Did Rick Carlisle play in the NBA? Revisiting Pacers head coach’s playing career with Celtics, Knicks and more

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle has established a reputation as one of the game’s best tacticians over the past few decades.

The mind behind the Mavericks’ legendary 2011 run to the NBA title, Carlisle is now leading Indiana on its most successful playoff run since 2014. And while most know Carlisle for his role as a coach, his history with the game began on the court.

Plenty of NBA coaches played basketball at some stage of their life but Carlisle spent time playing the game at its highest level. As such, he is part of an exclusive club to win an NBA title as both a player and a coach.

Here’s everything you need to know about Carlisle’s playing career and how it led him to where he is today.

MORE: Eastern Conference Finals prediction: Can Pacers take down Celtics?

Did Rick Carlisle play in the NBA?

Carlisle played five seasons in the NBA. He appeared in 188 games with the Celtics, Knicks and Nets.

Boston used the 70th overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft to select Carlisle out of the University of Virginia. As a rookie, Carlisle appeared in 38 games with the Celtics before taking on a bigger role in Year 2.

Carlisle was a member of Boston’s 1986 championship team that went 67-15 in the regular season before sweeping Michael Jordan’s Bulls, defeating the Hawks and Bucks en route to a title. Carlisle appeared in 10 playoff games.

After three seasons with the Celtics, Carlisle spent the 1987-88 season with the Knicks. He sat out the next season before spending the last five games of his career with the Nets.

See also  Bill Belichick thanks Patriots fans in full-page letter: ‘I was blessed to feel your passion and power’

MORE: How Tyrese Haliburton and Reggie Miller trolled Knicks after Game 7 win

Rick Carlisle NBA stats

  • 188 games
  • 2.2 points per game
  • 0.8 rebounds per game
  • 1.1 assists per game
  • 42.2 percent field goal percentage
  • 22.9 percent 3-point percentage
  • 77.5 percent free throw shooting

MORE: Pacers defeat Knicks with record-setting performance in Game 7

Rick Carlisle coaching timeline

After spending five games on the 1989-90 season with the Nets, Carlisle switched sides to join the team’s staff as an assistant coach, working with the same players he once called teammates.

Carlisle spent five seasons on the sideline in New Jersey before leaving for Portland, where he spent three seasons. In 1997, Carlisle was hired as a Pacers assistant, rejoining former Celtics teammate Larry Bird, who was recently hired as the franchise’s head coach.

Rick Carlisle and Larry Bird

(NBAE via Getty Images)

After Bird stepped down in 2000, Isiah Thomas was hired as Indiana’s head coach and Carlisle spent a year away before he was hired as the Pistons head coach in 2001.

In his first season as an NBA head coach, Carlisle led Detroit to a 50-32 record and was named NBA Coach of the Year. He was fired after the 2002-03 NBA season.

Carlisle has been an NBA head coach since the 2001-02 season, with stops in Detroit, Indiana and Dallas. After a 13-year run in Dallas that included the 2011 NBA championship, Carlisle was hired for a second Pacers stint ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Team Role Years
New Jersey Nets Assistant coach 1989-1994
Portland Trail Blazers Assistant coach 1994-97
Indiana Pacers Assistant coach 1997-2000
Detroit Pistons Head coach 2001-03
Indiana Pacers Head coach 2003-07
Dallas Mavericks Head coach 2008-2021
Indiana Pacers Head coach 2021-Present
See also  WAC tournament bracket: Full TV schedule, scores, results for 2024 basketball championships


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *