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News » Dallas Mavericks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-24

Dallas Mavericks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-24

Dallas Mavericks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-24
--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 and head of the search for Avery Johnson's successor felt down deep. Rick Carlisle and the Mavs were a fit.

"He was our top choice," Nelson said. "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."

Nelson is confident that time, experience and, perhaps most important, a year off the sidelines have served Carlisle well. He spent the last season working in TV and studying teams around the league.

"He didn't stay at home and twiddle his thumbs," Nelson said. "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."

--Rick Carlisle spent last year's training camp time with the Phoenix Suns in an effort to pick up some pointers from Mike D'Antoni. He'll be able to put some of those lessons to good use with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.

"I love the way that Phoenix utilizes all the space on the floor," Carlisle said. "They play small, which allows them to keep the middle of the floor open and Steve Nash is great facilitator.

"My hope is that we can apply some of those philosophies to the team in Dallas with Jason and Dirk, and be able to have a point guard that can get in the paint and also have a power forward that can stretch the defense way beyond the three-point line."

One of the criticisms of former coach Avery Johnson was his handling of Kidd. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson believe Carlisle will take advantage of the strengths of the team's two future Hall of Famers.

"He's got a lot of ideas of how to get into the open court and take advantage of Jason's creativity," Nelson said. "He also had the chance to play with one of the best (forwards) of all time in Larry Bird, and I'm certain he'll be able to take that and add to Dirk's game."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The last thing I would ever want to do is use the term "rebuilding" around Mark Cuban." -- Rick Carlisle, on expectations.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 24, 2008


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