"Look, if it's going to be like that, these guys aren't going to be Mavericks very long," Carlisle told ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon. "I can promise you that."
After quickly going down 11-2, Carlisle went to his bench early against the Raptors -- but it didn't matter. The Mavericks lost the quarter 32-16 and were only able to shave three points off the deficit, heading into halftime trailing by 13.
While Dallas cut into the lead in the third quarter, Toronto pulled away in the fourth. The final score ended up being much closer when a bench lineup closed within two points with 11 seconds to play, but the starters and main rotation players had little to do with that.
"Wow," Chandler Parsons told MacMahon when shown Carlisle's quote. "We've got to play harder. (Carlisle's) going to be here at least five more years. He just signed an extension. Nothing here is unconditional. We're paid to play hard and compete every single night. When nights like this happen, when we don't lay it all on the line, words are going to be said like that."
Dirk, the face of the Mavericks' franchise, seemed less concerned about Carlisle's comments.
"I've got nothing to say about that," Nowitzki told MacMahon. "We fought at the end and came up short. Hopefully, we'll have a better game tomorrow."
Even though the Mavericks have been exceeding the expectations of most analysts around the league, sitting No. 5 in the Western Conference with a 15-13 record, Carlisle won't stand for what he sees as a lack of effort. Even if it's a harmless threat, his words were clearly meant as a motivator for a team that he thinks could be performing even better.