P. J. Carlesimo

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P. J. Carlesimo
Personal information
Born (1949-05-30) May 30, 1949 (age 66)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school Scranton Prep (Scranton, Pennsylvania)
College Fordham (1968–1971)
Career history
As coach:
1971–1975 Fordham (assistant)
1975–1976 New Hampshire College
1976–1982 Wagner
1982–1994 Seton Hall
19941997 Portland Trail Blazers
19971999 Golden State Warriors
2002–2007 San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
20072008 Seattle SuperSonics / Oklahoma City Thunder
2010–2011 Toronto Raptors (assistant)
2011–2012 New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets (assistant)
2012–2013 Brooklyn Nets (interim)
Career highlights and awards

As assistant coach:

Peter John "P. J." Carlesimo (born May 30, 1949) is an American basketball coach. Most recently he was the interim head coach of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.[1] He has also been an NBA and college basketball head coach, as well as a 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 will be one of several rotating analysts doing road games for the Boston Celtics on CSN New England starting with the 2013-14 NBA Season.

Personal life[edit]

Carlesimo is married and has two sons.

He is the son of college basketball coach and athletic director Peter A. Carlesimo.[2]

Early coaching stints[edit]

Carlesimo is a 1971 graduate of Fordham University, where he played basketball under coach Digger Phelps. He began his coaching career as an assistant at the school after he graduated. 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.[3] 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.[4] In addition, Carlesimo spent time coaching in Puerto Rico during the summers.[5]

Seton Hall University coaching years[edit]

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.[6] He also served as an assistant coach on the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team," winning the gold medal.

NBA coaching career[edit]

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. Carlesimo led the Blazers to the playoffs in each of his three years as their head coach. However, he was unable to lead the team out of the first round of the playoffs and was fired following the 1996–97 season. Mr. Carlesimo was also an assistant coach for the famed 1992 Team USA Olympic team ("Dream Team") that won the gold medal with players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.

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 start.[7]

On May 31, 2010, Carlesimo had reached an agreement to join the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach under Jay Triano.[8]

On December 8, 2011 he was hired as an assistant coach by the New Jersey Nets[9] (later known as the Brooklyn Nets).

On December 27, 2012, he was promoted to interim head coach of the Nets after the firing of Avery Johnson.[10] Carlesimo took a team floundering at 14-14, and compiled 35-19 record and a fourth-place finish in the East, earning home-court advantage for the Nets in the first round. On May 5, 2013, he was fired as interim head coach of the Nets after losing a first round Eastern Conference series against the Chicago Bulls in 7 games.[11]

Latrell Sprewell choking incident[edit]

In a practice during the 1997-98 season while Carlesimo was head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Carlesimo was attacked by Latrell Sprewell.[12][13] 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 and continued to have troubles on and off the court.

Head coaching record[edit]

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 %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Portland 1994–95 82 44 38 .537 4th in Pacific 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Portland 1995–96 82 44 38 .537 3rd in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Portland 1996–97 82 49 33 .598 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Golden State 1997–98 82 19 63 .232 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Golden State 1998–99 50 21 29 .420 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Golden State 1999–00 27 6 21 .222 (fired)
Seattle 2007–08 82 20 62 .244 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Oklahoma City 2008–09 13 1 12 .077 (fired)
Brooklyn 2012–13 54 35 19 .648 2nd in Atlantic 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
Career 554 239 315 .431 19 6 13 .316


  1. ^ "Struggling Nets fire head coach Johnson". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive. December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ PJ Carlesimo. 2012-13 Brooklyn Nets media guide.
  3. ^ "Men's Basketball Program History; Southern New Hampshire University". snhu.edu. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ "P.J. Carlesimo". NBA.com. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  5. ^ P.J. Carlesimo returns as a NBA head coach, ready to mentor Seattle's young stars
  6. ^ "1990 USA Basketball". usabasketball.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Report: Thunder fire Carlesimo". NBA.com. November 22, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ "P.J. Carlesimo". espn.com. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "NETS Announce 2011-12 Coaching Staff". NBA.com. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nets fire coach Avery Johnson". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Brooklyn fires coach P.J. Carlesimo". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Report: Sonics set to make Spurs assistant Carlesimo coach". CBSSports.com. July 3, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  13. ^ Puma, Mike. "Sprewell's Image Remains in a Chokehold". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 

External links[edit]