Skip to content

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

Sep 6, 2013, 1:15 PM EST

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. John Wall with another 360 layup (VIDEO)

    Dec 27, 2014, 9:00 PM EST

    Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards Getty Images

    He’s done it twice in the last two games.

  2. Hornets’ coach explains why Noah Vonleh barely sees the court

    Dec 27, 2014, 8:02 PM EST

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    A sports hernia kept him out of training camp and the rookie has never caught up with the learning curve.

  3. Rodney Stuckey says Pistons’ downward spiral began with Chauncey Billups trade

    Dec 27, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Chauncey Billups Chauncey Billups

    Stuckey says the trade robbed the locker room of accountability.

  4. Tobias Harris trash talked LeBron, then LeBron goes off, leads Cavs to win

    Dec 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    Cleveland at Orlando Getty Images

    LeBron James was in “chill mode” and this team is vulnerable when he is.

  5. Rumor: Ray Allen leaning toward retirement, not return

    Dec 27, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    2014 NBA Finals - Game One Getty Images

    This option was always on the table for him, people around the NBA just never thought he’d choose it.

  6. Rumor: Heat to target Andray Blatche when he returns from Chinese team

    Dec 27, 2014, 7:59 AM EST

    Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets - Game One Getty Images

    He won’t be available until February or March, the Heat may not want to wait that long.

  7. Josh Smith makes Rockets debut, throws down two-handed dunk (VIDEO)

    Dec 26, 2014, 9:45 PM EST

    Josh Smith Josh Smith

    Hopefully there are more of these and fewer threes.

Featured video

Who will land Josh Smith?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (8381)
  2. K. Bryant (7726)
  3. J. Smith (7171)
  4. K. Martin (6856)
  5. K. Leonard (6464)
  1. C. Bosh (6411)
  2. Z. Randolph (6085)
  3. T. Jones (5801)
  4. T. Parker (5683)
  5. D. DeRozan (5654)