DALLAS – It is Rick Carlisle’s least-favorite subject. It might be the least favorite subject of Mavs fans, too, appreciative as they are of the work of this elite NBA coach, one of Dallas’ most valuable assets. So as Rick enters the final year of his contract, there is understandable concern in Mavs Nation about his Dallas future. And the question needs to be asked.
“Well, I love Dallas, and it’s been a tremendous opportunity and experience for the family,’’ Carlisle tells 105.3 The Fan. “I have no plans on leaving, but I don’t talk about my contract situation…I go day-to-day.’’
That doesn’t make this quite open-and-shut, does it, for the coach of the 2011 NBA champions, who ideally would like to lead Dallas back to that level alongside owner Mark Cuban, GM Donnie Nelson and iconic star Dirk Nowitzki.
“I think one of the important things is to not be distracted by anything, especially when you’re an NBA coach because there is so much that can come at you,’’ says Carlisle in answering questions from “Shan & RJ” (and Mac Engel.) “I love Mark; he’s given me a tremendous opportunity. I love Donnie; he’s been a close friend for over 30 years. I want to be there for Dirk, too, for the next couple of years and I think that’s very important for everybody.’’
Carlisle is working under the terms of a four-year contract reportedly worth $4.6 million annually. There will be a time and a place to discuss a continuation of that, Rick agrees, but insists this is not that time.
“One of my policies is not to talk about my contract,’’ Carlisle says.
“I think I’ve been pretty clear to you in explaining my love of the city, and my desire to stay. But business is business and we will see what the next couple of years hold, but I have no plans on leaving…I do have some time left on my contract and I’m going to play it out. The important thing is that we stick to our process, and I’ve got to bear down even more and do everything possible to get us to be as good as we can be.
“Our fans deserve that, and maybe even more importantly, Dirk deserves it. So that’s my focus and that’s going to be our focus.”
But there will be a time and a place. And hopefully, for all of the people uncomfortable with the question, there will come a positive answer.