The visit of the Indiana Pacers to Dallas not only left a lopsided victory for the Mavericks (132-105). The locals wanted to pay tribute to their former coach, Rick Carlisle, in his first game at the American Airlines Center since leaving the franchise.
In a lengthy video, the team highlighted Carlisle’s many accomplishments in Dallas, including being the only Mavericks coach to lead the franchise to the NBA title. The technician remained visibly emotional, tears streaming down his face as he watched the video. He ended by thanking the fans who gave him a standing ovation for the gesture.
Carlisle spent 13 years in Dallas. He came to the team in May 2008 and holds many records as Mavericks coach that probably won’t be broken for years to come. He holds the managerial record for most regular season games coached (1,033) and most wins (555) in the franchise. In addition, he led the team to nine appearances in playoffs, two Southwest Division titles, a Western Conference championship and an NBA championship.
“I was not expecting this. The only other time I felt that kind of emotional moment was when we lifted the banner of champions in the first match of the 2011-12 season. It was the same kind of feeling, but I didn’t expect something like that. It was a wonderful gesture and I am very grateful, “confessed the now Pacers coach.
Following his departure from Dallas last summer, Carlisle made it clear who he thought should replace him as head coach. He informed management that Jason Kidd was the man for the job. Kidd has the Mavericks in positions of playoffs in its first season.“He has done a tremendous jobCarlisle said of Kidd. “I know the kind of competitor he is when it comes to winning. He is very intelligent. The Mavericks are a big threat in the West.», he concluded.
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)