Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle resigned after 13 seasons with the team. In those 13 seasons, Carlisle missed the playoffs only five times and won the NBA Championship in 2011. Now that the Dallas head coaching position is open, TGH will highlight some potential candidates to take over the vacancy.
Billups has been one of the names thrown around for every head coaching vacancy in the past year. He is, as of now, an assistant coach with the Clippers as they attempt to secure the first NBA Championship in the franchise’s history.
In 2004, Billups was the centerpiece of one of the most surprising NBA Finals victories in modern history. His Detroit Pistons beat the Kobe/Shaq Lakers in just five games. Billups won the NBA Finals MVP in that series. Due to that, his impressive playing career’s longevity (1997-2014) and having a year of watching another NBA Champion coach under his belt he is now a hot commodity.
Superstar Luka Doncic would likely respond to a former great player at the helm and hiring him could be a draw to star free agents. If the Mavs can secure Billups, their future is bright.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is hands-on, relatively progressive and never shy to take his turn in the spotlight. All of these traits point to a possible precedent-setting hire in (current) Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.
Hammon has been an assistant under one of the best coaches in NBA history, Gregg Popovich, since 2014. She became the second female coach in NBA history and the first on an NBA team’s official payroll. She has garnered head coaching buzz before, but it amounted to nothing concrete.
Now, with multiple head coaching vacancies, Cuban may want to move quickly. He could shake up the landscape of the NBA forever and pair the league’s first-ever female head coach with a bonafide superstar in Luka Doncic, giving both a fantastic chance to succeed immediately.
Another former player with championship experience, Jason Kidd even has ties to Cuban and the Mavericks organization. Kidd was an integral part to the 2011 Mavericks’ championship team and he could make his return to coaching with the team that finally gave him his one and only ring.
He was the head coach in Brooklyn for one season, earning a record of 44-38 and losing in the second round in the playoffs. Kidd was then the victim of a rare coaching trade that sent him to Milwaukee. In his three years and change with the Bucks, he lost in the first round twice and missed the playoffs once before being fired. LeBron James recruited him as a Lakers assistant coach in 2020, where he won another championship as Los Angeles prevailed in the bubble.
With more coaching experience and another championship under his belt, he may be ready to become a head coach again. As a star guard himself during his time in the NBA, he can use Doncic to his fullest potential, if Cuban wants to hire a former player.
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