DALLAS – Rick Carlisle started his pregame press conference Sunday by answering a question about his long-time friend, Michael H. Goldberg, who died Saturday.
Goldberg served as the executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association form 1980-2005.
"It's a really tough loss personally,’’ Carlisle, the Dallas Mavericks’ coach, said. "I've worked very closely with him for 12 years.
"He's been our executive director for the Coaches Association since 1980 and I took over as president in 2005. So to try to put it into a few words what he's meant to our association and to me personally would be impossible here.’’
The National Basketball Coaches Association will dedicate the 2016-’17 season to the memory of Goldberg. All coaches are slated to wear a special "MHG’ bow tie-shaped lapel during games.
"This week, Thursday to Sunday, all games played, coaches will be wearing bow ties in his honor,’’ Carlisle said. "He was a guy that always had a signature bow tie.
"We're also going to have lapel pins in the shape of a bow tie with his initials, MHG, that coaches will wear for the remainder of the season, along with broadcasters and others.’’
Approximately two weeks ago, Carlisle announced that the annual NBA Coach of the Year award will be renamed as the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year, as voted on by all 30 head coaches.
"So it will be an award voted on solely by peers, so it will have some special meaning there,’’ Carlisle said. "He's a guy that deserves to have his name be immortalized by a meaningful award like this, like the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, which we give at the (NBA) Finals every year.
"Fortunately, Michael was in good spirits when that announcement was made and he was aware of it and was greatly appreciative of it. He's a guy that's been a big part of NBA history.’’
And a big part of Carlisle’s life.
"Recently, he received an award from the Hall of Fame, which was a special award,’’ Carlisle said. "So there are a lot of people that think an awful lot of him and what he's meant to our league, and then personally.
"It's a very sad and difficult loss on the one hand, but on the other hand the guy lived such a wonderful, positive, purposeful life and really stood for something special. His memory will live on."