Rick Carlisle stepped down as Dallas Mavericks head coach on Wednesday, marking the end of a 13-year run that included the 2011 NBA championship and nine playoff appearances.
“Rick informed me today about his decision to step down as head coach,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a team-released statement. “On top of being a tremendous head coach, he was also a friend and confidant. Rick helped us bring the O’Brien Trophy to Dallas and those are memories I will always cherish. I want to thank Rick for all he gave to the franchise and this city. We wish him all the best.”
Carlisle said in a statement to ESPN that “this was solely my decision” after having “a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week.”
“Dallas will always be home,” Carlisle told ESPN. “But I am excited about the next chapter of my coaching career.”
Carlisle’s resignation coincides with the Mavericks parting ways with Donnie Nelson, the team’s long-time president of basketball operations. The Mavericks have lost in the first round of the playoffs for two consecutive seasons despite Luka Donic’s quick emergence as one of the NBA’s stars. Though Doncic has said he intends to sign with the Mavericks this summer, The Athletic recently reported that the Mavericks have dealt with internal tension regarding Doncic’s frustration with the franchise’s direction.
That has included the presence of Haralabos Voulgaris, who was hired in October 2018 as the team’s director of quantitative research and development and has since had an expanded role for the past two seasons.
Rick Carlisle’s departure creates a highly desirable head coach opening in Dallas where Luka Doncic is one of the best young players in the NBA.
Carlisle, who is the winningest coach in Mavericks history with a 555-478 record, is expected to receive strong interest among the various NBA teams with head-coaching vacancies. Those teams include the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, New Orleans Pelicans and Washington Wizards.
It is not immediately clear how the Mavericks will fill Carlisle’s vacancy. But the Mavericks plan to conduct a wide-ranging search for Nelson’s replacement with Mike Forde’s Sportsology, a consulting firm that NBA teams often use to fill front-office roles. The Mavericks are expected to fill these positions soon because of imminent dates on the NBA calendar, including the draft combine (June 21-27), the draft (June 29) and the beginning of free agency (Aug. 2).
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle steps down after 13 seasons