The Dallas Mavericks have been in turmoil ever since the team blew a 2-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.
On Thursday, Rick Carlisle informed the Mavericks that he is stepping down as head coach of the team. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the decision came following a season in which there was “simmering tension” between Carlisle and Luka Doncic.
MacMahon revealed on “The Lowe Post” podcast that Doncic called out Carlisle in the middle of a game earlier this season. The superstar player became frustrated with the influence that Bob Voulgaris, a former professional gambler who was hired by Mark Cuban in 2018 as director of quantitative research and development.
“(Brian) Windhorst passed this on to me earlier in the season and I was able to confirm it … It was a timeout. Luka, as tends to happen, was p-ssed,” MacMahon said. “And he yells at Rick, ‘Who’s in charge, you or Bob?’ He yells it front of all the Mavericks players, in front of all the assistants, anybody down on the floor could hear it. The Luka-Rick relationship was dicey.”
That outburst happened when the Mavs had zero fans in the stands.
“I do know that players a lot of times will blame Voulgaris for rotation decisions, lineup decisions, those kinds of things that they don’t like,” MacMahon added.
Mark Cuban told Marc Stein of the New York Times that he expects to hire a new head of basketball operations before deciding on a coach.
Doncic is expected to sign a new five-year, $200 million supermax extension this offseason.