The Dallas Mavericks added another knowledgeable veteran mind to their bench on Monday afternoon, as ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting the franchise inked Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien on a multi-year deal to serve as an assistant:
O'Brien was most recently given the axe by the Pacers just 44 games into the 2010-11 season, after it became painfully evident that his team would be on a crash course with its fourth-straight playoff miss. Although he took a Boston Celtics squad to the Eastern Conference Finals way back in the spring of 2002, O'Brien's stints as a head coach have generally left plenty to be desired. As an assistant, however, the Mavericks appear to have found an ideal candidate.
Expected to take the previous role of Terry Stotts, who was recently lured away to run the Portland Trail Blazers, O'Brien will reunite with his good friend Carlisle, the same person he took the Pacers from in 2007. Defections like Stotts among Carlisle's coaching staff once looked to be quite troublesome for the franchise, but now it appears the bench will be in good hands with O'Brien serving in a No. 2 role.