Rick Carlisle doesn’t fly off the handle with his statements. In fact, he is the highly respected president of the NBA Coaches Association, so you know his peers think a lot of the Dallas Maverick head coach. Carlisle has been in NBA circles a long time, so he has seen many coaches and players come and go and according to him, there has never been anyone better than San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich.
“I’ve said this before,” Carlisle said before Popovich and Co. beat Dallas on Thursday night. “I think he’s the greatest coach in NBA history because he’s kept basically the same system, with adjustments, over 17 years.
“If you count up the number of different players who have been here, he has plugged that many different guys into it and still had wild levels of success, and then four championships, spread out over eight or 10 years, and they’re right on the cusp again.”
Coach Carlisle was even more impressed in how Popovich has adjusted to the new fast pace era the NBA has adopted. The Spurs were once a team predicated on dumping the ball down low and playing inside out, but now they are among the league’s best at being up tempo. Carlisle isn’t only enamored with how well coach Pop has adapted over the years, he also thinks Popovich is the smartest man in the world.
“From the perspective of how this team has evolved over that period of time, he has been an innovator in how the game is played,” Carlisle said. “He’s adjusted his system to his personnel, and they’ve been able to interchange parts and get younger at the right times, all those kinds of things.”
“I think he’s the smartest man in the history of the world, that’s what I think,” Carlisle said. “I think that covers everything.”