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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says COVID-19 test was false positive after missing game

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2-min read

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for several months now.

Yet on Friday morning, Carlisle tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of their game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden — and had to retreat to his hotel room.

“Well, in this year of the unexpected, this morning — head coaches in the league are now doing game-day testing with the players ‚ and so I had an unexpected positive test this morning,” Carlisle said, via The Dallas Morning News. “There’s a chance and a hope that it will be a false-positive.

“This seems like possibly a mistake, but for these reasons I’m entering the [NBA health and safety] protocol. I’m still at the hotel here in New York.”

Carlisle said he felt fine, and assumed the test must be a mistake. According to The Dallas Morning News, he’s been fully vaccinated since January.

Carlisle's assumption appeared to be correct a day later, as he was cleared to coach against the Washington Wizards on Saturday. He told the reporters he believed it was indeed a false positive.

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Even when dealing with a false positive, Carlisle and the Mavericks weren’t taking any chances.

“It definitely was unexpected,” Carlisle said, via The Dallas Morning News. “I have no symptoms. I feel great. I worked out earlier this morning. But this is just one of these situations where we’ve all got to be light on our feet.”

With Carlisle out, the team instead gave the nod to assistant Jamahl Mosley on Friday.

“This is a great opportunity for [Mosley],” Carlisle said, via The Dallas Morning News. “He’s obviously, in my opinion, ready for this kind of opportunity. I think this is something he’ll thrive in.”

There have been more than 30.5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States since the pandemic began, and there were more than 77,000 new cases on Thursday alone — marking a 20% increase over the past two weeks, according to The New York Times.

The country is administering nearly three million vaccines each day on average, an all-time high, and several teams — including the Mavericks — have started to have their players and staff receive vaccinations.

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle
Rick Carlisle has been fully vaccinated for months, but couldn't coach the Mavericks on Friday night in New York. (Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

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