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June 12, 2011

Rick Carlisle


Dallas Mavericks 105
Miami Heat 95

COACH RICK CARLISLE: I would like to say a couple of things before taking questions. First of all, as I mentioned on the court, our owner is now available for interviews. (Laughter). So you can talk to him.
I'm so happy for him. I'm so happy for Dirk. I'm so happy for the Mavericks' organization, which is such a class organization, as are the Miami Heat. A few minutes after the game, Pat Riley came down to congratulate us. And he just showed unbelievable class. We appreciate that. I know Mr. Arison a little bit. He's one of the great people. And so we hold them in high regard. They were a terrific team. And their time will come, but now it's our time. I also want to say hi to Donna and Abby at home. Hi, guys. See you tomorrow.
This is a special team. This is the most special team that I've ever been around, because it's not about what you can't do; it's about what you can do. It's not about what your potential short-comings are; it's what we could accomplish as a group together. And it was just phenomenal to be around them. In my third year, I've learned so much from these guys. Especially Jason Kidd. His view of the game is so different, and he's savant-like. He's just been a thrill and a privilege to spend time with him.
I don't think there's any doubt after this series that Dirk has certainly earned the clout of being one of the all-time great players. His versatility, how he's done it in the clutch. He goes 1-for-12 in the first half, and then in the second half he was just absolute money.
And so I'm really thrilled for him. A couple of people I want to thank that are behind-the-scenes guys. I want to thank Coach Tim Grguich, who came on board on a part-time basis and made a big difference for. And Don Kalkstein, who is our director of sports psyche, who has been a phenomenal resource not only for me but for our players.

Q. Coach, you guys overcame so much this year, even in the series overcoming 15-point deficit. When you look back on all the adversity you guys overcame during this season, during the playoffs, during this series, what's the one thing you're most proud of?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: The collective toughness of the group. It's a team that when you view it from afar, it doesn't look like a physically bruising-type team. So a lot of people don't think we have the grit and the guts and the mental toughness. This is as mentally tough team I've been around. I was fortunate to play in the '80s with Boston teams. They were mentally tough. Those were four Hall-of-Famers on those teams. What these guys were able to do collectively, guys like Cardinal, Mahinmi, Barea, these guys played major, major roles in an elimination game in a championship series. You can't dismiss how everybody stayed ready and how everybody answered the bell.
So I am just really proud to be around this group.

Q. Rick, congratulations, first of all. From the standpoint of the end justifying the means, the fact that J.J. and Jason struggled so much in the first couple of games, and you find yourself down, I guess, nine points with 10 minutes to go. Talk about the rallying point. Dirk 1-for-12 in this first half. What was the mood of you guys being up in spite of that?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: We had a saying, Mavericks' basketball is 48 minutes. It's not 36, it's not 40. It's 48. And over the course of 48 minutes, we're going to find a way to stay in a game. We're going to find a way to win a game. This team has more resourcefulness and grit and guts than any team I've ever been around.
Game 2 was probably the key to the series. Because you go down 0-2, it's very difficult. So coming back from that deficit, coming back in Game 4 in Oklahoma City, those are key games. Because the Oklahoma City game keeps you from going six or seven games, which is really key.
And again, it starts with your best players. Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, who was phenomenal tonight. I mean, absolutely -- 11-for-16 from the floor, 27 points. This guy is willing to come off the bench. I just can't tell you as a coach what it means to have guys that are that committed to winning that they will make those kinds of sacrifices.

Q. Rick, you said the other day that you needed a certain kind of crazy guy at this time of year. How much did Jet's questionable sanity, his fearlessness, have an impact on this series, and especially on this team?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: We have a lot of guys with questionable sanity. It's not just him. It's interesting. A series like this gets very personal. It gets personal because we have guys that say things, and they do it to get themselves going. Then they have the incident with the camera and the coughing and all that stuff. You get to Game 5, Game 6, and it becomes personal. Our guys took it personally tonight. They were not going to be denied. Dirk and Jet have had to live for five years with what happened in 2006, and as of tonight, those demons are officially destroyed.
They have made a statement that's a colossal statement. Not just about our team, but the game in general. Playing it a certain way. Trusting the pass. Playing collectively. Believing in each other. Our team is not about individual ability; it's about collective will, collective grit, collective guts. We're skilled and talented, too, but our game is on the ground. And the guys we were playing, their game was in the air. Fortunately, as the series went on, we stayed on the ground enough to be able to win it.

Q. Coach, congratulations. A follow-up on that Dirk thought: He was 1-for-12, 3 points at halftime. You guys went on I think it was a 25-7 run with him on the bench. It's very unlike you guys in general. Would you tell me I was drinking if I said you were going to lead by halftime?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: I saw you drinking in the locker room. (Laughter).

Q. I was enjoying the championship with you. And how much does this mean even more because you have a bunch of older guys with their first title?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: Look, Miami's time is going to come. Their talent is undeniable. At some point it's going to carry the day. There's no doubt about that. But their time is not now. Our time is now. It needed to be now. They had a great phrase, "now is the time for us," and it was. It had to be.
But the run that we went on with Dirk out of the game, the only thing I can chalk that up to you is one word, resourcefulness. We have the definition of the word "resourceful" in our locker room. It means able to devise ways and means to accomplish a difficult task in a challenging situation. That's what they did.
Look, I can't tell you exactly how that's possible, but that's the kind of guys that Donnie Nelson, Mark Cuban have gotten on our roster. And it's one of the reasons that coaching this team has been so special.

Q. Do you think you set an example maybe that other teams can follow or are the attributes and adjectives you described this team so rare that maybe we won't see another Dallas Mavericks?
COACH RICK CARLISLE: This is one of the really unique teams. This is my opinion now. This is one of the unique teams in NBA history. Because it wasn't about high-flying star power. Come on, how often do we have to hear about the LeBron James reality show and what he is or isn't doing? When are people going to talk about the purity of our game and what these guys accomplished? That's what's special. And I played with Larry Bird, I played with Bill Walton, I played with Robert Parish, I played with Dennis Johnson. I played with the all-time greats. And Dirk is up there with that upper, upper echelon of great players.
He's arguably the most unique players in the history of the game. Because there's never been a seven-foot player that has developed his skill and his resourcefulness for being able to find ways to score. And he's also a very underrated defensive player. When he wasn't on the floor, our defense suffered as well.
I'm so proud of what our team stood for. I kept having people come up to me the last three or four days, "Hey, there's billions of people rooting for you guys. There's billions of people rooting for you guys." And we could feel it. We could feel it. We knew it was very important that we won this series for those reasons. Because of what the game is about, and what the game should stand for. And I'm so, so proud to be a small part of that.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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