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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle tests positive for COVID-19 before Knicks game

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle watches from the sideline

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle watches from the sideline during the second half of the team's NBA game against the Timberwolves on March 24 in Minneapolis. Credit: AP/Craig Lassig

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle received unexpected news Friday afternoon, testing positive for COVID-19. He found himself quarantined in his hotel room, waiting and hoping to still make it to Madison Square Garden.

"In this year of the unexpected, coaches are now doing game-day testing with the players," Carlisle explained in a Zoom call from his hotel room. "I had an unexpected positive test this morning. There’s a chance and there’s a hope that it will be a false positive. I’m fortunate to have been fully vaccinated since January. This seems like possibly a mistake.

"For these reasons, obviously I’m entering protocols. I’m still at the hotel here in New York. I’ve been retested. If the results come back negative, I could end up getting to the arena tonight to coach the game."

That didn’t happen. Assistant coach Jamahl Mosley took over and guided the Mavericks to a 99-86 victory.

"Definitely was an unexpected thing," Carlisle said. "I have no symptoms. I feel great. Worked out early this morning, felt good. But this is one of those situations where we all have to be light on our feet."

Help on the way

The Knicks filled one of their roster vacancies Friday, signing 6-10 Norvel Pelle to a 10-day contract. The Knicks lost Mitchell Robinson, likely for the season, with a fractured right foot last week and have gotten by with only Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson as the centers.

Pelle, whom the team expects to be in uniform Saturday in Detroit, provides another center in the Tom Thibodeau style — a rim protector with shot-blocking skills who provides little threat on the perimeter.

Pelle played 24 games with Philadelphia last season and four games with two NBA teams this season.

He signed an Exhibit 10 deal with Cleveland but was waived and played for the Cavs’ G League squad in the bubble in Orlando. He signed with the Nets and played three games before being cut loose. He then signed a 10-day contract with Sacramento and appeared in one game.

New York Sports