Carlisle re-ups with Mavs, likely to coach post-Nowitzki era
Nov. 06, 2015
DALLAS (AP) — Rick Carlisle now figures to be coach of the Mavericks long after Dirk Nowitzki retires.
The franchise leader in victories and architect of Dallas' only championship has what amounts to a seven-year contract after he signed a five-year, $35 million extension that won't kick in until after the 2016-17 season.
The deal was announced Thursday, four days after Carlisle passed Don Nelson by getting his 340th win with the Mavericks.
The 56-year-old Carlisle was in the final year of his current contract, with a team option for next season that has now been exercised, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person provided contract details on condition of anonymity because terms weren't released.
Carlisle could be with Dallas at least through the 2021-22 season.
"Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Dirk Nowitzki are the reason an extension like this is possible," Carlisle said, also referring to the team's owner and president of basketball operations.
Carlisle has a record of 621-433 in a 14-year career that started with two seasons in Detroit and four with Indiana. He's missed the playoffs just twice. The former Boston Celtic's record in Dallas was 340-222 entering Thursday.
The franchise appeared headed to a rebuilding phase after center DeAndre Jordan backed out of a deal to sign with Dallas and stayed with the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency this past summer.
Cuban even offered shooting guard Wesley Matthews a chance to back out of his agreement, and had already said after Jordan originally committed that he would have been willing to tank the season if Dallas didn't land the 6-foot-11 native of Houston.
But Matthews stayed and got a maximum contract to help the Mavericks get younger in the backcourt. Then guard Deron Williams joined his hometown team three years after spurning Dallas in free agency to stay with the Brooklyn Nets, who bought out his contract in July.
With Nowitzki going into his 18th season and Chandler Parsons hoping to become part of the young core in his second year with the team, Dallas shifted the focus to trying to win a playoff series in the difficult Western Conference for the first time since winning the title in 2011.
And the 37-year-old Nowitzki has no doubt Carlisle is the right coach to get the Mavericks back into title contention, which might not be until after the big German has stopped playing. He's in the second year of a three-year deal.
"He's been the man here ever since he got here," Nowitzki said. "He just knows how and when to push the right buttons. In a long season, that's sometimes tough."
Carlisle was at his best in 2010-11, when the Mavericks entered the playoffs without no expectations for a title run.
With leadership help from spirited center Tyson Chandler and point guard Jason Kidd, Carlisle led a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round and a six-game victory over Miami in the first of what is now five straight trips to the NBA Finals for LeBron James — the first four with the Heat.
Cuban immediately broke up key parts of that team, and Carlisle has been working with retooled rosters almost every year since. Only now have the Mavericks committed to long-term deals with younger core players in Matthews and Parsons.
Carlisle's deal was first reported by ESPN.com.