Luka Doncic and Rick Carlisle may not have always been on the best terms, leading the head coach to step down from his position on the Mavericks.
The two had success in Dallas, reaching the playoffs in two of the last the three years, but they failed to get past the first round both times, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in consecutive years.
Rick Carlisle — who led Dallas to the 2011 NBA championship — informed Mavericks owner Mark Cuban today that he won’t be returning as coach next season, Carlisle told ESPN. Carlisle had two years left on his contract. He spent 13 seasons as Mavericks coach.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 17, 2021
That may have led to Rick Carlisle’s decision to step down. However, owner Mark Cuban indicated that this was not the case, and he would have loved to retain Carlisle:
“Let me tell you how I look at coaching. You don’t make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.”
However, there were also reports of “simmering tension” between Luke Doncic and Rick Carlisle, including an instance where Doncic yelled at his coach in the middle of the game.
Luka Doncic Yelled At Rick Carlisle In A Game Once As Mavericks Head Coach Steps Down
Rick Carlisle indicated the decision to resign from the head coaching position was something he made entirely on his own:
“After a number of in-person conversations with [owner] Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. This was solely my decision. My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city.”
However, there was no doubting the fact that Carlisle and franchise superstar Luka Doncic clearly had a clash of styles. Carlisle is always rigid and detail oriented whereas Luka has a tendency to freelance and do his own thing more often than not.
The situation got so heated to a point where Luka was yelling at Rick Carlisle during games:
Yikes. Of course, the Mavericks would want to protect the interests of their franchise player rather than a head coach who hasn’t won them a playoff series in 10 years. Perhaps a coaching change was just what Luka Doncic needed to take his game to even greater heights.
The Mavericks are going through some serious front office turnover as GM Donnie Nelson also departed the organization a day before. However, there is some bright light in the midst of all this news, and that is the fact that Luka is set to sign a 5 year, $200 million extension, keeping him in Dallas for the forseeable future.