More Rick Carlisle info coming soon so check back.
NBA.com reports: Rick Carlisle once called the Indiana Pacersí head coaching position one of the top jobs in all of sports.
He now has that job.
On Sept. 2, 2003, Carlisle was named head coach of the Indiana Pacers. Larry Bird, Pacersí President of Basketball Operations, had his No. 1 pick.
ďI have a lot of confidence in him,Ē said Bird. ďI feel pretty good about it, thereís no question about that. I know what Rick is capable of doing. Iíve known him since 1985, so in my heart I know heís the right man. I donít want to hear all the excuses, I just want to win basketball games. And thatís what heís got to produce.Ē
So far, so good. So very good.
In his first year as Pacersí coach, Carlisle led the Pacers to the NBAís best record at 61-21, the most victories in franchise history, the best winning percentage in franchise history and the Central Division championship. Carlisle, who coached his first two years at Detroit, became the first coach since Pat Riley to win 50 games and division championships in his first three seasons as coach. He also led the Pacers to the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.
Carlisle obviously didnít flinch from the expectations of Bird. A teammate of Birdís from when they played for the Boston Celtics, Carlisle was also on Birdís staff when he coached the Pacers from 1997-2000. He knows his boss, he knows his expectations and Carlisle knows his own expectations.