Dallas Mavericks

Bob MacKinnon named new head coach of the Texas Legends

Bob MacKinnon is the new head coach of the Texas Legends of the National Basketball Development League.
Bob MacKinnon is the new head coach of the Texas Legends of the National Basketball Development League.

Bob MacKinnon was named Tuesday as the head coach of the Texas Legends of the National Basketball Development League.

MacKinnon’s first order of business?

Quickly fly to Orlando and prepare to coach the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league team.

MacKinnon replaces Nick Van Exel, who coached the Frisco-based Legends last season and recently was named an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.

"I’m very, very excited about being with the Legends,’’ MacKinnon said. "It’s going to be a lot of fun.

"Also, to have the affiliation with the Mavericks and being so close (to Dallas) and getting able to work with and learn under coach Carlisle and his staff, it’s just a great opportunity.’’

MacKinnon, 55, has a wealth of basketball experience, including working this past season for the NBA.

"They sent me all over the world running camps and clinics for them,’’ MacKinnon said. "I just got back two weeks ago from spending two weeks in China at coaching clinics over there.

"I had about 800 coaches in three different cities, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past year.’’

MacKinnon has a championship under his belt. He was the coach of the Colorado 14ers that captured the D-League title in the 2008-’09 season.

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., MacKinnon grew up in a basketball family. His father, Bob MacKinnon Sr., coached college basketball for 16 years and also was the head coach of the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association, and head coach of the NBA’s Buffalo Braves and New Jersey Nets.

The elder MacKinnon, who died last year at the age of 87, also was the general manager of the Nets.

"I have been around it my whole life,’’ the Legends’ new coach said. "I coached in college for 25 years and then spent five years in the D-League and one year coaching overseas in China.’’

MacKinnon was an assistant coach at King’s College (1982), Mercyhurst College (1982-85), George Washington University (1985-90), Notre Dame (1999-2000), and the University of North Carolina (2000-03).

In 1997, MacKinnon became a head coach for the first time when he got the job at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He led the Mariners to back-to-back NCAA tournament bids and was named the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 1999.

MacKinnon also was the associate head coach at Niagara University and a senior assistant coach at Marshall University. He later spent time as the director of camps/regional scout for the Lakers, was the head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League and head coach of the D-League’s Springfield Armor.

"I’ve been around players all my life,’’ MacKinnon said. "It’s just my passion now.

"I love coaching in the D-League. You’re always trying to get guys better and get them on to better things, and as a teacher I think it’s a great environment.’’

MacKinnon said the Mavericks whom he will be coaching in the Orlando Summer League will have their first practice Wednesday, have two practices on Thursday, and one on Friday before playing their first game at 9 a.m. Saturday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Another Mavs’ summer league team, who will be coached by assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, will start play in the Las Vegas Summer League on July 8.

After his first season with the Mavs, Matthews is betting on himself in his charity baseball debut Friday at Frisco's Dr. Pepper Ballpark, even if his swing is a little rusty. He speaks with Star-Telegram reporters Brian Gosset and Matthew Martine

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