It is a reunion of sorts as the Indian Pacers have hired back Rick Carlisle as their head coach. He resigned as the coach of the Dallas Mavericks on June 17 though he had 2 years remaining on his contract. He left amidst the organizational turmoil in the team and has gone for a fresh start with the Pacers.
The Pacers had fired Nate Bjorkgren as their coach on June 10 and had been on the lookout ever since. Bjorkgren had lasted only one season with the Pacers. Their stint with an inexperienced coach has not gone well and they have settled on a known face for a comeback. They were on the lookout for a veteran. The Pacers are already in the next season’s playoffs and taking in Carlisle should help them go higher up this season than in the last two.
Rick Carlisle has a career record of 836-689 and has 63 playoff victories. He is signing a four-year contract for $29 million.
He started his career as a coaching assistant with the New Jersey Nets between 1989 and 1994. He moved to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1994 and stayed till 1997. Rick Carlisle then joined the Pacers as an assistant to Larry Bird, his former teammate.
Rick Carlisle Brings With Him A Wealth Of Experience
He took over as head coach of the Detroit Piston in 2001 before moving to helm Indiana in 2003. The Pacers had a 181-147 record during his stint at the top. They managed to reach the NBA Playoffs thrice during that period. He also took the team to the finals of the Eastern Conference in 2004.
Rick Carlisle’s average comes to $7.25 million each season, placing him among the highest-earning coaches in the NBA. The Pacers have been plagued by injuries for the last two seasons. This has resulted in a lack of cohesion and chemistry due to the frequent turnovers. If under Rick Carlisle they can overcome this issue they could be in control in the 2021-22 season.
Carlisle brings with him a reputation for turning around even average teams. And at the Pacers, he will have all the talent he’d want, and he needs to use his experience to bring in the results.