It did not take Rick Carlisle long to find a new head coaching job.
He will become the next head coach of the Indiana Pacers, The Dallas Morning News’ Callie Caplan confirmed, exactly one week after stepping down as Mavericks head coach after 13 seasons in Dallas. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon was first to report the news.
Carlisle’s decision to step down came with two seasons left on his contract with Dallas. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports the deal with the Pacers is for four years and $29 million.
The move is a homecoming for Carlisle, who spent time in Indiana as an assistant coach early in his career before becoming the team’s head coach for four years before moving to Dallas.
Carlisle, 61, is the winningest coach (555-478) in Mavericks history and led the franchise to its only NBA championship in 2011.
He compiled a 181-147 record in his first stint with Indiana as head coach. His Pacers teams made the playoffs in three of those four seasons.
When Carlisle left Dallas, owner Mark Cuban told The News that “Rick is a great friend. I can’t understate how much I have learned from him and what he has meant to this franchise.”
Carlisle seemingly made an endorsement for who he thinks should be Dallas’ next head coach in an exchange with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players,” Carlisle said, according to MacMahon’s tweet.
Carlise would continue: “I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet that’s coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players.
“To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that’s just an opinion.”
Not long after MacMahon’s tweets, The New York Times’ Marc Stein tweeted that Kidd is a “prime candidate” in Dallas’ coaching search.
Carlisle's motives for the statement will certainly be questioned, but one source noted Kidd has many fans within the franchise after helping Dallas win its breakthrough title in 2011. He was always sure to be strongly considered for the club's first coaching vacancy since 2008.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 24, 2021
Kidd was one of five potential Carlisle replacements identified by The News’ Callie Caplan, a list that included Jamahl Mosley, an assistant with the team since 2014. From Caplan, regarding Kidd:
Now an assistant with the Lakers, Kidd still has plenty of connections to the Mavericks’ organization.
The 48-year-old Kidd’s head coaching experience has been rocky: He has a 183-190 record in a combined four-plus seasons in Brooklyn (2013-14) and Milwaukee (2014-18) and only once led his teams past the first round of the playoffs.