Pacers head coach, Rick Carlisle spent much of last week making the media rounds in Indy before enjoying the Fourth of July weekend.
Carlisle’s introductory (re-introductory?) press conference was done via Zoom from his vacation home on the South Carolina coast. Almost seemed fitting since the deal to coach the Pacers was struck over the phone. He still had to actually finalize his reported 4-year deal by signing in person this week. I guess they don’t have DocuSign.
The Pacers tweeted out that Carlisle was indeed at the Fieldhouse, or at least the St. Vincent Center on Tuesday, taking in the latest draft prospect workouts after presumably signing on the dotted line.
As for the media rounds, there were several entertaining interviews along with the into presser which showed off the different vibe Carlisle will bring to the Pacers. Everything he says seems genuine with no intention of trying to impress or suck up. He knows who he is and what he plans to do and is not concerned if others agree or not.
There was also a common refrain throughout the various interviews that Carlisle likes the individual players on this roster and what they had to say in private conversations with their new coach. While his first instinct when asked about Turner and Sabonis was to talk about staggering their minutes, he still talked up the value of each big man to the team. He even talked up the value of re-signing free agents, T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott.
This seems to indicate the Pacers are comfortable making minimal changes and running it back with their veteran team that has both dealt with several injuries while also underperforming last season. Obviously, Carlisle and Kevin Pritchard are not going to minimize any players value whether they plan to make trades or not. While they shot down rumors of a potential deal involving Malcolm Brogdon to land Ben Simmons, the fact remains, no players is off limits on the trade market for the right return from another team.
With draft prospect workouts in full swing and the new head coach on the job, the Pacers offseason will continue to ramp up with the draft on July 29, followed quickly by free agency and then summer league which will take place in Las Vegas from Aug. 8 thru Aug. 17.
Check out the various interview for some entertaining insights on Carlisle’s return to the Pacers. Oh, and for a bonus, check out Metta Sandiford-Artest with JMV as he lauds his former coach as an analytics innovator who made Ronnie’s career take off, while diving into several other issues as only he can.
Rick Carlisle on JMV (8:25 mark)
Rick Carlisle on Dan Dakich Show (42:55 mark)
Metta Sandiford-Artest on JMV (47:20 mark)
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard introduces our new head coach, Rick Carlisle. https://t.co/udm3Egi1R4— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) June 30, 2021