Thursday’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns in Mexico City was made extra special for Mavericks assistant coach Kaleb Canales.
Canales, who served as interim head coach for the Portland Trail Blazers after the departure of Nate McMillan during the tumultuous 2011-12 season, was the subject of a short ESPN feature, documenting his rise from video intern to where he is today. The video was released just prior to the game.
He was described as a “trail blazer in his own right” highlighting his meteoric rise to becoming the first Mexican-American coach in the NBA.
Canales discusses his early family life in Laredo, Texas, his parents’ work ethic, and his first high school and college coaching jobs.
The story includes words from former Blazers guard and current Maverick Wesley Matthews, who describes Canales’ passion and dedication while in Portland.
“He would sleep in the film room bringing a sleeping bag and a blanket, he would rarely go home. He was just that devoted and dedicated to getting better and making sure we were prepared.”
It also includes overwhelmingly positive testimony from Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle and fellow Latino Maverick JJ Barea. Check it out!