After losing an assistant coach to retirement, the Dallas Mavericks replenished Rick Carlisle‘s staff by adding a young coach from the Pacific Northwest in the 34-year-old Kaleb Canales.
“Jim said he loved working in the Mavs organization, but being away from family made his decision easy,” Carlisle told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon 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 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.”
Canales briefly served as interim coach in 2012, going 8-15 down the stretch after Nate McMillan was fired. Perhaps Carlisle got a good word from former Mavs assistant Terry Stotts, who went on to become head coach of Portland while Canales was on staff this past season. Canales joined the Trail Blazers as a video intern in 2004 and worked his way up to the interim position before he became a finalist for the full-time gig afterward.
Stotts would appoint Canales as his defensive coordinator, but the Blazers would ranked 24th in defensive efficiency.
“The numbers did not bare out positively,” Stotts told The Oregonian. “But in the context of our team’s youth, a new system and working for a new coach, I thought he did a very good job.”