ATLANTA GA - DECEMBER 11: (FILE) Head coach Jim O'Brien of the Indiana Pacers against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 11 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. According to reports on January 30 2011 the 17-27 Pacers fired O'Brien in the middle of his fourth season as head coach. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jim O'Brien, who succeeded Rick Carlisle as coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2007, has emerged as the clear frontrunner to join Carlisle's staff in Dallas as the replacement for lead assistant Terry Stotts, according to NBA coaching sources.
ESPNDallas.com reported Thursday that O'Brien had become the "new name to watch" after the Mavericks saw two other candidates from their initial list, Steve Clifford and Jay Triano, take jobs with the Lakers and Trail Blazers, respectively.
Sources told ESPNDallas.com on Friday that O'Brien has indeed already interviewed with Carlisle and ranks as the Mavs' top target given Carlisle's reported preference to replace Stotts with a former NBA head coach.
Worth noting: Jim O'Brien coached new Mavericks Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones, while with the Indiana Pacers. He also coached the 76ers for a year, but prior to the Elton Brand era by a few years. O'Brien is by far the most experienced name I've read as being considered to join the Dallas staff.