Parsons on Carlisle: ‘We have to find a way to get on the same page’

Dallas Mavericks Chandler Parsons wants to be a centerpiece of the team for years to come.
Matthew Emmons/Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons has been playing his best basketball of the season, maybe of his career, so he was surprised and disappointed to be sitting on the bench for basically the final six minutes of Dallas’ three-point loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Parsons expressed his surprise afterward, and on Thursday, he expounded on his belief why there is a measure of friction between he and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. Whether expressing those beliefs through media is the right move is Parsons’ call, but he makes it clear that he and the coach don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to Parsons’ potential to become one of Dallas’ cornerstone pieces for years to come.

Parsons, who can opt of out his $16 million contract for 2016-17 this summer, provided insight to ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon:

"I have the utmost confidence and respect for him. I just hope it’s reciprocated and he feels the same way towards my game and how I can help this team win games. We have to somehow find a way to get on the same page if we’re both going to be here for a long time and he’s the coach and I’m a foundation piece. "If I’m going to be a foundation piece and a centerpiece, we need to figure out how we can be on the same page and have the same belief and respect for one another. I just would hope my coach would have the same confidence and respect in my abilities that I do."

Complicating the issue was the knee injury Parsons suffered late last season that required a complicated surgery and a long, grueling rehab. Parsons was initially on a minutes restriction and he became frustrated with sitting during crucial times of the fourth quarter because he had already maxed his minutes. He even requested to come off the bench, which Carlisle granted, to save minutes for later portions of games.

Parsons got off to a slow start to the season, but over the last month he has been on fire. Before Wednesday’s 12-point outing that got him benched in crunch time, Parsons had averaged 22.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting better than 52 percent from beyond the arc in the past nine games.

All the more reason, Parsons reasoned, for him to be on the floor in crunch time. With Carlisle choosing to sit him, it makes Parsons wonder if Carlisle believes Parsons can be as good as Parsons thinks he can be.

"I worked harder than anybody coming back from this injury that no one thought I’d come back from," Parsons told ESPN.com "Now it’s time to let me do my job. I want my coach to have the same confidence and belief in me that my owner does." Parsons continued: "He (Carlisle) challenges me. He’s never going to let me get away with anything. I’m a very hard worker, but sometimes I need to be pushed. He’s not one of these guys that are just going to be blowing smoke up my ass. He’s going to tell me how it is and be real with me, and that’s something I respect about him. "But deep down, I think he thinks I can carry a team."