Breaking News: Rick Carlisle to Coach the Dallas Mavericks

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IMay 3, 2008

Rick Carlisle once called the head coaching job of the Indiana Pacers the best job in sports. He no longer has that position.

ESPN indicates that Carlisle will replace Avery Johnson as the head coach of the perennial playoff contenders, the Dallas Mavericks.

Carlisle has now flown to Dallas to have his second interview with the team and it sounds as though Carlisle will be the next coach to try to lead them to a championship.

For those of you who don't know, Carlisle started his coaching career as an assistant coach in New Jersey under Bill Fitch and Chuck Daley.

In 1994, he joined the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach under P.J. Carlesimo. In 1997, Carlisle came one step closer to attaining his dream as Pacers head coach when he accepted a position as the Indiana Pacers assistant coach under his former teammate, Larry Bird.

After the 1999-2000 season where the Pacers reached the NBA Finals for the first time, Larry Bird stepped down as head coach and gave Carlisle a good word to management to hire him.

Instead, the Pacers hired Isiah Thomas. Smart, huh?

For the 2001 season, Carlisle accepted a position as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In his two years there, he led them to back-to-back 50-32 seasons, earning Coach of the Year honours in 2002.

After the 2002-2003 season, the Pistons fired Carlisle to hire coaching legend Larry Brown.

In the 2003-2004 season, Carlisle was finally hired as head coach of the Indiana Pacers to replace Thomas. Carlisle led the Pacers to the league's best record (61-21) in his first year there.

In the playoffs, they lost to Brown's Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Carlisle was later fired after the injury-depleted Pacers missed the playoffs.

Now, there is a very good chance that Carlisle will join the Mavericks. If all goes well for them, Carlisle will lead them to their first NBA Championship.

Can he do it? Only time will tell. I think he will fit in well there, and he will enjoy a long coaching career in Dallas.