February 11, 1952|
|College||Saint Joseph's (1971–1974)|
|1974–1975||Wheeling Jesuit (asst.)|
|1975–1976||Pembroke State (asst.)|
|1977–1978||St. Joseph's (asst.)|
|1987–1989||New York Knicks (asst.)|
|1997–2001||Boston Celtics (asst.)|
|2012–2013||Dallas Mavericks (asst.)|
|2016–present||Philadelphia 76ers (asst.)|
|Career highlights and awards|
As assistant coach:
James Francis Xavier O'Brien (born February 11, 1952) is an American basketball coach.
O'Brien is the son-in-law of Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay. Born and raised in Philadelphia, O'Brien graduated from Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia in 1970 and St. Joseph's University in 1974. At St. Joseph's, O'Brien started on the Hawks basketball team for three seasons. He earned an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1981.
O'Brien was also head coach at Wheeling Jesuit University from 1982–87 and the University of Dayton from 1989–94. He led the Dayton Flyers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his first season, after winning the Midwestern Collegiate Conference; however he led the Flyers to just 10 wins in his last two seasons at the school and was fired after the 1993–1994 season. O'Brien then served as an assistant coach to Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky from 1994 to 1997 and then with the Boston Celtics from 1997 to 2001.
Before his stint in Philadelphia, O'Brien was the head coach of the Boston Celtics from 2001–2004, replacing Rick Pitino. He worked to rebuild the struggling Celtics and led them twice to the playoffs. During the 2003–04 NBA season, however, O'Brien consistently fought with Celtics' general manager Danny Ainge over short-term versus long-term goals. Ainge was looking to completely redo the roster, and traded Eric Williams and Tony Battie, two of O'Brien's favorite hardworking players in December 2003. As a result of the conflict, O'Brien shocked everyone in the Celtics community by resigning in January 2004.
He was hired as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004–05 season. The 76ers made the playoffs in his one season as coach after missing the postseason the previous year, and although O'Brien had a multiyear contract, he was fired. Billy King hired Maurice Cheeks as head coach after Cheeks was fired by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Indianapolis Star reported on May 31, 2007, that he would coach the Indiana Pacers. He replaced Rick Carlisle, who was fired after four years, when the team failed in 2006–07 to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade. On January 31, 2011, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird relieved O'Brien of his coaching duties. He was replaced by assistant Frank Vogel on an interim basis, but Vogel was retained after the season and remained as the Pacers' head coach until the 2015–16 season.
O'Brien was also an analyst for ESPN's NBA coverage from 2005–07.
|Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals (West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1982–1987)|
|Wheeling Jesuit:||74–87 (.460)||33–36 (.478)|
|Dayton Flyers (Midwestern Collegiate Conference) (1989–1993)|
|1989–90||Dayton||22–10||10–4||2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|Dayton Flyers (Great Midwest Conference) (1993–1994)|
|Dayton:||61–87 (.412)||27–56 (.422)|
Postseason invitational champion
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Boston||2000–01||48||24||24||.500||5th in Atlantic||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Boston||2001–02||82||49||33||.598||2nd in Atlantic||16||9||7||.563||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|Boston||2002–03||82||44||38||.537||3rd in Atlantic||10||4||6||.400||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Philadelphia||2004–05||82||43||39||.524||2nd in Atlantic||5||1||4||.200||Lost in First Round|
|Indiana||2007–08||82||36||46||.439||3rd in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Indiana||2008–09||82||36||46||.439||4th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Indiana||2009–10||82||32||50||.390||4th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
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