Friday, May 3, 2013
Mavs assistant O'Brien retiring; Canales hired
DALLAS -- Mavericks assistant Jim O'Brien is retiring after a 30-year career that included heading coaching stints in Boston, Philadelphia and Indiana.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said Friday that O'Brien is being replaced by Kaleb Canales, who was the interim head coach in Portland last year.
The 61-year-old O'Brien spent one season with the Mavericks under Carlisle, who was replaced by O'Brien at Indiana in 2007. O'Brien was fired by the Pacers during the 2010-11 season after missing the playoffs three straight years.
"Jim said he loved working in the Mavs organization, but being away from family made his decision easy," Carlisle said. "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."
O'Brien, who is married to the daughter of former NBA coach Jack Ramsay, has a home in Ocean City, N.J., that was affected by Superstorm Sandy early in the season.
O'Brien was head coach of the Celtics for two full seasons and parts of two others. He took over midseason for Rick Pitino in 2001 and a year later led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1988.
In one season with the 76ers, O'Brien oversaw a 10-game improvement before losing to Detroit in five games in the first round of the 2005 playoffs.
He has a career record 303-327.
"I was inseparable from him for 17 years. Maybe more," said Indiana coach Frank Vogel, who succeeded O'Brien. "He's responsible for every single one of my steps. From the start. I'm happy for him. He worked around the clock for many, many, many years."
O'Brien was a college head coach at Dayton and Wheeling Jesuit before joining Pitino's staff at Kentucky. The Wildcats won the national championship in 1996 and lost in the title game a year later.
Canales has ties to the Dallas area after working as a student assistant at Texas-Arlington a decade ago before catching on with Portland as a video intern. The Trail Blazers gave him the interim job when they fired Nate McMillan last season.
The 34-year-old Canales remained on the Portland staff when former Dallas assistant Terry Stotts was hired as head coach in the offseason. Carlise said Canales will help coordinate the Mavericks offense.
"Kaleb has worked for the Portland Trail Blazers organization in multiple capacities for the last nine years, and brings great knowledge, enthusiasm and work ethic to the Mavs," Carlisle said.