Before we found out where Rick Carlisle’s next stop would be, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Banned MacMahon for TrueHoop fans) pointed out that Carlisle is a pilot who always has a parachute in his plan – this is a man who always has a backup. MacMahon mentioned the Pacers as a likely destination, and after the hire was announced, confirmed that Carlisle was waiting to see if the Bucks job would open up and had Indiana as a backup. Milwaukee won Game 7 against the Nets, so Rick was off to Indiana.
One of the more peculiar things that happened at that time was the glowing recommendation Carlisle gave to Jason Kidd for the Dallas job. Team insiders noticed that Carlisle didn’t even mention his lead assistant Jamal Mosley, a man considered amongst the candidates. As it turns out, Mosley excelled at the one thing we constantly hear Carlisle struggles with – connecting with people on a personal level.
As we’ve learned with the total organizational overhaul, the Mavs have a culture problem in their ranks. There seems to have been a low level of trust among almost everyone in the organization, Carlisle and his lead assistant Mosley included. Rick knew he was on the hot seat given his tense relationship with Luka Dončić and saw Mosley as his main competitor – someone Luka and other players liked a lot more. On a recent episode of The Hoop Collective, MacMahon shared a story that encapsulates Rick Carlisle. His sense of humor, but also his often described off-putting character.
“There was a time I was snooping around about some stuff, actually I asked him [Carlisle] a question during a scrum. Rick brought up one of his favourite singer-songwriters Sara Bareilles and he recommended a song for me. He recommended the song “king of anything.” He said ‘Do you have iTunes?’, I said ‘How much is it to download?’ He said ‘$1.29, I’ll give you the money.’ A couple of nights later he summoned me to his office and gave me a check for $1.29. The reason he recommended the song because “King of anything” is a song about minding your own fu***ng business.”Tim MacMahon, The Hoop Collective
I gotta say, Rick sounds like a hilarious guy. But, you can see why 20-year-olds from Slovenia, or the United States for that matter, wouldn’t pick up on Sara Bareilles references. Add to the fact Rick is a strict, structured guy, and millennials are the complete opposite. (Permissive parenting will be the end of civilization, but that’s for another day.) MacMahon connected the song with Carlisle, not recommending Jamal Mosley.
“If I’m Jamal Mosley, who was Rick’s lead assistant for the last few years, extremely close relationship with Luka Dončić, really interested in being promoted to replace him… I better recommend to Rick to listen to “King of everything” after he offered an endorsement of Jason Kidd to get that job. I mean, can you imagine the gaul it takes [not to recommend his lead assistant.] Put yourself in Jamal Mosley’s shoes. You’ve been on Rick’s staff I believe since 2014, you’ve developed a strong relationship with Luka Dončić, you’re positioned to at least be considered for the job and your old boss is publicly lobbying for somebody else to get it.”Tim MacMahon, The Hoop Collective
Brian Windhorst pointed out Carlisle is the President of the NBA Coaches Association – he’s usually the one talking about how unfair it is that a coach got fired and didn’t get a fair shot. Yet, Rick didn’t feel the need to point out Mosley deserved a shot. Yes, he might’ve known that Kidd was a done deal given the fact Dirk and Michael Finely were lobbying for him. MacMahon was skeptical when this was brought up as a possibility and said he’d stop being celibate about it.
“Screw it, Imm’a stop being delicate. I think it got to a point where Rick perceived Jamal Mosley’s close relationship with Luka Dončić as a threat to him. I don’t think those guys will be sending each other Christmas cards.”Tim MacMahon, The Hoop Collective
Pacers players better start listening to Sara Bareilles, and Pacers coaches better make sure Rick is OK with them being close to the players on the team. Carlisle is bringing a lot of basketball knowledge, and it seems like that comes in a package with a demanding environment. Rick’s thoughts on that? As the song says.
Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?
Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions? Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.