For the second time in as many days, a vacant NBA head coaching seat has been filled. Yesterday, it was reported that the Boston Celtics had hired Ime Udoka. Today, it is the Indiana Pacers who have announced a new hire:
Rick Carlisle’s Coaching History
Rick Carlisle began his coaching career as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets in 1989. He spent five seasons with the Nets before joining the coaching staff of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1994. In 1997, Larry Bird, the head coach of the Pacers, snagged Carlisle for his own coaching staff. Carlisle remained on the Indiana Pacers’ coaching staff until the 1999-2000 season.
After taking a season off, Carlisle was hired as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In two seasons as head coach, he led the team to back-to-back 50-win seasons. In 2003, he returned to the Indiana Pacers as head coach. In his first season, he led the Pacers to a 61-21 record and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers, however, finished worse and worse in each season following, and his tenure there ended after four seasons.
Carlisle took the 2007-2008 season off before becoming the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks in 2008. He spent 13 seasons with the Mavericks, winning the NBA Championship in his third season. He has an overall record of 836-689 in his career as a head coach.
A Brilliant Move By Indiana
Rick Carlisle is widely regarded to be one of the best offensive minds in the game. Indiana has a young roster that is stacked with potential. It features former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon as well as Myles Turner and All-Star Domantas Sabonis. With Carlisle leading the way, the Indiana Pacers should become one of the most feared offenses in the NBA for years to come.
Perfect Fit for Carlisle
Rick Carlisle left his job in Dallas willingly, without being fired. For Carlisle, he presumably wanted a job in which he did not have to do as much rebuilding and retooling. In addition, he joins a Conference that is much more wide open. The Pacers were likely a good head coach away from being a top six seed at the worst.
The Brooklyn Nets pose a substantial threat with their Super Team. The process appears to have fizzeled in Philadelphia, and Coach Bundenholzer in Milwaukee may blow his chance to remain with the team if he fails to coach competently in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Top seeds in the East are up for the taking, and Indiana can certainly grab one with Carlisle as coach.