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View Full Version : "Man, you're crazy." - Reggie to Rick



pacerwaala
05-18-2008, 09:52 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=carlisleintro-080515


DALLAS -- For what was presumed to be the most anticlimactic press conference on the NBA's coaching carousel, Rick Carlisle's overdue introduction to the locals turned out to be a fairly newsy ride.

Among Wednesday's more memorable revelations:

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that the club is bringing back performance coach/sports psychologist Don Kalkstein, whose presence was not embraced by Avery Johnson and whose return will inevitably be seen in some circles as a sign of weakness for a franchise in flux until you find out that the Mavs will be sharing Kalkstein with a fairly successful baseball team out of Boston called the Red Sox.

As part of nearly 40 minutes on the dais to detail his plans as Johnson's successor, Carlisle shared how he's already lobbied his former top gunner in Indiana to come out of retirement next season to sign in Dallas at 43. Yet it sounds as though Carlisle won't get any farther than Boston did last summer, given that TNT's Reggie Miller texted him back with this message: "Man, you're crazy."

Then Cuban stopped in the American Airlines Center hallway after the formal question-and-answer session to reiterate to ESPN.com that back-to-back exits in the first round and his well-chronicled interest in buying baseball's Chicago Cubs haven't dimmed his enthusiasm to own and operate the Mavs.

"Not at all," Cuban said.

His grand plan/fantasy is having both teams.

"I even told the Tribune Company [which is selling the Cubs] that basketball is still my first love," Cuban continued. "But the Cubs are a special opportunity and I would be just as excited to own them. The seasons barely overlap, so it's not going to be a problem.

"I'm not going to sell the Mavs just to get the Cubs. I've already said the reasons why I would sell the Mavs -- if someone offers me billions and I'd be an idiot not to [sell] or something happens with the league, which I've come close to multiple times."

I'm not going to sell the Mavs just to get the Cubs. I've already said the reasons why I would sell the Mavs -- if someone offers me billions and I'd be an idiot not to [sell] . . . or something happens with the league, which I've come close to multiple times.
-- Mark Cuban

Cuban resisted the urge from there to dredge up old wrangles with NBA commissioner David Stern and declined to expound on his chances of winning the bidding and actually landing the Cubs.

He also passed (for the most part) on responding to some of Johnson's recent swipes out the door. Most of the afternoon's chatter was focused on various Mavs types -- Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki and naturally Carlisle himself -- trying to shoot down suggestions that the new coach is not a lot different from the old coach, strategically or personality-wise.

"In terms of style of play," Carlisle said, "I know there's going to be questions."

They won't be restricted to style of play. From the time Carlisle emerged as the only real contender for this job and the ensuing week it took for his four-year contract worth nearly $18 million to be finalized, Carlisle has heard more than a few whispers that (a) he calls way too many plays and prefers too slow a pace to be the guy who liberates Jason Kidd and (b) he hasn't been a good communicator in his stints coaching Detroit and Indiana.

The Mavs likewise haven't been able to shake the perception that Carlisle was merely the best available compromise when president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson passed on the invitation to take over.

So Carlisle tried to explain that he was attracted to this job in part because it's the first team he'll coach that doesn't have grind-it-out personnel, giving him a chance to show how much he knows about ball and player movement, spacing and opening up the floor. He also doesn't appear to be ruffled by the skepticism, noting that Mike D'Antoni was subjected to similarly pessimistic questioning at his introductory news conference Tuesday in New York.

"This is not about me coming in here with my style," Carlisle said. "This is about fitting the style to the personnel."

Having passed on that first crack at the job by convincing his boss that they needed to go outside the organization for a new voice for the first time in Cuban's eight-year run of ownership, Nelson insisted that Carlisle is "the perfect guy for this situation."

Cuban, predictably, said it loudest, insisting that only "scenarios out of left field" -- such as Larry Brown's sudden availability in Detroit and the Pacers' brawl with the Pistons in 2004 which dealt that franchise a blow from which it still hasn't recovered -- derailed Carlisle in his first two coaching jobs.

"It wasn't hard because he's a good coach," Cuban said of the first significant hire of his tenure who he didn't previously know well.

"When we did our research, it wasn't like there was some red flag that just kept popping up [to explain why] the guy didn't work out here or didn't work out there.

"If he had Rasheed [Wallace in Detroit], Rick might have won a championship, too."

Carlisle likens these Mavs to the Indiana team Larry Bird inherited from Larry Brown for the 1997-98 season. Those Pacers, Carlisle recalled, were a "39-win team that a lot of people had written off and thought had run its course and needed to be blown up." Those Pacers, with Carlisle essentially serving as Bird's offensive coordinator, posted 58- and 56-win seasons and were ushered to the 2000 NBA Finals by an all-timer at the point who had a lot of freedom.

