Mavericks Are 2011 NBA Champions, Making Rick Carlisle Just Third Active NBA Coach With Ring

With the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 NBA Championship win on Sunday, head coach Rick Carlisle becomes just the third active coach in the league with a ring on the sideline. He joins the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich and Boston Celtics' Doc Rivers in that newly exclusive club. Phil Jackson, who won 11 titles at the head of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers over the past 20 years, retired after Carlisle's Mavs eliminated L.A. in the second round this season.

The other recent NBA championship head coaches -- Larry Brown with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and Pat Riley with the Miami Heat in 2006 -- has each moved on, Brown as the coach of the New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats and now in retirement, and Riley to his old perch as president of the Heat.

Carlisle also joins Jackson in the exclusive club as men who won titles as both a player and coach, though the Mavs' boss played sparingly in the Celtics' 1986 championship run. Carlisle won the championship in his ninth head coaching campaign, and in his third season with the Mavericks. Some considered Carlisle to be on the hot seat a year ago after the Spurs bulled the Mavericks out of the playoffs in the first round, but Dallas management never seemed to seriously consider replacing the coach. In tenures with the Mavericks, Pistons and Indiana Pacers, Carlisle now has a postseason record of 53-46.

For more on the Mavericks' epic run, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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