves at night, it frequently remains "when there are no other cars in the garage."


The players see it, too. They buy in.


"He's 100 percent workaholic," said forward Ron Artest, who mirrors his coach's method.


Bird and Carlisle were Boston Celtics teammates for three seasons in the mid-1980s. Carlisle was a regular summer guest at Bird's French Lick, Ind., home. The pals worked out and hung out.


During one of those visits, Bird's son, Connor, then about 4, went to a friend's house for his first sleepover. When the Birds' phone rang in the middle of the night, Carlisle answered. Connor wanted to come home.


"Rick tells him, 'You go to bed. Your parents don't want to get up and come get you. They're in bed, so you just stay there and go to sleep now,' " Bird said.


Bird knew nothing of the exchange until the next morning. Bird, now the Pacers' president of basketball operations, laughed his ready laugh.



"That's how Rick is," he said. "He's demanding."

When Carlisle succeeded Isiah Thomas as coach in September, the Pacers wanted to know where they stood, and where they were going. If the do's and don'ts were sometimes in flux and the lines occasionally blurred under Thomas, there is no lack of clarity now.


Carlisle told the Pacers at their first meeting what he had told the Pistons at their first meeting: He wanted playoff basketball -- in the preseason, regular season and postseason, practice days and game days.


Roles and rotations were defined, and accepted. O'Neal, who was so deeply hurt when Thomas was fired, has not been the reluctant superstar. Miller has evolved selflessly. Artest has not wavered from his pledge of late last season; he has conducted himself professionally and played surpassingly.


Forward Al Harrington knows he could start almost anywhere, but he plays the sixth-man role with passion. It runs right through the roster, down to veteran point guard Kenny Anderson, who neither plays much nor bellyaches.

"(Carlisle) is consistent," Harrington said, "and you respect that. You know what you're going to get from him. You know what he expects out of you, and he expects the same thing, every day, all the time."


The NBA has a long, numbing season, even for a winning team. Consistency is crucial, but so is an occasional changeup. And when the Pacers repair to the locker room at halftime, almost any message or combination of numbers might be written on the board.

"Do you know what this is?" Carlisle will challenge.


"Well, I don't know. I guess it's the point spread and we're not covering," forward Jeff Foster recalled someone saying.


"Yeah," Carlisle replied. "The people in Vegas think enough of us to favor us by that much and we're playing like crap."


Whatever works.


While Carlisle's approach is analytical and his manner dry, his humor is just plain dry. He can be "hilarious," O'Neal said, but he more frequently cracks a joke than a smile. It's a nuance that escaped associate head coach Mike Brown last fall during the early days of their association.

"I didn't know Rick that well, so when he was trying to cut up, I didn't know he was cutting up," Brown said. "You've got to be around him to get used to his sense of humor."

If winning begets laughing, the opportunities have been many. The season's punch line is approaching, and the Pacers are poised.

That's no joke.

stew
05-06-2004, 09:29 AM
nice article indeed!!!

:D

Indyfan
05-06-2004, 11:10 AM
I have to agree, that was very well written despite the fact Rick didn't want to be the cover article and wouldn't comment. The players comments really tell a lot about why Rick has been so successful these past three years.

Harddrive7
05-06-2004, 11:23 AM
Tell you guys what, we just have one hell of a stand up, professional basketball team from top to bottom. No big egos to deal with, no fighting amongst each other, no whining about playing time...

Just unreal, do you guys really know how lucky we are to have a team like this?

I just wish that more people knew how good this team really was. Not just atheletically or talentwise either. Just an outstanding group of guys.

A TEAM!!

ChicagoJ
05-06-2004, 11:31 AM
The NBA has a long, numbing season, even for a winning team. Consistency is crucial, but so is an occasional changeup. And when the Pacers repair to the locker room at halftime, almost any message or combination of numbers might be written on the board.

"Do you know what this is?" Carlisle will challenge.

"Well, I don't know. I guess it's the point spread and we're not covering," forward Jeff Foster recalled someone saying.

"Yeah," Carlisle replied. "The people in Vegas think enough of us to favor us by that much and we're playing like crap."

Whatever works.

:laugh:

Unclebuck
05-06-2004, 01:00 PM
"(Carlisle) is consistent," Harrington said, "and you respect that. You know what you're going to get from him. You know what he expects out of you, and he expects the same thing, every day, all the time."


As I re-read the article, the above quote stands out the most. That is in stark contrast to the prior few seasons, and I believe it is the most important thing that Rick has brought to the pacers and the reason why the pacers are so steady.

A team takes on the personality of the head coach and with this current pacers team that was so combustible the past two season, Rick's approach was perfect