Report: Luka Doncic and Rick Carlisle had ‘simmering tension’
Rick Carlisle’s surprise departure as coach of the Dallas Mavericks may have been down to some drama within the organization that has been building for some time.
Carlisle announced Thursday that he was stepping aside as Mavericks coach with two seasons remaining on his deal. He stressed that the decision was “solely” his. However, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon indicated that there has been “simmering tension” between Carlisle and star Luka Doncic throughout the season that had grown to be a concern within the organization.
There had been simmering tension between Luka Doncic and Rick Carlisle that was a concern within the Mavs organization. The expectation was that he'd return next season, but he'd have been on the hot seat. https://t.co/YRJ1fwQ6GQ
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 17, 2021
The Mavericks are being built around Doncic, and anyone not on the same page isn’t likely to last long. It may be that Carlisle saw the writing on the wall and decided to pursue other opportunities, both for his own good and for the good of the Mavericks. Carlisle can settle into a new situation where he may be more influential, while the Mavericks can pursue a coach who will be fully on the same page as the team’s young superstar.
It’s been a week of major upheaval around the Mavericks, with GM Donnie Nelson also being ousted. Doncic did not seem to happy about that move. If he was clashing with Carlisle, however, this one may be more to his liking.