P. J. Carlesimo

P. J. Carlesimo
P. J. Carlesimo
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born May 30, 1949 (1949-05-30) (age 62)
Place of birth Scranton, Pennsylvania

Peter J. "P. J." Carlesimo (born May 30, 1949) is an American basketball coach and a current assistant coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors[1] and a former NBA and college basketball head coach, and television broadcaster. Carlesimo was hired to cover NBA games for The NBA on TNT during the 2009 playoffs, and has also covered the 2010 NCAA tournament as a color analyst for Westwood One. He is the son of college basketball coach and athletic director Peter A. Carlesimo.


Early coaching stints

Carlesimo is a 1971 graduate of Fordham University, where he played basketball, and began his coaching career as an assistant at the school during the same year. He received his first head coaching job when he took over New Hampshire College for one year, beginning in 1975. The New Hampshire Penmen ended the 1975–1976 season with a 14-13 record and won the Mayflower Conference championship.[2] Carlesimo also had a successful coaching stint at Wagner College of Staten Island, New York, a Division I school, leading the team to two NIT berths in six years as coach from 1976 to 1982.[3]

Seton Hall University coaching years

Carlesimo coached Seton Hall University from 1982–1994, and was named the school's "Coach of the Century." He led the Pirates, a once struggling program, to the 1989 NCAA Championship game before losing to the Michigan Wolverines in overtime. Carlesimo was two-time Big East Conference coach of the year, following both the 1988 season, when he led Seton Hall to its first ever tournament appearance, and his 1989 runner-up year. During Carlesimo's tenure, the Pirates made the NCAA tournament six times, four consecutively from 1991 until 1994.

Carlesimo was an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski with the U.S. national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[4] He also served as an assistant coach on the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team," winning the gold medal.

NBA coaching career

Carlesimo moved to the NBA in 1994, taking over the Portland Trail Blazers from Rick Adelman. He led the team to a winning record and the playoffs in his first season as an NBA head coach, becoming the first ex-college coach to do so in his opening year in over a quarter of a century.[citation needed] Carlesimo led the Blazers to the playoffs in each of his three years as their head coach, setting team defensive records in the process.[citation needed] However, he was unable to lead the team out of the first round of the playoffs and was fired following the 1996–97 season.

In 1997, Carlesimo headed to the Golden State Warriors, again taking over for Rick Adelman. He coached that team until December 1999, at which point he was fired after his team got off to a losing start for the third straight year.

Carlesimo was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich from 2002 to 2007. He became head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics on July 5, 2007. The Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City a year later, where they become the Oklahoma City Thunder. Carlesimo was fired on November 22, 2008 by the Thunder after a 1–12 win-loss start.[5]

On May 31, 2010, Carlesimo had reached an agreement to join the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach under Jay Triano.[6]

Latrell Sprewell choking incident

In a practice during the 1997 season while Carlesimo was head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Carlesimo was attacked by Latrell Sprewell.[7][8] Sprewell choked Carlesimo for nearly 15 seconds until being pulled off by several teammates, and elbowed him several minutes later. The Warriors terminated Sprewell's contract, and the NBA suspended him for one year (later reduced to 68 games by an arbitrator); he never played for the Warriors again.

Coaching style

A strict coach who emphasized crisp execution, Carlesimo also developed a reputation as an "unrepentant screamer" in his first two NBA jobs at Portland and Golden State. After a five-year stint on Popovich’s staff, he insisted that he had learned how to develop relationships with players, but several sources insisted that as Sonics/Thunder coach he reverted back to the strident ways that precipitated the Latrell Sprewell attack in 1997.[9]

NBA Coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L% Win-loss %
Post season PG Games coached PW Games won PL Games lost PW–L% Win-loss %


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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