Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Rick Carlisle would return as coach next season.
Carlisle had a different plan.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news:
Rick Carlisle — who led Dallas to the 2011 NBA championship — informed Mavericks owner Mark Cuban today that he won't be returning as coach next season, Carlisle told ESPN. Carlisle had two years left on his contract. He spent 13 seasons as Mavericks coach.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 17, 2021
Dallas has made it official.
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that Rick Carlisle has stepped down as head coach. pic.twitter.com/vaRYbRuyDs
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 17, 2021
The Mavericks are in disarray.
They just fired longtime team president Donnie Nelson, which – considering Carlisle’s prior statements about returning – seems likely to be connected. Haralabos Voulgaris is making waves within the organization. And Kristaps Porzingis is frustrated.
At least Luka Doncic reportedly still plans to sign his super-max extension. That gives Dallas a long runway to figure out these mounting issues. As long as they have Doncic, the Mavericks have an opportunity for major success.
Doncic and Carlisle didn’t always seem eye-to-eye. But Carlisle did a good job of building an excellent offense around young superstar.
Carlisle has also proven his defensive game-planning, including deep in the playoffs, over the years. If he wants to keep coaching, Carlisle – 61 – will be a hot candidate for several openings.