Dallas coach Rick Carlisle received unexpected news Friday afternoon, testing positive for COVID-19 and finding 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. But there is going to have to be — there’s been some retesting. There may need to be more retesting depending on what the league decides based on the entire situation. I’m hopeful that it’s a false positive.”
With the uncertainty, Carlisle called up assistant coach Jamahl Mosley and gave him a head start on preparation to coach in his place. Carlisle said he has no symptoms and was immediately pulled before an incubation period to avoid spreading anything to players in case he is positive.
“Definitely was an unexpected thing,” he 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. I contacted Jamal about two hours ago that it was possible, highly likely, that he was going to coach the game.”
Help on the way
The Knicks filled one of their roster vacancies Friday, signing 6-10 Norvel Pelle to a 10-day contract, according to a source. 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 Thibodeau style — a rim-protector with shot blocking skills, but providing little threat on the perimeter. Pelle played 24 games with Philadelphia last season.
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 with Brooklyn before being cut loose. He then signed a 10-day contract with Sacramento, appearing in one game for them.