The Indiana Pacers fired Rick Carlisle as the coach after the current season saw the Pacers not making it to the playoffs for the first time in ten years.
The Pacers finished the season with 35-47. This is their worst performance since 1988-89. Just after the All Star break, the Pacers were poised at 29-24, but then they lost their next 11 games and fell out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
Carlisle said that he enjoyed coaching the team for four years but realized that the team now needed a new coach.
Now that the first major move of the postseason has been done, team president Larry Bird said that anything is possible and the new coach would have to adjust to it. Bird said that he did not know the direction as yet, but the organization had an idea. However, if there was something else that could give the team major benefit, the team would go ahead and do it. The new coach would have understand that there might be possibility of trading any player on the team and even though he might not like it, he would have to accept it.
The possible players for trade are forward Jermaine O'Neal and point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Both are the Pacers' top players. O'Neal has already said that he is not interested in being part of a rebuilding effort while Tinsley might be traded just like Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson were after off court offenses.
This season, O'Neal averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. It was one of his best seasons in his 11 year career. However, O'Neal missed 13 games due to various illnesses and injuries. In the last three seasons, he has missed a total of 82 games.
Tinsley, on the other hand, has had one of his best seasons. He has averaged 12.8 points and 6.9 assists in 72 games. This is the most number of games Tinsley has played since 2002-03.
However, Tinsley's off court behavior has been of major concern. He is facing a felony charge for a bar fight in Indianapolis in February 2007 and he was also involved in a fight outside a strip club in October 2006 for which Jackson is facing charges for firing a gun.
Carlisle's coaching was less about winning and losing. It had more to do with the fact that Carlisle was struggling to manage talented players who are extremely volatile.