Three days after Rick Carlisle called out O.J. Mayo for not competing against the Memphis Grizzlies, Mayo’s former team, the Dallas Mavericks coach explained why he wants the 25-year-old back next season.
“I love O.J. as a kid, as a person,” Carlisle said Thursday. “I spent more time with him this year than probably any player I’ve ever had. With him, I’m like a little-league dad. I wanted him to do well so badly that sometimes it would get the better of me. But that’s OK. Because if you care that much that’s never a bad thing.”
Mayo, who signed with the Mavericks in July, said Thursday that he has decided to opt out of the final year of his two-year contract. He’s looking for a long-term deal.
Starting all 82 games this season, Mayo averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 turnovers.
“I like O.J. a lot,” Carlisle said. “I think he fits into what we’re doing. Like everything else in this world, this is probably going to come down to money. Right now, I don’t know where all that stuff is going to stand. He had a very good year for us, so there’s going to be a lot of team’s interested in him.”