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Rick Carlisle has terse exchange with reporter over Rajon Rondo benching (vid)

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Rick Carlisle had to face a very curious inquisitive group of reporters following the Dallas Mavericks’ 99-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night, and of course the issues at hand revolved around his decision to bench Rajon Rondo after the two exchanged words during a timeout in the third quarter.

Carlisle, clearly upset with Rondo appearing to ignore his instructions, called the timeout. As Rondo walked to the bench, he and Carlisle could be seen jawing at one another, with each appearing to sprinkle in a few choice expletives during the shouting match.

If his exchange with Rondo wasn’t terse enough, Carlisle went on to have a bit of heated back and forth with ESPN Dallas’ Tim McMahon during his postgame presser, specifically about Rondo being dispatched to the bench for the rest of the game following the on-court dust-up.

McMahon’s line of questioning surrounded the belief that the argument was over play-calling. Despite the reporter’s repeated insistence at getting to the bottom of the story, Carlisle wasn’t cooperating to McMahon’s satisfaction.

“Well, it’s an emotional game and we had a difference of opinion,” Carlisle said. “There was an exchange, and then, in my mind, it was over.”

“Was it regarding play-calling?” Carlisle was asked.

“Uh, I’m not going to get into that,” the Mavs coach countered. “But in my mind, once it was over it was over.”

McMahon continued to press Carlisle, asking whether Rondo’s benching was a coaching decision based on basketball reasons or disciplinary reasons, a line of questioning that clearly was beginning to annoy the coach. So much so, in fact, that Carlisle turned the tables and delivered a question back at McMahon.

“How many other ways you want me to answer the same question?” Carlisle asked.

“One,” McMahon replied. “You haven’t answered it yet.”

Boom. Carlisle clearly was not pleased with the reporter’s comeback, as evidenced by the death stare he unleashed upon his press conference adversary (above).

Video of Carlisle’s exchanges with both Rondo and McMahon follows.

McMahon speculates in his report on the events of the evening that Rondo’s tenure in Dallas may be short-lived — after just being acquired via trade in mid-December — if confrontations like the one on Tuesday night with Rondo — in-game or otherwise — continue to occur. That’s definitely an argument worthy of consideration.