Saturday, May 3, 2008

Rick Carlisle first to interview

Rick Carlisle was the first to interview for the Mavericks’ vacant coaching position, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson confirmed. The search for the ninth coach in club history is in the beginning stages and there isn’t a specific timetable to hire Avery Johnson’s replacement.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings,” Nelson said Saturday. “We’re very impressed by Rick, his basketball IQ and, more important, the kind of person he is. We’re excited about continuing the discussion.”

The first session with Carlisle took place Thursday in Indianapolis. Nelson is heading up the search, which will also include candidates meeting with owner Mark Cuban.

“We look forward to getting together with Mark,” Nelson said.

Nelson added that Carlisle is not the only candidate on the list. The size of the list depends on the availability and interest of other potential coaches. Nelson did acknowledge that he’s one, though it’s highly unlikely he’ll take the job.

“I’m the last name on the list and hopefully it won’t come to that,” he said. “I’m a safety valve.”

Carlisle, 48, coached in Detroit and Indiana, compiling a 281-211 regular-season record and 30-32 playoff mark, and has guided both teams to the Eastern Conference finals. He claimed the 2001-02 Coach of the Year award with the Pistons and played five years in the league.

Nelson said that Carlisle fits his profile of a “balanced winner,” a successful coach with NBA experience who doesn’t favor offense over defense or vice versa. Carlisle hasn’t coached since 2006-07 in Indiana, the only season out of six that he failed to take a team to the postseason.

The team dismissed Johnson on Wednesday, the day after the season ended with first-round playoff exit at New Orleans.

No comments: