It’s not just Luka Doncic’s fault — Rick Carlisle “was often difficult to deal with”
WHO'S TO BLAME?

It’s not just Luka Doncic’s fault — Rick Carlisle “was often difficult to deal with”

Many blame Luka Doncic for Rick Carlisle’s departure from the Mavs. But the friction between the team’s superstar and now the former head coach isn’t as one-sided as it seems.

Tim Cato, The Athletic’s writer covering the Mavericks, is also among those holding Doncic accountable for “showing him (Rick) disrespect on the court,” saying “he deserves his own share of the blame” for Carlisle leaving Dallas after coaching there for 13 seasons. However, Cato is also the first one to point out a lot of it is on Rick as well.

Carlisle was often difficult to deal with: lashing out verbally at non-star players he disliked or having angry outbursts directed at inanimate objects behind closed doors.

Tim Cato, The Athletic

Everyone was quick to jump on the 22-year-old Slovenian for trying to take control over the organization after his third NBA season. Judging by his on-court outbursts directed at his coach, who is universally respected around the entire Association, it was hard to come to a different conclusion other than saying the team’s superstar is the one behind Carlisle’s departure – in today’s NBA climate, that would be far from an anomaly. But it seems there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

All humans exist in shades of gray, and that side of Carlisle doesn’t invalidate touching stories that have also been shared about him in the past days or moments where he went out of his way to connect with a beat writer for his team. But in every corner of the Mavericks organization, there’s a shared sense of relief they no longer have to deal with his worst moments.

Tim Cato, The Athletic

We know what was Carlisle’s best moment with the Mavs — winning the ’11 NBA championship against the Miami Heat. Since then, the team has only gone as far as the first round of the Playoffs but was finally starting to get back into the championship contention. Having Carlisle on the bench, basketball-wise, would’ve made that process easier. So why does it seem most within the Mavs organization are happy to see Rick go?

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. But it was obviously so bad it overshadowed everything good Carlisle brought to the team. And keep in mind we’re talking about one of the best coaches out there.

We’ll see if the same thing will happen with the next team that hires Rick. One thing’s for sure, even with all his flaws that are just now coming to the surface, the coach of his caliber won’t be unemployed for long.

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