Mavs Headed In Right Direction With Kidd As Player-Coach

Brad JamesCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2009

One of the major tenants of being a head coach in any level of sports is the authoritative prowess vested in such individuals.

Undoubtedly, for control freaks such as Bill Belichick and Phil Jackson, it would seem more sensible to give up constitutional rights than to surrender any of their power.

Nevertheless, Rick Carlisle, just a year removed from a cushy job as an ESPN studio analyst has done just that as he has given Jason Kidd the power to call the Mavs' plays.

This is not unprecedented in professional sports, as in the Miami Dolphins' glory days of the '70s, Bob Griese regularly called the Dolphins' plays with great success. However, it is still relatively uncommon.

Nevertheless, Carlisle has been rewarded richly for rolling the bones.

Heading into tonight's game against the Jazz in Salt Lake City, the resurgent Mavs have gone 3-0 since Kidd has shouldered play-calling responsibilities.

Lest one should think that Dallas has beaten up on the scrubs the NBA has to offer, the truth of the matter is they have smacked the Heat, Magic, (when Jameer Nelson was still healthy, at least at tipoff), and Trail Blazers with impressive precision.

In all three of these matchups, the Mavericks have eclipsed 100 points, shot well over 50 percent from the field and clamped down defensively.

While Portland did flirt with the century mark, this only came after Carlisle had pulled his starters and Brandon Roy sank a pair of 3-pointers.

As of right now, the Mavericks, who were once, 2-7, have improved to 29-19 and are currently in the sixth spot as they are percentage points behind New Orleans and have a slightly better winning percentage than Houston.

Thus, as a Mavs fan, I tip my hat to Carlisle and greatly anticipate what the rest of the season holds.

Can the NBA also be where swallowing your ego happens?

If you're Rick Carlisle anyway, I suppose.