After Blowout, Rick Carlisle Dryly Declares “I Was Shocked [Chris Kaman] Didn’t Play More”

There was a back-and-forth between former Mavs center Chris Kaman and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle before the Mavs-Lakers game on Tuesday night. Kaman went on the record about his time with the Mavs, calling Carlisle “uptight” after claiming his coach played head games. After a blowout Mavs win, Carlisle, shrouded in irony, said he was shocked Kaman didn’t get more minutes in the Lakers’ blowout loss.

While talking with Dallas Morning News reporter Eddie Sefko earlier today, Kaman went on the record about his rough time under coach Carlisle with the Mavs last season.

It seems Carlisle jerked Kaman’s playing time around and played head games with him after Dirk Nowitzki returned from an early season injury.

Kaman, who signed with the Lakers as a free agent this past summer, was not very complimentary of his former coach:

“I have a hard time with coaches who say one thing in one ear and then behind your back they’re saying something else,” Kaman said. “It’s not easy to decide, was he serious. There was a lot that was said to me that was just misrepresentations and stories that went one way and the next day it would be completely opposite. So that’s why I say he plays games with guys. He’s not going to play games with Dirk or play games with Vince [Carter]. But other guys he doesn’t know well or are new, he plays games and I didn’t get it. I had so many conversations with him and I got tired of the conversations.”

It seems things are better under Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, though:

“It’s a different coaching style,” Kaman said. “Coach Carlisle is uptight and kind of plays games with people here and there. Coach D’Antoni is more relaxed. He lets guys get a feel and make mistakes and play. That’s the kind of basketball players like to play.”

After the Mavericks blew out the Lakers 123-104, and Kaman managed just 10 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes, Carlisle’s comment about Kaman after the game just oozed with sarcasm.

As Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News was talking to Nowitzki about Kaman’s pregame comments, Carlisle walked in, and — unbidden — said, “I thought Kaman played great tonight. And I was shocked he didn’t play more minutes. It should be noted for the record that he played 17 minutes tonight and averaged 20 here.”

For the record, Carlisle won a 2011 NBA championship as the coach of a Mavs team that was the last to defeat LeBron James and the Heat in a seven-game series. He was also the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2002 with the Pistons.

Chris Kaman has played for the Clippers, Mavericks and now the Lakers. He also enjoys hunting, and has a unique way with his hair. We’ll have no way of knowing what really transpired between the two last season, but the Mavs coach certainly has the bonafides to play whomever he wants, whenever he wants, and current Lakers center Kaman can sign with whichever team offers him a deal.

What do you think?

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