People sometimes use the term “the NBA family” to discuss how people in the league have a bond simply by being part of a select group who are able to work and play at the highest level of professional basketball. What that mostly means is people are cordial and somewhat familiar with one another, with those who actually play together on a team building those real, familial bonds.
However, sometimes the NBA family thing is very real, as we learned on Wednesday when Pacers coach Rick Carlisle had his introductory press conference. Carlisle was on the Portland coaching staff as an assistant from 1994-1997, which meant he got the chance to coach Arvydas Sabonis and now will have his son, Domantas, as his leading star in Indiana. It’s a cool full circle thing and makes for a nice story, but as Carlisle noted in his presser, thanks to Arvydas’ excitement about the birth of his son in 1996, he is maybe a bit too familiar with his new budding star big man.
Got a kick out of this answer for Carlisle. I asked him about coaching both Arvydas and Domas Sabonis and he shared that during the playoffs in 1996, Arvydas showed him Domas birth video. Carlisle said it gives him a connection to Domas, who he praised many times in his presser. https://t.co/aYwHERSt8c
— Tony East (@TEastNBA) June 30, 2021
I have to assume this is the first time an NBA coach will have a player who he has actually seen at birth that isn’t his own, and it definitely made for a funny moment in Wednesday’s presser. For Domas’ sake, we’ll hope Rick never brings this up in a practice to humble him — the “I’ve literally known you since you were a baby” line is certainly available to Carlisle if he needs it. As noted by Tony East, who asked the question that got this answer, Carlisle seems very excited about the prospect of coaching the younger Sabonis, and already has some thoughts on how to continue maximizing his All-Star talent.