Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has been cleared to travel with the team to Washington after missing Friday’s 99-86 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden due to a positive test for COVID-19.
Carlisle, 61, called the test result “unexpected,” saying that he was fully vaccinated in January.
“There’s a chance and a hope that it will be a false positive,” Carlisle said during his pregame videoconference, which he conducted from his New York City hotel room. “This seems like possibly a mistake, but for these reasons I’m entering the [NBA health and safety] protocol.”
Assistant coach Jamahl Mosley replaced Carlisle in Friday’s win. Mosley said after the game that Carlisle had been cleared to travel with the team to Washington, where the Mavs will play the Wizards on Saturday night.
Carlisle said he is experiencing no symptoms. “I feel great,” Carlisle said. “I worked out earlier this morning. But this is just one of those situations where we’ve all got to be light on our feet.”
Mosley, the team’s defensive coordinator, served as the acting head coach for a full game for the first time in his career. He interviewed with the Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans when those teams conducted head-coaching searches over the past two years, and Carlisle said that Mosely filling his role for the game was “a great opportunity for him to show what he’s capable of.”
“Rick has done such a phenomenal job of preparing all of his staff members to take over or just to step up in every moment,” Mosley said. “It’s the same thing with the team — just being prepared in every moment. For me, it was just going off of the guidance that he’s given me. He text and said, ‘You’re ready for this. You’re prepared for this, and just go off of the things we’ve constantly talked about.'”