During the 2007-08 season, when he was between coaching jobs with the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks, Rick Carlisle worked as an analyst for ESPN.
It was during that time that he got to know Stuart Scott.
“He was a very special person,” Carlisle said before Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. “I worked deep into the playoffs one year with him and he had a great energy for people.”
Scott died Sunday after losing a battle with cancer. Carlisle remembers him as a caring person who was always helpful to others.
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“When you’re on the set with him he just lit it up,” Carlisle said. “He was always very positive and he always had great simple things to get newcomers like me doing the job a little bit better.”
The Mavs observed a moment of silence in Scott’s honor before tip-off. During his pregame press conference, Carlisle said he was hoping that’s exactly what would take place.
“It’s great that they’re doing a moment of silence in all the arenas,” Carlisle said. “I hope they do it again tonight, because he was that important to our sports and sports in general.
“He just had one of those transcending personalities. He’ll be missed very, very much.”
Picking his spots
Monta Ellis ranks 10th in the NBA in steals with 1.72 per game. But his coach says he’s not gambling as much by going for the steal in the passing lanes.
“He has a great knack for anticipation,” Carlisle said. “When he was at Golden State they were a gambling type team.
“They were doing that deliberately to try to create some pace. Milwaukee was a little more conservative than Golden State, and we’re a little more conservative than Milwaukee was the year he was there.”
It took a while for Ellis to buy into the Mavs’ defensive concepts.
“But he has bought into playing in a more conservative system, and put himself in a position to make plays on the ball,” Carlisle said. “And if you can do that, you can get steals from a position of strength rather than a lot of swinging and missing type stuff which puts the defense in a rotation and causes problems on the boards and it generally creates havoc.”
No Dalembert reunion
The antennas of many Mavericks fans went up Tuesday after the New York Knicks waived center Samuel Dalembert, who played for Dallas last season.
Many thought the Mavs would sign Dalembert if he cleared the 48-hour waiver period Thursday because they are in need of a backup center. But under NBA rules, Dalembert can’t become a member of the Mavs again until July 1 because he was traded to the Knicks on June 25 in the Tyson Chandler deal.
But the Mavs remain in the hunt to acquire free agent center Jermaine O’Neal, who lives in Southlake and has expressed an interest in playing for Dallas.
▪ The Mavs played a video on the Jumbotron in the second quarter congratulating Mark Cuban. Cuban bought the Mavs on Jan. 4, 2000 — 15 years ago this past Sunday.
▪ The Mavs start a three-game road trip Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760