ESPN is reporting that Rick Carlisle is stepping down as the coach of the Pacers. It was announced that the decision was mutual and that Carlisle felt it was time for a different voice there.
Carlisle has a 181-147 record in four seasons in Indiana and a 281-211 overall mark in six seasons with the Pacers and Detroit Pistons. But his victory total has declined each season since the Pacers won 61 games in 2003-04.
Carlisle did a great job there in spite of losing half his team to a brawl, all of the off court antics of their players including Jackson and Artest, and the huge trade this season that shook up the roster.
Carlisle says in the article that he loves coaching. He shouldn't have a problem finding another coaching job. Will Danny change his mind about offering an extension with Carlisle available? Will Doc decide to go back to his family if he can't get an extension? If anything will change Ainge's mind, this may be it. I am not getting too excited, though, since he has been pretty set on bringing Doc back.
Carlisle is a very good coach. I have wondered if the mutual admiration society between Ainge and Doc might faulter if the right coach became available. Would Carlisle be the right coach? Might make for some interesting speculation.