DALLAS – The NBA coaches have a close fraternity. And when one of them loses their job, it’s not taken lightly.
Such was the case earlier this week when the New York Knicks parted ways with coach Mike D’Antoni and the Portland Trail Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan.
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who also is the president of the NBA Coaches Association, believes both D’Antoni and McMillan are great coaches who will land of their feet again one day.
“They’re both top five coaches who will have their choice of jobs,’’ Carlisle said. “They’ve both been very influential in the entire game.
“They’re both USA Basketball people. Mike’s influence on the way the game is played now, going back to his Phoenix days, is tremendous.”
D’Antoni and McMillan both were both chosen as assistant coaches in 2006 for Team USA Basketball.
While it appears to the naked eye that some of the Knicks and Blazers just flat-out quit on D’Antoni and McMillan, respectively, Carlisle wasn’t prepared to address whether or not that indeed happened.
“I’m not going to get into that,’’ Carlisle said. “I don’t know the specifics, but I know how highly regarded both of those guys are, and they’ll have their choice of open jobs, as they should.”
Carlisle also doesn’t believe that today’s multi-millionaire players have more power than their coach, a trend that didn’t exist in the older days.
“I don’t view it that way,’’ Carlisle said. “I view the game as a beautiful thing.
“To me, it’s all about a group trying to come together. I don’t get into the negative thinking aspect of it, because that would taint my love and respect for the game, and I’m not going to do that.”
-- Dwain Price
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