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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Rick Carlisle has no regrets over handling of Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle insists that he doesn’t regret how the Mavericks handled Rajon Rondo during last season’s ill-fated marriage, but concedes that the trade never should have been made in the first place.

“I don’t have any regrets about the way we did anything,” Carlisle told ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon on Sunday ahead of Dallas’s game against Rondo’s Sacramento Kings. “It’s just going back in time, it’s a deal that had red flags. We should have stayed away from it.

“Listen, we all did everything we could to make it work. It was challenging. Going back in time, it’s a deal we should have shied away from, for the sake of us and for the sake of him. It’s a deal we shouldn’t have made. I think we all realize that now, but when you do a deal like that, you’ve got to do everything possible to make it work. I learned a lot going through the year with him and trying to be creative and use some of his unique abilities. He’s a very talented player, and he’s having a great year this year, which is basically no surprise.”

Carlisle also noted that the way Dallas’s roster was constructed didn’t suit Rondo’s game.

“With everything that happened with that whole situation, the bottom line is we fit him worse than he fit us. We were a worse fit for him than he was for us. We had a team of slashers last year. He needs shooters.

“Now he’s got a center that’s a shooter, he’s got wing players that can all shoot the ball, and George has given him the keys to the ignition. He’ll be great in that situation. We didn’t have enough shooters around him.”

“That stuff with Rondo, you can’t blame that on Rondo,” Carlisle conceded. “He tried to make that work. The ending was difficult, but bottom line, I knew he’d move on and play great, which he is.”

Of course, there’s more to it than just that. Carlisle and Rondo clashed about virtually everything from playcalling to the team’s style of play. Things got so bad that the pair got in a sideline shouting match and Rondo was sent home during the middle of the playoffs. Credit to Carlisle for taking the high road when he could have very easily said some unflattering things about his former point guard.

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