DALLAS - And now we turn to the next 800.
Last week, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle reached a milestone. It was Dallas’ 104-93 victory over the Charlotte Hornets that marked his 800th career victory as an NBA coach.
"I’m just extremely grateful,'' said Carlisle, in his 19th season as an NBA head coach just the 16th to reach the 800-win threshold. "I don’t take any of it for granted. It’s a privilege to be one of 30 coaching in this great league.”
Carlisle, 61, seems Hall-of-Fame-bound due to all of his accomplishments, including Dallas' 2011 NBA title. But he humbly notes his debt to the owners who have employed him, including the Mavericks’ Mark Cuban (Rick started here in 2007) and to the players with whom he's worked.
"I rode the Dirk train for a long time,” Carlisle said of Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki.
And what about the next 800 wins?
That particular chase continues on Friday night, with the Mavs at the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs - with another big-number coach, Gregg Popovich, sit at 8-7. Dallas is 7-7, with Carlisle now seeking win No. 8-2. He no longer has Nowitzki to drive the "train'' to more wins. But the Mavs do of course boast a pair of young stars that figure to be part of Dallas' future - and Carlisle's future - for some time.
“Now we’ve got two great players with Luka (Doncic) and (Kristaps Porzingis),'' Rick said. "You’ve got to have all those things to be around for as long as I have. ... I’m just extremely grateful.''
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