Rick Carlisle turned 56 years old on Tuesday.
But he was in no mood to celebrate by admitting to the media one way or another if he is working on a contract extension to coach the Dallas Mavericks for an additional five years.
“I don’t talk about my contract,’’ Carlisle said after Tuesday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “It’s fair to say I don’t talk about my contract.’’
Carlisle’s current contract with the Mavericks expires after this season. A source said he is working on a contract extension which will keep him coaching the Mavericks through the 2020-’21 season.
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Carlisle has been with the Mavericks since the 2008-2009 season and is revered by owner Mark Cuban and by the team’s perennial All-Star forward, Dirk Nowitzki.
“He’ been the man here ever since he got here,’’ Nowitzki said. “He’s a great X’s and O’s guy.
“He just knows how and when to push the right buttons. In a long season, that’s sometimes tough, sometimes you ride the guys too hard; sometimes you’re too easy. He always seems to find the right way to get the guys fired up and ready to play.’’
The Mavericks won their lone NBA title under Carlisle in 2011. For that, they will be forever grateful to the man known as a coach who can get the best out of his players.
“He’s great at making adjustments in series and during games,’’ Nowitzki said. “He’s obviously the right guy for this job.
“He’s shown that and we’re happy he’s here.’’