Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nelson: Carlisle exactly what Mavs wanted

From the first time they sat down to talk, Donnie Nelson knew the Mavericks had their man. The interviews that followed just reinforced what the team’s president of basketball operations felt down deep.

Rick Carlisle and the Mavs were a fit.

“He was our top choice,” Nelson said Saturday. “We had him in our sights from the start. The combination of what he brings to the table was exactly what we were looking for.

“Once we got started, the interview process was almost exactly what we thought it would be. He’s a coach who’s growing. He’s learned at every stop along the way. He’s a young coach with a lot of experiences and we’ll see the best of Rick here.”

Dallas is the third coaching job for the 48-year-old Carlisle, and issues followed the 2002 Coach of the Year after both previous stops. Questions regarding his ability to communicate with players and a controlling offensive approach were two of the most prevalent.

Nelson is confident that time, experience and, perhaps most important, a year off the sidelines have served Carlisle well. Not only did he spend the last season working in TV and studying teams around the league, but if he’s picked up a few pointers from his training camp stay in Phoenix, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki will be happy guys.

“He didn’t stay at home and twiddle his thumbs,” said Nelson, the head of the search for Avery Johnson’s successor. “He’s a student of the game in every sense. He’s got great respect for knowledge and he’s really expanded his outlook on the game.

“He’s got a lot of ideas of how to get into the open court and take advantage of Jason’s creativity. He also had the chance to play with one of the best 3-4s of all time in Larry Bird, and I’m certain he’ll be able to take that and add to Dirk’s game.”

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Official release: Carlisle named coach

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have named Rick Carlisle head coach. Carlisle becomes the ninth coach in Mavericks history. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Carlisle arrives in Dallas with six years of head coaching experience with Detroit and Indiana and holds a career record of 281-211 (.571). Carlisle’s teams have made five postseason appearances, including two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. In his two seasons with Detroit and his first in Indiana, Carlisle became the first coach since Pat Riley to win 50 games and division championships in each of his first three seasons.

In two years with Detroit, Carlisle earned a .610 winning percentage (100-61), claimed two Central Division championships and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. Following the 2001-02 season, Carlisle was recognized as the NBA Coach of the Year.

Carlisle took over as head coach of the Indiana Pacers in September of 2003. In his first season, he led Indiana to the NBA’s best record (61-21), the most victories in Pacers’ history, a Central Division championship and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. Carlisle earned a 181-147 (.552) mark in four seasons with Indiana before stepping down as head coach following the 2006-07 campaign.

Carlisle’s coaching career began in 1989 as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets. In five seasons with New Jersey, he worked under Hall of Fame coaches Bill Fitch and Chuck Daly. Carlisle also spent three seasons in Portland under P.J. Carlesimo before joining teammate Larry Bird’s staff in Indiana for the 1997-98 season.

As a player, Carlisle won a World Championship in 1986 as a member of the Boston Celtics. During his five-year career, he spent time with the Celtics, Knicks and Nets.

In 1984, Carlisle graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Virginia. He was co-captain of the Cavaliers 1984 Final Four squad after transferring from the University of Maine.

A native of Ogdensburg, N.Y., Carlisle and his wife, Donna, have a daughter, Abby.

“We are happy and proud to welcome Rick Carlisle into the Maverick family,” President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “He was our top choice from the onset. His integrity, exceptional basketball IQ and balanced approach are exactly what we're looking for. Rick’s playoff experience and success make him a great fit for our team and its future.”

Friday, May 9, 2008

Carlisle and Mavs agree to four-year deal

Rick Carlisle didn’t waste any time getting to work … even if he didn’t have the job just yet. The 48-year-old coach ran his first practice in, of all places, Dirk Nowitzki’s living room.

Carlisle’s tour of Mavericks with influence last week took him to the home of last year’s MVP. While discussing strategy and his vision, Carlisle got Nowitzki up off the couch for an impromptu demonstration of Larry Bird post-up moves. Somewhat odd? Sure, but Nowitzki appreciated the enthusiasm.

So did everyone else. The search for the ninth coach in club history targeted Carlisle from the start and as the process progressed, it became apparent the search would be one and done. The franchise finalized a four-year contract with Carlisle on Friday night, with the signing expected Saturday and an introductory press conference scheduled for Wednesday.

“Incredibly excited that Rick has come on board,” owner Mark Cuban said. “His coaching record speaks for itself. He has a unique ability to coach multiple styles of play, which we think makes him a great fit for the Mavs.”

Carlisle replaces Avery Johnson, who was dismissed on April 30 – the day after New Orleans eliminated the Mavs in the first round. Dallas is the third coaching stop for Carlisle after previous stints with Detroit and Indiana.

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said that Carlisle fit the profile of “balanced winner” the organization was looking for after Johnson’s tenure. Not only is Carlisle a proven NBA coach – five playoff trips in six seasons – but his teams are traditionally sound defensively and solid offensively.

During his last job as an assistant, Carlisle served as “offensive coordinator” for an Indiana team that reached the NBA Finals. He also spent training camp last October with the Phoenix Suns studying Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

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Juwan and Gallo participate in BWB

Mavericks forward Juwan Howard and director of scouting Amadou Gallo Fall are taking part in this year's Basketball Without Borders. BWB returns to Johannesburg for the sixth consecutive year since 2003 when it hosts the basketball camp Sep. 3-7 at the American International School of Johannesburg.

