In this installment of 10 Things, we take a look at the comedy stylings of
Jim Carey Rick Carlisle as he navigated another year of coaching a lottery bound team. Sometimes I feel bad that Coach Carlisle has to speak to the media on an almost daily basis—especially when there’s not much to say except that the team is bad. But then he hits an unsuspecting rookie reporter with a zinger and the compassion I have for him fades. He has his fun with the media (in his own weird way) and he definitely showed that this year. Here are 10 things Rick Carlisle said this season that you may have missed.
“We had trouble guarding Larry Bird dressed as Alec Peters”
This quote killed in the media room. Coming off the final game of the long 2017-18 regular season, it was the senioritis of answers for Carlisle. Alec Peters had only played 19 games and averaged 2.4 points per game before his legendary 36-point outing against the Mavericks. Now his name will never be forgotten in the mythology of Mavs Tanking-dom.
“We had trouble guarding Larry Bird dressed as Alec Peters”— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) April 11, 2018
- Rick Carlisle
“I heard he hangs out with you so…”
A classic Carlisle zinger, and the victim was our friend Isaac Harris. Nerlens Noel’s season with the Mavs was as dramatic as they come. At one point in the season, it seemed like Noel would never play for the Mavs again, but then Carlisle started to sing Noel’s praises and suggest that the Mavs needed him back. So Harris inquired about the reason for this potential return and Carlisle was not amused.
Me: “..is this more of him [Noel] proving himself off the court he deserves these minutes or is this more of you wanting to see what you have?”— Isaac Harris (@IsaacLHarris) March 5, 2018
Rick: “what you mean off the court? I heard he hangs out with you so maybe we should ask you what he’s doing off court”
Cool. Thx Rick
For more context, Harris was one of the only reporters who were able/willing to get a 1-on-1 interview with Noel—and did it multiple times this season.
“None of your business”
Earlier in the season, after a 112-110 crunch time loss to the 76ers, Carlisle zinged me too...
Coach Carlisle said that he sat with Dennis Smith Jr. on the team plane to watch film on and break down some questionable decisions Smith Jr. made in the Mavs’ previous loss in Memphis against the Grizzlies. I simply asked what kinds of things they discussed in that film session and Carlisle looked me straight in the eye almost as if he armed a weapon and said, “That’s none of your business.”
The whole press room laughed, and I wasn’t able to follow up. The whole experience was embarrassing, but also something of a badge of honor.
“Powell is killing it in my fantasy league”
This was an underrated quote that didn’t get a lot of attention, but it was funny nonetheless. Carlisle was answering the frequently asked “how has Dwight Powell improved so much” question and shared this story from his time on the road.
This Rick Carlisle quote from last night on Dwight Powell was low key one of my favorite Rick quotes all year pic.twitter.com/uOYrkUcqdh— Isaac Harris (@IsaacLHarris) February 27, 2018
Rick Carlisle on the ESPN/Lavar Ball/Luke Walton article
Rick Carlisle: “The recent ESPN article, as the president of the coaches association, I would consider it a disgrace.”— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) January 7, 2018
On the article about Lavar Ball calling out Luke Walton, saying he lost the team.
“Noel thinks he can do it”
This was one of the first quotes in which Carlisle openly mocked or poked fun at Nerlens Noel.
“Have you ever seen a Big as skilled as Joel Embiid? He can take threes and dribble up the floor.”— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) October 28, 2017
Carlisle: “Noel thinks he can do it.”
“Well… I almost cut three of them during the game”
The Mavs were down 88-75 with 10:41 left in the fourth quarter of their first preseason game against the Bucks. But then, on the backs of Gian Clavell, Maalik Wayns, Brandon Ashley, Jeff Withey, and Johnathan Motley, the Mavs went on an 18-3 run to take the lead with 6:43 left in the game. The Mavs would go on to win the game, but that didn’t stop Carlisle from expressing his frustrations with that group earlier in the game.
Reporter: “What’d you think about those third stringers that brought the game back down 13?”
Carlisle: “Well...I almost cut three of them during the game.”
“Forklift full of centers”
To start the season, the Mavericks roster was an odd combination of very big players and very small players that lacked much versatility. It included seven players that stood 6’10 or taller who could only play power forward or center, and Carlisle definitely took note.
Your Rick Carlisle quote for the day— Isaac Harris (@IsaacLHarris) November 15, 2017
“It’s almost like we went to Costco and got a forklift full of centers”
Rick on hot dogs
This quote should need no context (but if it does, listen here). It’s still hilarious to me that an NBA Championship winning head coach had to answer for one of his players eating a hot dog at halftime during a game.
Full Rick Carlisle quote on if it concerns him that an active player (Nerlens Noel) got a hot dog at halftime pic.twitter.com/1ArUEItxAw— Isaac Harris (@IsaacLHarris) December 2, 2017
“If [Dennis Smith Jr.] doesn’t get an invitation, somebody’s not doing their job”
Coach Carlisle backed up his rookie point guard several times this season, including his offering his support for Smith Jr. to be invited to the Dunk Contest.
Rick Carlisle: “I don’t know who’s doing the invitations to the Dunk Contest but if [Dennis Smith Jr.] doesn’t get an invitation, somebody’s not doing their job right.”— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) January 23, 2018
“I would project him to be a starter”
This was by far Carlisle’s greatest quote of the season. There has always been talk of how Carlisle “hates rookies,” but that all seemed to change on draft night when he endorsed Dennis Smith Jr. as a starter. It was a big shift and definitely helped jumpstart both Smith Jr.’s confidence and the Mavericks’ rebuild.
"At this point in time I would project him to be a starter"— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) June 23, 2017
Rick Carlisle candidly describing Dennis Smith Jr's role on the Mavericks
The most fun since 2011
I couldn’t include this one because it was a second-hand quote, but it’s still pretty funny to me.
Nancy Lieberman: "Rick Carlisle told me this is the most fun he's had coaching except for '11"— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) March 21, 2018
“She said if they didn’t win she’d kick my ass”
Again, couldn’t include this in the official 10 quotes because Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall was the one who actually said it. Still funny.
Rick Carlisle said he was with new Mavs CEO Cynthia Marshall before the game and she said if they didn’t win she’d “kick my ass”— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) February 27, 2018