DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle paused after Sunday’s practice to pay tribute to former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who died Sunday at the age of 83.
"Coach Smith is an American icon in the basketball world,’’ Carlisle said. "I played against his teams for a couple of years and they were always the most prepared and the most difficult teams to play against.
"You look at his record and the innovations and the things that he brought to the game over a period of several decades, his contributions are gigantic. It’s a sad day, but it’s a day to pay tribute to a guy that had a huge impact on our sport.’’
Carlisle played at Virginia from 1982-’84 and was in the same Atlantic Coast Conference as Smith’s Tar Heels.