Dallas Mavericks coach would welcome Ron Artest

Posted Tuesday, May. 13, 2008  comments  Print Reprints
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New Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday he made his local debut on Galloway and Co. on ESPN 103.3 FM.

On why he's right for the job

"First of all, one of the things that attracts me to this situation is that it is a different kind of roster than I've had in the past. I've coached mostly power post-up type teams, medium tempo-type teams. This collection of players right now is not in that mold. I like the idea of a new kind of challenge. I've actually coached a lot of different styles in this league.

"The year we went through the brawl in 2004-05, we had probably four different sort of collections of players during that time and we played everything from walk-it-up to we played real fast at times depending on the personnel we had."

On possible roster changes

"Let's be frank here. The complexion of this roster could change significantly between now and the end of the summer. There are going to be some opportunities for turnover with guys that are minimum players coming in, guys potentially in trades, we have the mid-level exception, so there are going to be some other possibilities."

On having spent time with Mike D'Antoni this season

"I think all of us have done things with some similarity to what Phoenix does, but in most cases you don't have Steve Nash. Now, Jason Kidd is a great player, he's a Hall of Fame player that's still playing at an All-Star level and I believe that we can do some things that Phoenix did with the personnel that we have here. I don't know that you can do a steady diet of it because I'm not sure what our make-up is going to be in terms of our speed at the 4 and 5 positions to start games. We will certainly do some things similar to what the Suns did."

On getting the team past the playoff collapses

"One of the things that we have to do moving forward here is to put all that stuff in the past and move forward. There are a couple of things that have to happen. We have to be diligent and vigilant about getting our players in great shape over the summer. We've got to, I think, approach the game a little bit differently offensively because when you have Jason Kidd I think you have to be an up-tempo team…The other thing that can't happen is we can't forget about the importance of the defensive end of the floor. We've got to keep that commitment defensively on the one hand, but be able to be a flow team offensively, which those two forces diametrically oppose one another, and that's one of the tough things in coaching, and that's going to be one of our challenges. But, we have no choice. This is what we're going to have to do to be successful."

On whether he'd coach Ron Artest again

"This guy is one of the real difference-makers that we have in this league. He's had one all-star year, that's when he played for me. I've had a chance to reconnect with Ronnie over the last couple of years. I love him and I love his family, so yeah. This guy was one of the most physical, intimidating players that I've ever seen at the small forward position. He'd be a player that any team would want to have."

On Josh Howard coming off playoff implosion

"I'm getting together with Josh [tonight] for dinner and we're going to have a sit-down and a long talk about a lot of things. You know, guys make mistakes, I don't think there's any question about that. That's what this is all about, is learning and growth and getting better. I could tell you this: Josh Howard is one of the guys in this league that was always one of the guys we really feared when you're an opposing coach and he always had really good games against my teams. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work with him. One of the other things about this situation, this is a team that has gotten bumped in the first round of the last two years, so this is going to be a motivated team group of guys, which doesn't guarantee anything. But, at least you know going in that these guys feel like they have something to prove and I always feel like I have something to prove as a coach."

On integrating Jason Kidd into the offense

"One thing that happened with Avery with the Jason Kidd trade was that Jason came to a team that was more of a medium-tempo, playoff-style type team and Avery didn't have the opportunity to integrate him from Day One of the training camp. That's something that's going to be extremely important with us. And I think it's one of the disadvantages that Avery had when the trade happened.

"We realize and I realize that training camp this time around is going to be one of the most important three-and-a-half-week stretches in the history of this franchise so we're going to have to get it right."

Jeff Caplan, 817-390-7760

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