A decade later, Carlisle is insisting that Kidd -- more accomplished than any other floor leader he's had as a head coach -- will have as much license as Mark Jackson had with those Indy teams. The unknown remains whether Carlisle can inspire Dallas, post-Avery, like Bird did in Indy with a group clearly afflicted with Larry Brown Fatigue.
[+] Enlarge
Dirk Nowitzki

Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

On Wednesday Dirk Nowitzki sat with the media to hear what his new coach had to say.

The one conclusion you could draw Wednesday is that Carlisle, at the very least, is pretty realistic. He knows that the supporting cast around Nowitzki and Kidd has some sizable holes in a Western Conference that punishes those weaknesses more than ever. He also knows that he just signed up to work for a demanding sort who only expects him to go "82-0 and win a championship."

But credit Carlisle, after spending the season as an ESPN analyst, for not trying to lower the bar on Day 1.

"This is one of the crucial periods of Mark's ownership," Carlisle said.

He went on to describe October as the "most important training camp of the Cuban era."

It sounds as though June, July and August will be busy, too, with rumblings already in circulation about the Mavs hoping they can work their way into the sign-and-trade mix for either Miami's Shawn Marion or Atlanta's Josh Smith. They are likewise bound to be linked in trade speculation to Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal, given O'Neal's successes playing for Carlisle and amid a growing anticipation in Dallas that swingman Josh Howard (after last month's marijuana monologues) and former Carlisle go-to guy Jerry Stackhouse (who only has one year and $2 million guarantee for 2009-10 left on his contract) will be offered in various trade scenarios.

Coach and owner spoke at length about Howard -- and favorably so -- in an attempt to dispel the idea that the Mavs' youngest core player will be moved. But Carlisle did acknowledge: "This roster is going to change between now [and camp]. I'm certain of that."

The other declaration of note came from Nowitzki, who immediately challenged the labeling of Carlisle as an uncommunicative after sitting among us media locusts throughout Carlisle's presentation, with Kidd hovering further back.

In the same hallway as Cuban, Nowitzki told the story of his first meeting with Carlisle. Summoned to Cuban's house for what he expected to be an hour, Nowitzki arrived on an empty stomach and left starving.

"Next thing you know we were there for a good four, four-and-a-half hours," Nowitzki said.

"He's been really communicative to me [already]. I think that's what Avery was missing a little, communicating with the players individually. I think that's the way to go.

"It's still a players' league. It's not a league of coaches."

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here


Wow, do you guys really think Rick tried to get Reggie to Dallas. My respect for Reggie as a team player and glue on and off the court just doubled.

Kegboy
05-18-2008, 10:04 AM
When I saw the title, I thought it was about Rick's interest in Artest.

idioteque
05-18-2008, 11:30 AM
When I saw the title, I thought it was about Rick's interest in Artest.

Me too.

Rick sure seems to have some interesting ideas for the players he wants.

Hicks
05-18-2008, 11:51 AM
When I saw the title, I thought it was about Rick's interest in Artest.


Me too.

Rick sure seems to have some interesting ideas for the players he wants.

I thought it was about Artest as well.

ABADays
05-18-2008, 01:06 PM
Add me to that list.

Roaming Gnome
05-18-2008, 01:33 PM
Add me to that list.

Yep... me too!

Putnam
05-18-2008, 01:39 PM
:wave: Yep!

Anthem
05-18-2008, 02:10 PM
Ditto.

maragin
05-18-2008, 03:01 PM
"If he had Rasheed [Wallace in Detroit], Rick might have won a championship, too."

Indianapolis_girly
05-18-2008, 04:50 PM
haha, put me on that list.

Los Angeles
05-18-2008, 06:44 PM
"If he had Rasheed [Wallace in Detroit], Rick might have won a championship, too."

Or if he played Tay throughout the season.

Brian
05-18-2008, 10:51 PM
Add me to that list

Naptown_Seth
05-19-2008, 12:01 PM
Or if he played Tay throughout the season.
Because that's what wins PLAYOFF games (ie, when Tay did get to play).

Brown LOST HOME COURT to Rick using the same teams from the season before. It was only the addition that Sheed that drastically changed things. Look what Rick got for losing Brad Miller before he even got to Indy. Now look at what Detroit had to give up to add ALL-STAR Sheed to the team.

Yes, clearly Rick has always had the silver spoon chances when it comes to rosters. :rolleyes:

Sollozzo
05-19-2008, 12:17 PM
Because that's what wins PLAYOFF games (ie, when Tay did get to play).

Brown LOST HOME COURT to Rick using the same teams from the season before. It was only the addition that Sheed that drastically changed things. Look what Rick got for losing Brad Miller before he even got to Indy. Now look at what Detroit had to give up to add ALL-STAR Sheed to the team.

Yes, clearly Rick has always had the silver spoon chances when it comes to rosters. :rolleyes:


I gotta agree. Go back into the archives here, and you will see how Kstat (IIRC) had all but given up on the Pistons chances before the Sheed trade.

Rick was doing a better job here than Larry was doing in Detroit before they got Sheed. Adding a player like Sheed while giving away basically nothing sure does help out. It was certainly a smart move by Dumbars to have his chips in place.

The more I think about it, Rick should have been given another chance here. Does Utah dump Sloan when they have a bad year? Did SA get rid of Pop just because they had a horrendous year with Drob out (though I guess they had just fired Bo HIll).

Robertmto
05-19-2008, 05:25 PM
i didn't read it, but thot it was about Artest as well

NuffSaid
05-19-2008, 06:27 PM
I gotta agree. Go back into the archives here, and you will see how Kstat (IIRC) had all but given up on the Pistons chances before the Sheed trade.

Rick was doing a better job here than Larry was doing in Detroit before they got Sheed. Adding a player like Sheed while giving away basically nothing sure does help out. It was certainly a smart move by Dumbars to have his chips in place.

The more I think about it, Rick should have been given another chance here. Does Utah dump Sloan when they have a bad year? Did SA get rid of Pop just because they had a horrendous year with Drob out (though I guess they had just fired Bo HIll).
Part of me agrees with you.

When you (mgmt) say that the main reason you failed to make the post-season (the first time) was primarily due to the mid-season trade and the new players didn't have a chance to get acquainted with the overall game plan and yet you fire the coach, what message are you really sending?

Was it really that the players didn't grasp the nuances of the offensive/defensive schemes or did the players stop listening to the coach? Or was it that the coach's schemes were just too complex (or there were too many of them) for the players to comprehend?

Whatever the reason, part of me did feel that RC deserved one more year going into the 2006-2007 season, but I also posted (if not here then over on RATS) that my caveat to retaining him was if the roster underwent a few changes. That didn't happen (or at least not as drastic as I felt things needed to change for RC to have renewed success with the Pacers moving forward). In any case, it was painfully obvious that RC was burned out over the many issues that took place here during his tenure. He needed a break from the game far more than the players needed a break away from him. I felt that after RC left he'd eventually land back on his feet because despite what transpired here he did a very good job. If it wasn't for the Brawl and all the other BS, I think RC would still be here.

DisplacedKnick
05-20-2008, 09:14 AM
Rick had to leave because the team had soured on him. Doesn't change the fact that he's a very. very good coach.

Anyone else think there's a very good chance he can turn the Mavs into one of the top 4 teams in the west, right there with LA, NO & SA?

Add his defense to a team not made up of plodding, psychotic dinosaurs and I think Dallas could be very, very dangerous next year.

count55
05-20-2008, 09:23 AM
Rick had to leave because the team had soured on him. Doesn't change the fact that he's a very. very good coach.

Anyone else think there's a very good chance he can turn the Mavs into one of the top 4 teams in the west, right there with LA, NO & SA?

Add his defense to a team not made up of plodding, psychotic dinosaurs and I think Dallas could be very, very dangerous next year.


I pretty much agree with this. I was always a big supporter of Carlisle, but I felt that he had become part of the problem around here. I never thought it was an "either/or" situation with the coach and the players...I thought both had to be turned over.

That being said, I thought he was a good coach who had done a good job here for a large portion of his tenure. I think he is a very large upgrade over Avery Johnson, and I expect Dallas to be a strong team next year.

However, in looking at a West that has teams like the Spurs, Jazz, Lakers, and Hornets that look like they'll be very strong for years to come, even a very good performance by Rick and the Mavs may not be good enough to come out of the West.

Since86
05-20-2008, 02:36 PM
Rick had to leave because the team had soured on him. Doesn't change the fact that he's a very. very good coach.

Anyone else think there's a very good chance he can turn the Mavs into one of the top 4 teams in the west, right there with LA, NO & SA?

Add his defense to a team not made up of plodding, psychotic dinosaurs and I think Dallas could be very, very dangerous next year.

But again, the "team" that soured on him, isn't here anymore. Or atleast won't be here for long.

Why trade your players, and downgrade in the coaching department.

I understand doing one or the other, that's a given, but both? It doesn't make any sense. It's movement for the sake of movement, and it's down the vertical scale instead of horizontal. If you're going to take a hit in the talent department, then you better get someone back that fits in better and helps chemistry.

JOB doesn't do that. He runs an awful system, still had problems with Tinsley, and JO still missed a ton of games due to injury. So basically the same thing as Rick, just a coach that isn't as good.

Ugh.

maragin
05-20-2008, 06:31 PM
I've said it a few different ways, but I would have preferred if we would have built the team to Rick's style and Sloan'd him, rather than trying to force a team together with an up-tempo approach "for the fans."

I must note, that my objectivity goes out the window on this sort of thing, as Rick was my favorite Pacers coach.

Hicks
05-20-2008, 06:43 PM
I think Rick truly coaches for the personnel he has. I think he simply looked at that roster and said "they can't do it" re: Running.