Rick Carlisle quit rather than work for Cuban, whose Mavericks are a mess | Opinion

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What is going on with the Dallas Mavericks makes Jerry Jones look like the greatest architect of any sports team that has ever existed.

The Mavs now have a fiasco so ugly that we are approaching Jerry Jones-firing-Jimmy Johnson territory. This Mavs Mess looks like the time when the Texas Rangers decided ousting Nolan Ryan was good for the team.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban is all-in on new school basketball, and if you are not in full agreement, look elsewhere for work.

On Wednesday, the GM and president of basketball operations who assembled the Mavs their lone NBA title team was basically fired.

On Thursday, 10 days after declaring he wanted to return as the head coach of the Mavericks, and with the full support of his boss he would do so, Rick Carlisle opted to quit rather than work any more for Mark Cuban.

Carlisle told ESPN, “After a number of in-person conversations with Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. This was solely my decision.

“My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city.”

Carlisle did not return text messages to the Star-Telegram.

The Dallas Mavericks are changing, and there is a disagreement of how things need to change moving forward.

One person who works for the team simply told me, “They have to change something.”

The Mavericks have one of the best players in the world in Luka Doncic, and have not won a playoff series since 2011.

This argument follows the golden rule. He who has the gold rules.

Mark Cuban is running the Dallas Mavericks, and he wants to change.

This is either going to work big, or blow up far worse than Cuban’s decision to allow Steve Nash to leave for Phoenix.

Cuban has lost the chance to disprove the recent report published by The Athletic that suggested there was tension in the front office over the influence of assistant Haralabos Voulgaris.

Voulgaris’ title is “Dir. of Quantitative Research & Development,” and while there may not be a problem with him per se, there is at least a disagreement over the type of basketball theory he supports.

That’s why Nelson was fired and why Carlisle quit.

All of this comes after the Mavs lost in Game 7 of their first round playoff series to the Los Angeles Clippers on June 6.

After that game I asked Carlisle why after a decade of not winning a playoff series he felt like he is the best man to lead the team moving forward.

He said: “That’s a question you have to ask Mark. I obviously do. I’d text him and see what he has to say about it.”

Cuban fully supported Carlisle.

Cuban told ESPN: “Let me tell you how I look at coaching. You don’t make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.”

Apparently the grass is a lot greener on the other side.

At stake is not only the direction of the franchise. That’s the easy part.

It’s convincing Doncic that Cuban knows what he’s doing, and that he should stay.

Doncic is eligible to sign a five-year, $200 million extension this summer. Or, he can play the final year of his rookie contract and become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2022.

Doncic is in Slovenia preparing to play for the national team to qualify for the Olympics. He addressed the media in his native Slovenia on Thursday before a team practice.

“It was kind of tough to me,” he said of Nelson’s departure. “I really like Donnie. (I’ve) known him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough for me seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.”

Nope.

The one making the decisions is Mark Cuban.

After a decade of not winning a playoff series, he has personally decided something needs to change.

Because, you know the saying, you can’t Mark Cuban.