The Dallas Mavericks’ head coach, Rick Carlisle had a unique way of motivating players… that is to threat them with a trade.
With team under-performing for the past few days by just winning 2 of their last 6 games, Carlisle just had to say these:
“Look, if it’s going to be like that, these guys aren’t going to be Mavericks very long,” Carlisle said inside the Mavericks locker room.
“I can promise you that,” said Carlisle repeatedly.
Carlisle confirmed that this was just a tactic to get the best in every player on that roster. Just like a parent threatening a kid to leave home if they disobey their folks.
“The truth is I love this team and I really care about these guys. I want them to want it as much as I want it for them, and sometimes, that manifests in some unusual ways, but I’m never going to stop caring.”
Mavericks team owner – Mark Cuban is quite aware of Carlisle’s strategy and tolerates the coach’s unique strategy.
“Oh, it’s 100 percent about pressing buttons,” Cuban told ESPN.com.
“The one thing you know about us, if we’re actually going to make a trade, nobody knows about it. And they were buttons that needed to be pressed, so I agree wholeheartedly with him.”
Cuban acknowledged that this was nothing new to the team and with the team’s under-performance, the Mavericks are currently tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the 4th best record in the Western Conference.
“He’s been doing this a long time,” Cuban said.
“He feels the pulse of the team. We’re a team that in order to be a really good team, we have to play really hard. And I think, really, the message more than anything else is that it’s not that we don’t play hard, it’s that we have lapses in our effort. A shot doesn’t go in, we think we were fouled or should have gotten a call, we react to that and don’t get back on defense. I think he was right. It’s just these little lapses that hurt us.”
In effect, the team pulled out a 119-118 overtime victory against the Nets with a career night from J.J. Barea scoring 32 points with 11 assists, Wesley Matthews sinking five 3-point shots, Chanlder Parsons having an all-around game with 11 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds and Charlie Villanueva putting up numbers from the bench with 14 points to accompany Dirk Nowitzki’s milestone of surpassing Shaquille O’Neal as the 6th all-time scorer in the NBA.
“The good news is I think everything is fixable. It’s not like we have guys who are dogs and won’t work hard,” said Cuban. “These are guys who want to play hard, who want to win, who want to contribute. It’s just that guys have been frustrated. … It’s funny, the games that our shots fall early, you never see us complaining about effort. It’s just the way it is right now. We’ll turn it around.”