DALLAS -- Remember the crazed inmate in "Escape from Alcatraz" who chopped off a finger in the workshop? He could lop off another and still count on that hand the current NBA head coaches with a championship ring -- or rings in one case -- appreciating in safety deposit boxes.
Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers... and Rick Carlisle.
NBA teams simply don't let go of proven head coaches, especially not a year removed from molding a group of title-less veterans into unexpected champs. So why Carlisle is now Day 4 into the offseason without a deal in place to coach the Dallas Mavericks next season and beyond is perplexing, if not entirely nonsensical.
If this is Mark Cuban's stubbornness to stick to his business model of postseason, end-of-contract evaluation, well, that's fine, it's his team. But the season is over.
Cuban might have felt his hand was forced six years ago in showering big dough on the Little General when he signed off on a five-year extension following the 2006 Finals flop, a bizarre meltdown of a series for team, owner and former coach Avery Johnson alike.
The circumstances surrounding Johnson's extension were far different. Johnson was coming off his first full season as an NBA head coach and still had three years left on his deal. Carlisle entered his 10th season as a head coach with the '11 title -- the franchise's first -- in his hip pocket and one year left on his deal.
A slam-dunk extension, right? Obviously not.
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