Tony Robbins inspired Rick Carlisle’s decision to tell his Mavs to underpack

It turns out Tony Robbins has more up his sleeve than convincing guys named "Hal" to see a person's inner beauty, as opposed to their outward appearance. He gave Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle a motivational tip that may have … well, no. It didn't push the championship Mavs over the top last June, but it may have gotten their heads in the right place. And their suitcases small enough to fit in the overhead compartment.

Carlisle was part of a seminar led by Robbins this week, and the motivational speaker made a point to draw attention to the otherwise unassuming coach's point to ask his Mavericks team to only pack one change of clothes as it flew into Miami for Game 6 (and potentially Game 7) of last June's Finals. Carlisle, according to Orange County Register reporter Kevin Ding, apparently wanted to deflect the plaudit, but Robbins pointed out that he had given Pat Riley the advice to pull the same trick when it was Miami that flew into Dallas for a Game 6 (and never-played Game 7) during the 2006 Finals.

For whatever reason, both sides of the Dallas/Miami coin didn't need that unpacked second set of clothes, winning the title in six games in each turn. Of course, as Ding reports, Carlisle didn't make as much of a show of it as Riley did five years earlier.


From the OC Register, via Pro Basketball Talk:

Unlike Riley, who publicized his act of motivation and mindset amid his team's celebration in Dallas, Carlisle kept his bold move quiet. Robbins, though, said Friday that Carlisle sent him the following message: "Got the story. Used it on my own team. Beat Miami." Wearing a casual black hoodie, Carlisle listened as Robbins spoke Friday and nodded along from his spot in the audience.

When asked at the time by reporters at the Finals if he'd packed for just Game 6, Carlisle had light-heartedly dodged the question, saying: "I've got a lot of respect for all of you. I feel like I've gotten to know you well. But I don't believe at this point I'm ready to share the number of pairs of underwear I packed."

It should be noted that motivational tools like this, or at least proclamations like this ("because I'm only bringing one suit to Detroit …"), have been around for years. It's still a gutsy call, though, especially if you end up forcing your players to sulk around a Miami mall in between Games 6 and 7, looking for a suit while wearing their team-issued sweats and knowing that they had a chance to become champions just a day before.

And Rick? There's nothing wrong with bringing plenty of underwear on the road, if only for one game.

I mean, you have your workout underwear. Your Jacuzzi underwear. Your Lunchtime Lounge Collection underwear. Your "yell at the talking heads on ESPN in your hotel room whilst alone" underwear. Pregame, in-game and postgame underwear. That's a lot of underwear. You've gotta come prepared, Rick. You should know this by now.