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NBA Lists Top 15 Coaches of All Time; Did Former Mavs Carlisle Make the Cut?

The NBA announced the top 15 all-time coaches, voted by current and former coaches. Where did Rick Carlisle rank? is here to tell you.

In theme with the 75th anniversary of the NBA, the league announced the top-15 coaches of all time Tuesday evening. While many of the names deserve praise and recognition, one coach's absence from the list raised eyebrows. Former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle didn't make the cut. 

How could a coach of Carlisle’s caliber possibly be left off here? How was this list curated?

Current and former NBA coaches voted, so you can't blame it on the fans like is the case with All-Star voting. 

Zion Williamson "breathtaking" says Mavs Coach Rick Carlisle
Rick Carlisle 4
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Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks

Although Carlisle received respect from his peers and players alike for years, a coach with NBA championship hardware and multiple tenures as a winning coach didn't receive the all-time admission as one of the greatest to coach the game of basketball.

There are many valid points in why Carlisle belongs on the list without downplaying any of the others selected. Despite lacking multiple championships not a single playoff series victory in eleven seasons, Carlisle's track record speaks for itself. 

Yes, the 2011 NBA championship for the Mavs is the ultimate validation piece for Carlisle's career, but it's not the sole reason he deserved all-time status. Remember in 2016 when the Mavs won a playoff game with past-his-prime Raymond Felton as their starting point guard against the Oklahoma City Thunder?

What about the players Carlisle developed into current Mavs starters, such as Dorian Finney-Smith? J.J. Barea became one of the best pick-and-roll threats under Carlisle's tutelage; it's hard to imagine Barea succeeding to that level without Carlisle. Aside from coaching an NBA championship team, Carlisle's knack for hidden talent paid dividends for the Mavs for years.

Over 20 seasons into his career, Carlisle has an all-time 555-478 record, and that record doesn't tell the full story. Many of the losses stemmed from the Mavs’ rebuild and a handful of front office failures.

What season aside from 2010-2011 epitomizes his greatness? The 2012-2013 season, as one example, paints the perfect picture with many supporting factors: Carlisle coached the Mavs to 41 wins in a season where Dirk Nowitzki missed 28 games, with an end-of-his-career journeyman Mike James starting in 23 contests.

Carlisle made the most with what the Dallas front office provided him, even if the talent was borderline NBA material at times. Carlisle may not have made the NBA’s top-15 list, but his overall body of work deserves a spot on the all-time list, at least in our book.