DALLAS – Not long ago, Kaleb Canales was a University of Texas-Arlington Mav.
Now he’s a Dallas Mav.
The Dallas Mavericks have announced that veteran assistant Jim O’Brien is retiring from the NBA and is being replaced by Canales, 34, and a native of Laredo, Texas.
“On April 16, Jim O’Brien informed me that he would be retiring from coaching when our season was over,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said in a statement. “Jim said he loved working in the Mavs organization, but being away from family made his decision easy. 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 Dallas Mavericks organization. Kaleb has worked for the Portland Trailblazers organization in multiple capacities for the last nine 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.”
O’Brien, an NBA head coach in Boston, Philadelphia and Indiana, came to Dallas last summer after Terry Stotts departed for the top job in Portland. Stotts has been the supervisor of Canales, who’d served as the Blazers interim coach for a time in 2011-12. to come aboard after serving as the defensive coordinator for former
The Mavs attempted to bring Canales to Dallas last season but he remained in Portland to work for Stotts.
“Kaleb is well respected around the league and he’s a talented coach with an unique skillset,” Stotts told the Oregonian. “So it’s no surprise that Rick wanted to hire him. It makes a lot of sense.”
Canales started with the Blazers in 2004 as an intern. video department. He’s worked as the team’s video coordinator, assistant, and last year was in charge of the team’s defense. His interim appointment made him the NBA’s youngest active head coach and first Mexican-American to hold such a job.
Canales is said to have strong relationships with young standouts like LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum. Those three reportedly endorsed him for the head-coaching job eventually won by Stotts.