Rick Carlisle calls Mavericks’ play ’embarrassing,’ threatens roster shakeup

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Mavericks president Donnie Nelson said Rick Carlisle could coach the team as long as Carlisle wanted, and Dallas backed that up with a five-year, $35 million contract extension.

Now – after the Maverick fell behind the Raptors by 18 in the first quarter en route to a 103-99 loss yesterday – Carlisle is wielding that power.

Carlisle, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

“We got our ass kicked at the beginning of the game,” Carlisle said. “We knew they were going to come out hard. They’re very aggressive by nature. We talked a lot about it. And frankly, it was embarrassing.

“Look, it was a 24-minute take-you-to-the-beach, kick-your-butt, kick-sand-in-your-face type deal. And we come in at halftime and we’re finally pissed. I get on their case and we decide to bust our ass in the third quarter. If it’s going to be like that, these guys aren’t going to be Mavericks very long. I can promise you that.”

The Mavericks are a surprising 15-13 and fifth in the Western Conference, but they’re 6-9 in the last month. There’s clearly urgency to accomplish something in Dirk Nowitzki‘s final season. Hence, Carlisle’s loud – and public – message.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time this season Carlisle has sharply criticized his team’s effort. But that he’s now doing it publicly shows just how frustrated he has become.

The Mavericks better listen if they want to stay in Dallas, because unlike most coach-player disputes, Carlisle might actually have the authority to break up the roster.