HoopsHype Jim O'Brien rumors

May 3, 2013 Updates

Statement from Rick Carlisle: "On April 16th Jim O'Brien informed me that he would be retiring from coaching when our season was over. 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 Mavs organization. Kaleb has worked for the Portland Trailblazers 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." Facebook.com

March 29, 2013 Updates
August 20, 2012 Updates
August 18, 2012 Updates
August 17, 2012 Updates
June 10, 2011 Updates

Indiana Pacers players want interim coach Frank Vogel to get the full-time gig. Now, it's up to team president Larry Bird to make a decision. It's been more than a month since the team's season ended and the waiting game continues. Bird has called Vogel the favorite from the beginning of the search, and the team has had several conversations with him. He took over for Jim O'Brien at midseason, went 20-18 to close the regular season and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2006. Pacers players who participated in a charity softball game for the Indiana Children's Wish Fund say they like him. Indianapolis Star

April 29, 2011 Updates
April 10, 2011 Updates

Vogel hasn't won the job, but he hasn't lost it, either. Bird nodded. "That's fair,'' he said before the Pacers moved to 20-16 under Vogel after being 17-27 under Jim O'Brien. "Whatever happens, he's going to get the first interview, and he's going to get the last interview. I've been very pleased with how he's handled a very difficult situation.'' Indianapolis Star

February 14, 2011 Updates

He has heard, of course, from "everyone he's met in his whole life." Or, maybe, it just seems like that. But Frank Vogel says that moving over 12 inches from the assistant coach's chair to the head coach's chair hasn't been that big a deal. At least, not yet. "Ask me when we've lost five games in a row," Vogel said on the telephone Sunday afternoon, the day after his Pacers won in Milwaukee, breaking a six-game losing streak there and winning for the seventh time overall in the eight games since Vogel took over on an interim basis for Jim O'Brien on Jan. 30. NBA.com

But talking about the changes is a tightrope for Vogel, for it was O'Brien that brought him into the NBA and has been there for him at every turn. O'Brien hired him at Kentucky, then brought him to the bench with the Celtics, then had him in Philadelphia as an advance scout, and brought him to Indiana. When team president Larry Bird was ready to make a change, Vogel wanted the job, but he felt for his mentor. "Obviously my first reaction was disappointment that they're letting go of coach O'Brien," Vogel said. "The ironic thing is they called me together, coach and Larry. Larry called me and let me know they were going to make a change, and was I interested? And before I could answer, coach O'Brien interceded and said, 'I'm behind this all the way if you want to do this.'" NBA.com

February 1, 2011 Updates

Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon says team president Larry Bird's job is safe through the rest of the season, and he could be back next year. The Pacers fired coach Jim O'Brien on Sunday. Some fans have grown restless because the Pacers have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons. Many have been critical of Bird, an Indiana native and former Boston Celtic star. San Antonio Express-News

January 31, 2011 Updates

Enter assistant coach Frank Vogel, who at 37 became the youngest head coach in the NBA on Sunday. Bird said Vogel will have full autonomy, but that they've already talked about some things Bird would like to see and what Vogel would like to change. The mandate is clear: If Vogel hopes to have any chance for this to evolve into more than an interim job, he must give priority to the youngsters like Hibbert, Hansbrough, George and Stephenson. "I think we're on the same page," Bird said. CBSSports.com

As for long-term options, Bird said Vogel will get the first interview if he does a good job. He also said he still expects the Pacers (17-27) to make the playoffs this season -- as was the plan all along for this, the third year of Bird's three-year plan to restore the franchise to respectability. Vogel said he believes he will satisfy both aspects of his marching orders -- develop the kids and win. O'Brien, having lost 17 of 23 while stunting the growth of his young players, particularly Hibbert, was doing neither. CBSSports.com

In the eyes of Larry Bird, the Indiana Pacers were built to make the playoffs this season and develop their youthful core for the future. Once it became clear that coach Jim O'Brien wasn't doing either one, keeping him on the bench for the rest of the season became an impossible charade to continue. For the explanation behind O'Brien's firing Sunday as coach of the Pacers, you need look no further than the confidence that's drained out of Roy Hibbert's game, the sporadic minutes awarded to Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George, and the season-long DNP endured by Lance Stephenson. Bird mentioned wanting to see all of them play more in announcing the coaching change Sunday -- meaning the decision was as much about the Pacers' future as it was about the present. CBSSports.com

Bird and general manager David Morway have been frustrated for some time with O'Brien's habit of leaning on veterans and publicly castigating his younger core in the hopes of turning the Pacers' season around. In a news conference Sunday on NBA TV, Bird said it became clear Friday night when the Pacers got blown out by the Magic that a change needed to be made. Jim O'Brien's preference for veteran players is at the root of the Pacers' firing him Sunday. (Getty Images) "I was on the West Coast trip and Mr. [owner Herb] Simon was out there," Bird said. "And I told him at the time that I felt comfortable with Jimmy moving forward, but you never know. I wanted to see how we played on the trip. The Orlando game was over after the first three minutes, and that's when I decided we probably needed to do something." CBSSports.com

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