Rick Carlisle tears up at Mavericks tribute video

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In 2015, Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson said Rick Carlisle – who guided Dallas to the 2011 championship – could remain the team’s coach as long as he wants. Carlisle became the NBA’s second-longest-tenured active head coach at 13 seasons (behind the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, tied with the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra).

The Mavericks fired Nelson last summer. Reportedly believing his firing was inevitable, Carlisle resigned.

Now Pacers coach, Carlisle returned to Dallas on Saturday – and got emotional as the Mavericks played a tribute video during their 132-105 win.

Carlisle, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Carlisle said of being overcome by his emotions. “The only other time I’ve felt that kind of emotional moment was when we raised the banner the first game of the lockout-shortened season of ’11-12. It was just the same kind of feeling. I was not expecting anything like that. It was a wonderful gesture, very much appreciated.”

Carlisle has earned a reputation for being gruff.

It’s interesting to see this side of him.