After Rick Carlisle announced his resignation from the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday afternoon, all eyes were on franchise player Luka Doncic. The 22-year-old Slovenian native had just witnessed the organization that drafted him in 2018 undergo a complete overhaul in less than 48 while he prepares to enter the most important offseason of his young career.
Doncic kept things brief when addressing the departure of general manager Donnie Nelson on Thursday morning. According to Marc Stein, the Mavericks star took the news fairly hard.
Doncic hasn’t been given an opportunity to speak to the media since the Carlisle bombshell, but fans looked back to an old quote from the 22-year-old to try and figure out if he might have a preference for a new head coach.
Apparently, Doncic has been a staunch supporter of Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosely. Earlier this season the Dallas guard issued high praise for Mosely, after he filled in on the sidelines for Carlisle in a regular season game against the New York Knicks.
“He’s got the things that are needed for a head coach,” Doncic said after Mosely’s single-game stint earlier this season, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “He can be the head coach, for sure.”
Luka Doncic is a strong supporter of Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley. “He’s got the things that are needed for a head coach," Doncic said after Mosely's one-game fill-in for a win over the Knicks this season. "He can be the head coach, for sure.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 17, 2021
Doncic’s support of Mosely re-emerged after reports revealed a potential reason for Carlisle’s departure. Apparently, tension had been building between the Mavericks new superstar and the organization’s longtime head coach, leading to concern about their ability to work together in the future.
“There had been simmering tension between Luka Doncic and Rick Carlisle that was a concern within the Mavs organization,” MacMahon tweeted on Thursday. “The expectation was that he’d return next season, but he’d have been on the hot seat.”
Mosely has been with the Mavericks since 2014 after spending time with the Denver Nuggets and the Cleveland Cavaliers in an assistant role. Before the 2018-19 season, Mosley took over as the team’s defensive coordinator and has also served as the head coach of the organization’s Summer League team.
The Mavericks are expected to focus on finding a new president of basketball operations to replace Nelson before taking a look at their vacancy on the sidelines. From there, Doncic will likely get to give his input about a new head coach.