As the Dallas Mavericks' summer league squad convened a few days ago at the American Airlines Center with a group of wide-eyed youngsters fresh out of college, some off the European circuit and older players hungry to jump start their careers, coach Rick Carlisle turned to the late, great Red Auerbach to provide a little motivation.
Carlisle, drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round of the 1984 draft, remembered when he arrived at a rookie camp and what the man with the cigar told the new players.
"I told these guys the first day we got together here that 28 years ago when I went into a rookie camp like this, Red Auerbach stepped into the middle of the room and he said, 'We can only go by what we see, so whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and give us the best chance to evaluate you,'" Carlisle said. "So that’s what we’ve asked them to do. We’re certainly going to work with guys to help get them better every day, but whatever’s gotten them to this point is what we need them to do well and what they need to do well and we’ll work with them on the other things going forward."
The Mavs' summer league team begins a five-game schedule at 5 p.m. Sunday against the Nuggets. The game will be broadcast live on NBA TV.