Dallas Mavericks: Jim O'Brien

Former Portland Trail Blazers interim coach Kaleb Canales will join the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach, replacing Jim O'Brien on Rick Carlisle's staff.

O'Brien, who had a 303-327 record as a head coach for the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, informed Carlisle on April 16 that he planned to retire after spending one season with the Mavs.

"Jim said he loved working in the Mavs organization, but being away from family made his decision easy," Carlisle said in an email. "I consider Jim O'Brien a great basketball man of high integrity and thank him for everything he taught me, my staff and our players this past season. We are fortunate that Kaleb Canales became available and had interest in joining the Mavs organization. Kaleb has worked for the Portland Trail Blazers organization in multiple capacities for the last 9 years, and brings great knowledge, enthusiasm and work ethic to the Mavs. He will join Monte Mathis and Tony Brown on the bench and take over in Coach O'Brien's capacity of coordinating our offense."

Canales was a finalist for Portland’s head coaching position after the Blazers went 8-15 when he filled in following Nate McMillan’s firing in 2012. The Blazers hired former Mavs assistant Terry Stotts, and Canales remained in Portland as the defensive coordinator on Stotts’ staff.

The 34-year-old Canales is a Texas-Arlington alum who worked his way up the ranks in Portland after being hired as a video intern in 2004.

"I'm very grateful to Paul Allen and Bert Kolde for the opportunity to work with a first class organization for the past nine seasons," Canales said in a statement.

"At this time, I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Dallas Mavericks. I treasure the relationships I built with the players, staff and fans here in Portland and also want to thank Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts for the opportunity to remain with the club this past season."

Canales' departure from Portland for Dallas was originally reported by The Oregonian.

Sources: Jim O'Brien frontrunner to join staff

August, 18, 2012
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Jim O'Brien, who succeeded Rick Carlisle as coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2007, has emerged as the clear frontrunner to join Carlisle's staff in Dallas as the replacement for lead assistant Terry Stotts, according to NBA coaching sources.

ESPNDallas.com reported Thursday that O'Brien had become the "new name to watch" after the Mavericks saw two other candidates from their initial list, Steve Clifford and Jay Triano, take jobs with the Lakers and Trail Blazers, respectively.

Sources told ESPNDallas.com on Friday that O'Brien has indeed already interviewed with Carlisle and ranks as the Mavs' top target given Carlisle's reported preference to replace Stotts with a former NBA head coach.

Both Stotts and Dwane Casey, who left to fill the Toronto Raptors' head-coaching vacancy in the summer of 2011 after Dallas won the first championship in franchise history, brought that same level of experience to their respective roles focusing on offense and defense on Carlisle's staff.

O'Brien was fired by the Pacers halfway through the 2010-11 campaign after three non-playoff seasons in Indy. He previously coached the Boston Celtics (reaching the Eastern Conference finals in 2002) and the Philadelphia 76ers (for one season in 2004-05).

Mavs' search for assistant coach takes a hit

August, 16, 2012
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The Mavericks' search for a successor to lead assistant coach Terry Stotts will continue without two of the prime names Rick Carlisle had been targeting.

Former Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, according to NBA coaching sources, is poised to join Stotts' staff in Portland as opposed to coming to Dallas.

That means Triano and Los Angeles Lakers-bound Steve Clifford, two highly regarded assistants that sources say Carlisle was eyeing, are off the market.

Former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns assistant coach Phil Weber remains a Mavs candidate, sources said.

Yet the widely held assumption in coaching circles is that Carlisle wants to hire an assistant coach with head-coaching experience after the departures of Dwane Casey (to Toronto) and Stotts (to Portland) during the last two offseasons.

Two coaching sources said late Thursday that a new name to watch in the Mavs' search, who fulfills the head-coaching prerequisites, is Jim O'Brien, who replaced Carlisle in Indiana in the 2007 offseason.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9