Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was touched by the video tribute the Mavericks offered tonight as he returned to Dallas to face the team he ran for the past 13 seasons, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Carlisle wiped away tears and acknowledged the fans as he watched the highlights, which included the NBA title he helped bring to the city in 2011.
Carlisle resigned last spring after the Mavs were knocked out of the playoffs and signed with Indiana shortly afterward. He recalled “a lot of blessings” during his time with the organization and said the team is in good hands with new coach Jason Kidd.
“This is now Jason’s time,” Carlisle said. “It’s their time as a staff. They’ve got an amazing opportunity with a young nucleus that could go on long run, for a long time. And so that’s exciting. That’s exciting for them. But being, being a small part of that foundation is meaningful to me and all the other coaches that have worked with me.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis left tonight’s game with soreness in his right knee, Townsend adds. Kidd didn’t have any information about his condition, saying, “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” but a source tells Townsend that Porzingis wasn’t on the team’s flight to Orlando.
- Grizzlies swingman Desmond Bane, one of this season’s breakout stars, talked about using the lessons from his rookie season in an interview with Spencer Davies of Basketball News. “I learned just how to be a pro first and foremost,” Bane said. “The schedule last year was grueling due to all the games being canceled and so forth, so I had to learn how to just continue my habits more than anything. Stack good habits on top of each other and let the good days stack up, and learn how to be a pro essentially.”
- Backup Spurs center Drew Eubanks has been forced to adjust to fluctuating playing time, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express News. Over a recent seven-game stretch, he played 11-to-19 minutes three times and seven or fewer minutes four times. “It can get frustrating, but I know where I’m at within the organization and with the coaches and front office,” he said. “It’s easy for me to come in every day and have a good attitude and be supportive of my teammates. I know they may be going through some turbulence too, but they’re still going to be supportive of me and whoever else.”