Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted about the Knicks today, and the Woj bomb was (thankfully?) kind of a Woj firecracker:
Dallas Mavericks assistant Kaleb Canales is joining the New York Knicks coaching staff, league sources tell ESPN. Canales has been with the Mavericks since 2013. He was the interim head coach with Blazers in 2012.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 17, 2018
Cool! Canales probably was not on many Knicks fans’ radars before today, but he seems good! First off, he served under Rick Carlisle in Dallas since 2013, and Carlisle has coaxed playoff appearances out of a number of Mavericks teams that probably would not have made the playoffs otherwise.
While with Carlisle and the Mavs, Canales worked on Dallas’ offense. The Mavs have been tanking it up the past two seasons and not ranking highly in pretty much anything, but Dallas did finish fourth, fifth and 11th, respectively, in team offensive rating during Canales’ first three seasons with the team. Not too shabby!
Canales served as interim head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2012 after Nate McMillan’s firing, producing an 8-15 record. Not great, but he was a ripe, young 33 years old and probably in over his head. At any rate, this now means that the Knicks have two former NBA head coaches serving under David Fizdale — Canales and Keith Smart.
It should be noted that Canales was the first Mexican-American head coach in NBA history during his interim stint, and his hiring continues the trend of the Scott Perry/Steve Mills Knicks becoming one of the most diverse organizations in the league. Certainly a point of pride in the melting pot that is New York City.
And so, the David Fizdale coaching family gains a new member. Fiz’s staff now has five assistants, and it’s probably reasonable to assume that Canales might be their last major hire. So, welcome Kaleb!