Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts each were fired as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks around the same time in 2007.

The trio sat out the 07-08 season and interviewed with a number of teams as a package deal before settling on the Dallas Mavericks.

“Rick and I joked about this,” Casey says. “If he got a head coaching job, he would hire me as an assistant. And if I got a head coaching job, I was going to hire him as an assistant. We kind of bonded together on this. We got Terry with us and we kind of interviewed as a staff.

“We met with the Knicks. We interviewed in Chicago. We met with Donnie Nelson at Rick’s house. The next morning, Mark Cuban flew into Indy and we interviewed again. We were a package deal. Rick was the head coach. I was in charge of the defence. Terry was in charge of the offence.”

The Mavericks went on to win the title in 2011. Casey was then hired by the Toronto Raptors and Stotts went to the Portland Trail Blazers.