Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Carlisle stresses excellence through change

The last three playoff exits weren’t easy for any of the Mavericks to deal with, and the aftermath has opened up plenty of questions for a franchise in transition. Rick Carlisle was hired to help answer some of those questions.

Introduced during a Wednesday afternoon press conference inside American Airlines Center, Carlisle talked candidly about the challenges ahead and opportunity to accomplish something special.

“In any situation, there has to be an acceptance of where you are and that things that happened have happened for a reason,” Carlisle said while standing on the practice court. “The one thing about change is there is an opportunity for things to be a little different, maybe the approach is a little bit different, maybe the tone is a little bit different, who knows.

“We’ve got to make sure that we approach these guys from the standpoint that we’re going to drive them hard, but we’re going to give them confidence and be supportive as well. You can’t be as good a team as you can possibly be unless you have a coaching staff that’s behind you.”

Carlisle took the podium earlier with owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, who both stressed the search for Avery Johnson’s successor zeroed in on Carlisle from the start and never wavered. Carlisle interviewed with several other teams, but said that Dallas emerged as his top choice once talks with Nelson and Cuban began.

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