Skip to content

Mark Cuban: Hiring a coach is owner’s toughest job

Sep 6, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT

Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle was as close to a sure thing as possible when the Mavericks hired him as their head coach in 2008.

He had spent six years coaching in the NBA (with the Pistons and Pacers), won a Coach of the Year award and won 61 games in another season.

Still, he had a reputation as being cold with his players and too stubborn to adjust in the playoffs. He was far from a sure thing.

That’s just the nature of coaching.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on the Artie Lange show, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News:

The hardest job for an owner of any professional sports team is hiring a coach. I talk to people here about the Cowboys and everybody wants to slam Jerry Jones. Hiring a head coach is harder than finding a wife. I’ve been lucky, I’ve only had three coaches in my entire 14 years.

It’s difficult to assess coaches, who often work with the same players with the same teams before being fired. A team’s success is dependent on players more than coaches, and coaches’ main contributions come behind the scenes.

But the Mavericks got the Carlisle hiring right, in part because they used the best information at their disposal. One study found Carlisle got the most out of his players, and another showed he used the most effective lineups more often than other coaches. I’m sure Cuban interviewed Carlisle too, judging the coach on subjective factors.

That background work has resulted in a highly successful partnership between Carlisle and the Mavericks, the peak being Dallas’ 2011 title. Only Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra (by a few days) have been with their current team longer.

By the way, Cuban has been married since 2002 – meaning his relationship with Tiffany Stewart outdates his with Carlisle.

Latest Posts
  1. Bucks owner tells Bulls fans planning to come to Milwaukee: ‘Stay home’

    Apr 19, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Tom Thibodeau AP

    A little smack talk in advance of Bucks vs. Bulls.

  2. James Harden and Dwight Howard show Mavericks what they’re missing in Rockets’ Game 1 win

    Apr 19, 2015, 12:45 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game One Getty Images

    Houston outscores Dallas by 14 in 10 minutes with Howard and Harden, get outscored by four otherwise in 118-108 win

  3. Dwyane Wade says he won’t opt out of current deal to become a free agent this summer

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade AP

    Wade has the ability to hit free agency, but is choosing to stay in Miami for at least one more season.

  4. Bradley Beal waves goodbye to Kyle Lowry after Lowry fouls out of Game 1 (VIDEO)

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Bradley Beal AP

    The basketball was ugly, but this still may be a very competitive series.

  5. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on Wizards’ Paul Pierce: “We don’t give a sh-t about ‘It'”

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:18 PM EDT

    Masai Ujiri AP

    Ujiri cusses at a playoff pep rally for the second straight year.

  6. PBT First Round Playoff Previews: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs Getty Images

    How do you feel about a lot of hack-a-Jordan for six or seven games?

  7. Why the 2015 NBA playoffs feel wide open – but probably shouldn’t

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs Getty Images

    With most 2014 conference-finalists eliminated, Warriors are clear favorite

  8. PBT Extra: Houston, Dallas simply do not like each other

    Apr 18, 2015, 12:30 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Their rivalry goes back until the Dwight Howard free agent recruitment. If not earlier.

  9. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: ‘There’s no more predictable team than the Rockets’

    Apr 17, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT

    TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 - Day 1 Getty Images

    Cuban also says of Houston: “that’s not a very good team over there.”

Featured video

Can Boston put a scare in Cleveland?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (5396)
  2. C. Parsons (5301)
  3. D. Rose (5231)
  4. P. George (4908)
  5. L. James (4801)
  1. M. Conley (4770)
  2. S. Curry (4450)
  3. K. Bryant (4418)
  4. R. Westbrook (4354)
  5. D. Howard (4350)