Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle had to miss Friday’s game in New York after testing positive for COVID-19, but he was cleared to travel with Dallas and will be back on the sidelines on Saturday night at Washington, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News.
“Everything was fine,” Carlisle said in the pregame session with reporters. “Obviously knowing what those guys went through back in Denver, I wasn’t interested in staying in a hotel room for 7 days.”
He was referring to a situation in January where three players were forced to spend a week quarantining at a hotel after testing positive for the virus following a game against the Nuggets.
Carlisle was fully vaccinated in January and said he felt no symptoms of the virus, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Carlisle called the test result “unexpected” and believed right away that it was a false positive.
“This seems like possibly a mistake, but for these reasons I’m entering the (NBA health and safety) protocol,” he told reporters Friday in a pregame videoconference from his hotel room.
Assistant coach Jamahl Mosley took over as head coach for the night and led Dallas to a 99-86 victory. Mosley, the team’s defensive coordinator, had interviews over the past two years for head-coaching jobs with the Knicks, Cavaliers and Pelicans. Mosley was prepared to step in at the last minute, as he described:
“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. 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.’”