Luka Doncic and coach Rick Carlisle reportedly had a "simmering tension" that was a "concern" within the Dallas Mavericks organization before Carlisle's surprising resignation Thursday.
ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported the relationship between Carlisle and Doncic was strained, and though the coach was expected to return for the 2021-22 season, he would have been on the hot seat.
The longtime Mavericks coach instead chose to move on, releasing a statement through ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
"'After a number of in-person conversations with [owner] Mark Cuban over the last week, today I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. This was solely my decision," Carlisle said in a statement. "My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city."
Carlisle spent 13 seasons with the Mavericks, compiling a 555-478 record in Dallas. The Mavericks won the 2011 NBA championship but have not gotten out of the first round for the last decade. Dallas held a 2-0 lead against the Los Angeles Clippers in Round 1 this season before falling in seven games.
News of tension between Carlisle and Doncic is of little surprise. Carlisle is known as a system-oriented, rigid personality whereas Doncic has a tendency to freelance. Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Carlisle loosened his reins on Doncic as their relationship progressed, but there were still times where the pair butted heads.
The Mavericks organization is in a state of upheaval, with Carlisle's resignation coming a day after the team announced the departure of longtime general manager Donnie Nelson.
Governor 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.