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#pounditMonday, July 26, 2021

Rick Carlisle could return to coach Pacers?

Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle was head coach for one of the more memorable eras of Indiana Pacers basketball. Now he might get a chance to run it back with the team nearly a decade-and-a-half later.

Speaking this week on “The Hoop Collective,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon hinted at the possibility of Carlisle returning to the Pacers.

“There’s a lot of smoke about a potential Rick Carlisle reunion with the Pacers,” he said, per RealGM. MacMahon was quick to indicate however that he has not heard the rumor from anyone who is directly involved.

The 61-year-old Carlisle just announced his departure from the Dallas Mavericks after coaching them for the last 13 seasons. The Pacers were his previous stop as he coached there from 2003 to 2007. It was a fruitful era with multiple playoff runs, including an Eastern Conference Finals berth in 2004. Some of Carlisle’s better-known players from those years were Reggie Miller, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Stephen Jackson.

Granted, Pacers management looks almost entirely different now except for longtime owner Herb Simon. Carlisle may also have a better basketball opportunity elsewhere, but a reunion with the Pacers would be quite storybook for him.

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