The Dallas Mavericks had a few failures this off-season: they failed to snag Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, or Steve Nash, but their off-season was a complete wash when Chauncey Billups suggested that O.J. Mayo should sign with the Dallas Mavericks.
Chauncey Billups was very familiar with Rick Carlisle as he coached the Detroit Pistons in 2002-2003 just as Billups was on his fifth team in the league. They had a short time together — only that season — but Carlisle must have left an impression because he spoke highly of the former Pistons coach.
“He said (Carlisle) is a great coach for me to help expand my game,” Mayo said.
Mayo hasn’t bounced around the league, having spent his entire four-year career with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he has a lot of similarities to the 2002 version of Billups. Mayo is a No. 3 overall pick whose career hasn’t progressed as anticipated.
Billups’ advice to Mayo: Let Carlisle coach you.
That’s exactly what Mayo has done. He arrived in Dallas a month ago specifically so he could work with Carlisle.
Mayo usually works on one specific weakness each summer. He’s worked on whatever Carlisle wanted recently.
“My whole thing is to give my game to Coach and let him help me get better in ways I can help the team,” Mayo said.
Can Carlisle be to Mayo what he was to Chauncey?
We can answer that question 82 games from now, but it’s quite interesting that Billups played a role in his decision.
This is something that’s indicative to Billups character; always the standup guy.