The African edition of the league’s global basketball development and community outreach program, unites top young basketball players to promote the sport and encourages positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness.

“The NBA and its players are afforded a unique opportunity to use basketball as a forum and stress the values of our game to influence social change,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “Each Basketball without Borders camp unites a diverse group of people to initiate a global dialogue on important issues such as healthy living, education and HIV/AIDS awareness.”

Congo native Dikembe Mutombo of the Houston Rockets will once again lead a group of NBA players and team personnel including Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Sacramento Kings), Caron Butler (Washington Wizards), Nick Collison (Seattle SuperSonics), Juwan Howard (Dallas Mavericks), Thabo Sefolosha (Chicago Bulls) and Jennifer Azzi of the WNBA, as camp coaches and mentors. Lance Blanks (Cleveland Cavaliers), R.C. Buford (San Antonio Spurs), Amadou Gallo Fall (Dallas Mavericks) and Masai Ujiri (Toronto Raptors) will once again oversee as camp directors.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dirk earns another All-NBA honor

Dirk Nowitzki picked up All-NBA honors for the eighth consecutive year, with his inclusion on the second team. The streak of first-team selections was snapped at three for last season’s MVP. Steve Nash is the only other All-NBA player in club history with two third-team selections.

“It is always an honor to make the All-NBA Team,” Nowitzki said. “And to be recognized along with so many talented players means a lot to me.”

Nowitzki averaged a team-high 23.6 points (ranked 7th in the NBA), a team-high 8.6 rebounds, a career-high 3.5 assists and 36.0 minutes in 77 starts. He shot 47.9% from the field, 35.9% from 3-point range and 87.9% from the free throw line (10th in NBA). Nowitzki finished the season with 20 games of 30-plus points and 25 double-doubles.

In five postseason games, Nowitzki averaged a double-double of 26.8 points and 12.0 rebounds (both team highs) to go with 4.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in 42.2 minutes per game.

Nowitzki remains the only Mavericks player in franchise history to be named All-NBA first team (2005-07) and is one of only three players (Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan) to be named to an All-NBA Team in each of the past eight seasons.

Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers headlines the first team, announced today by the league. The first-time MVP is joined by Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.

The lone unanimous selection, Bryant is on the first team for the third straight season and fifth time in his career. Garnett was the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Howard led the league in rebounding, James won his first scoring title and Paul led the Hornets to their first Southwest Division title.

The second team consists of Phoenix’s Nash and Utah’s Deron Williams at guard; San Antonio’s Duncan and Nowitzki at forward; and Phoenix’s AmarĂ© Stoudemire at center.

The third team: San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili and Houston’s Tracy McGrady at guard; Utah’s Carlos Boozer and Boston’s Paul Pierce at forwards; and Houston’s Yao Ming at center.

Jason Kidd and Josh Howard were among the other players receiving votes. Find the complete teams and voting totals at

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The Dallas Mavericks have announced that auditions for the 2008-09 Dallas Mavericks Dancers will be held on Saturday, July 12th from 9 a.m. - 2p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel located at 2201 Stemmons Freeway. Auditions are closed to the public, but media is welcome.

The Mavs are seeking women who are high school graduates at least 18 years of age or older who will be living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area during the upcoming season. The judges will be looking for talented, energetic, physically fit ladies who love to perform in front of large crowds.

Dancers should wear half top, shorts, nude hose, white socks, white sneakers or dance shoes and come with performance ready hair and makeup. Callbacks will be held Sunday, July 13th.

"The Mavs Dancers will be entering their 20th year of performing at Mavs games and are considered one of the top squads in the league," said Shella Sattler, Mavs Dancers Director. "We are excited to be hosting the auditions again this year and are looking forward to seeing the amazing talent that Metroplex women have. We encourage all aspiring dancers to come tryout."

The ladies selected to the squad will perform at all Mavs home games and represent the Mavs on national and local television, in print media and at events throughout the Metroplex.

Prep classes will be available at the Power House of Dance every Monday through Thursday from June 2nd until July 10th from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. The prep classes are not mandatory, but provide excellent preparation for the audition.

Additional information and applications are available on Applications are due to the Mavs offices by Wednesday, July 9th.

Cuban talking Mavs

Mark Cuban addressed the state of his only professional team (as of now) a couple of days ago on his blog (Blog Maverick). In case you missed it, here are the first couple of paragraphs of Talking Mavs:

"There is no worse feeling in sports than being eliminated in the playoffs. It's an exclamation point on a disappointing season. Like everyone else, I try to look back and see what we did right and wrong and look forward to see where we stand for the upcoming and future seasons.

"We made mistakes, no question. We took the start of the regular season for granted. The entire staff wanted to avoid another meltdown like we had against Golden State, so we started off the season with a willingness to experiment. We wanted to try different combinations of players to see what worked and didn't work, thinking we would still win games, but that we could evaluate players and let them try new things. Unfortunately, we didn't win as many games as we thought we should. To make matters worse, we lost games we thought we should have won easily, particularly on the road."