Engaging style puts Mavs on defensive

Rick Carlisle remains serious, but personal touch inspires Dallas to unify, clamp down

Updated: December 15, 2010, 1:12 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Rick Carlisle insists that his approach to communicating with his players hasn't changed. Except for perhaps, he said, one odd aspect.

"I got a haircut," the Dallas Mavericks coach said drily.

Hair doesn't make a man, but can it make a basketball team? Not likely.

Carlisle, in his third season with the Mavs, refuses to divulge what urged him to self-buzz his formerly supremely coiffed hair into a crop-top. However, others in the organization are talking of a more engaging, ...

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