Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Press conference highlights

Here’s a taste of this afternoon’s press conference:

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban – “Obviously this is an exciting day in Dallas Mavericks history. We’re clearly excited to have Rick (Carlisle) coming on board. I think he embodies all the good things that the Mavs are looking to accomplish; hard work, ingenuity, creativity and all the good things we like. With a lot of excitement, Donnie (Nelson) and I are here to announce that Rick Carlisle is now the coach of the Dallas Mavericks and we’re really proud and excited to have him here.”

Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle – “I was able to have a phenomenally great experience this year at ESPN. It is the gold standard in sports. For me, it was the greatest sports organization I’ve ever been a part of until today. The one thing I noticed about ESPN is when you go in there, it is the most motivated culture of getting it done and excellence that I’ve ever been a part of and one of the things that I thought was interesting in my conversations with Mark and Donnie, I got the sense from Mark that he was about those same kinds of things. I just got the same sense that this thing was about doing your very best and doing absolutely whatever you have to do to get it right. The thing I love about Mark is that it was really clear to me early on this guy thinks like a coach. He wants all the best players and he tries to think of everything possible to make the team great.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have a 24 year run in the league of being able to play, to be an assistant coach, do some broadcasting, being a head coach and I sit here today with great humility. I’ve done a lot of listening since this process began, both to Mark and Donnie, and I’ve had a chance to meet with Dirk and talk with some of the other players and I’m going to do a lot more listening before we decide exactly how to proceed. This is one of the crucial periods of Mark’s ownership. This next training camp is going to be absolutely critical to how we proceed forward. We’re going to have Jason Kidd from day one, there are going to be probably a few tweaks in the roster so we’re going to have to get in right and we will.”

“In terms of style of play I know there are going to be questions and I’m going to answer them right now. One of the things that drew me to this opportunity was the chance to work with a different type of team in terms of personnel. I’ve coached mostly teams that were inside-out oriented. The Mavericks have guys that can post up, but I see this as a team that’s going to be more spacious from an offensive standpoint. When you play with Jason Kidd I think you’ve got to open up the floor and allow him to push it up and our wing guys are going to have to get in condition to really run. The thing that Jason Kidd does better than any point guard probably in the history of the game is push that thing ahead. JT (Jason Terry), Josh Howard and these guys are going to have to get in great shape because if you’re going to play at a faster tempo offensively, there’s unbelievable physical commitment to doing that and they’re going to find out that playing faster and with momentum is a lot of work.

“This will probably be one of the tougher training camps these guys have ever had and I’m looking forward to that. Having said all that, we’ve got to be passionate and vigilant about preserving what Avery (Johnson) did here in establishing the defensive end. This team didn’t get to the NBA Finals until they really made a commitment defensively. One of the real challenges of coaching is to be able to have a flow mentality offensively and maintain a possession-type disposition defensively and it takes a special group of players to do it, but that’s our mission and that’s what we’re going to have to do.”

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