(AFP) – May 10, 2008
DALLAS, Texas (AFP) — Rick Carlisle has agreed to a four-year deal to become the ninth coach of the Dallas Mavericks, the National Basketball Association team announced Saturday.
The contract, worth a reported 17.5 million dollars, makes Carlisle the replacement for Avery Johnson, who was sacked 10 days earlier after the Mavericks were eliminated by New Orleans in round one of the NBA playoffs.
The Mavericks reached the NBA Finals in 2006, losing the best-of-seven showdown to Miami in six games after winning the first two. Last season, Dallas had the NBA's best regular-season record but lost to Golden State in round one.
This season, the Mavericks obtained star guard Jason Kidd at the NBA trade deadline but struggled to a 51-31 record for seventh in the Western Conference.
Carlisle, 48, has coached a total of six NBA seasons with Indiana and Detroit with a 281-211 career record. He was the only candidate interviewed for the job.
"Incredibly excited that Rick has come on board," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. "His coaching record speaks for itself. He has a unique ability to coach multiple styles of play, which we think makes him a great fit for the Mavs."
Carlisle's first coaching job came at Detroit in 2001. He went 100-64 and won 2002 NBA Coach of the Year honors but was fired in 2003 and replaced by Larry Brown.
Carlisle was hired by former Boston Celtics teammate Larry Bird later that year to take over Indiana, where he guided the Pacers to a record 61-win season and two playoff berths before being fired in 2007 after missing the playoffs.
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