DALLAS -- Rick Carlisle was talking hoops when the conversation turned to Dirk Nowitzki and his quest to pass John Havlicek on the NBA's all-time scoring chart.
Carlisle was a bit player for the Boston Celtics from 1984-'87 when he averaged 2.2 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists, and was a member of the Celtics' 1986 world championship team. Havlicek, meanwhile, won eight world titles with the Celtics, was a 13-time All-Star and is 12th on the NBA's- all-time scoring list with 26,395 points.
So when Havlicek's name popped up in a conversation involving Nowitzki -- he's 13th on the NBA's all-time list with 25,631 points -- naturally the effervescent Carlisle had one of those stories for the ages to tell.
"One of the really special days of my playing career was my rookie year in Boston, and at that time they were still playing a Legends Game at the All-Star festivities,'' Carlisle said. "John Havlicek came one day to practice with us to get ready for the Legends Game, so we played a three-on-three game.
"It was three-on-three cross court, so it was a short court. So it was me, Havlicek and Greg Kite against Chris Ford, Carlos Clark and it may have been (Kevin) McHale.''
Havlicek, at the time, was 43 years old and had finished his stellar 16-year career with the Celtics in 1978. And his mere presence on the same basketball court with Carlisle, who was a 25-year old rookie at the time, was priceless for Carlisle.
"Playing three-on-three with John Havlicek was one of the coolest things ever,'' Carlisle gushed. "This guy could still really run, could really move, he had great craftiness, the tricks and skills.
"It was one of the most phenomenal 30-minute experiences I’ve ever had in basketball. And he went to the All-Star game and played his ass off like you would expect.''
But who won the three-on-three game?
Carlisle said: "I'm pretty sure we did.''
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter