Brooklyn, NY — Interim head coach P. J. Carlesimo has been fired by the Brooklyn Nets.
The team didn’t waste any time making the decision. The undermanned but gritty Chicago Bulls defeated the Nets just last night by a score of 99-93 and thereby eliminated Brooklyn from the NBA playoffs in a decisive first-round game 7. In the regular season, the Nets finished with a 49-33 mark (35-19 under Carlesimo after he took over for Avery Bradley) and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team gained home court advantage in the first round in their first season in Brooklyn (having moved over from New Jersey) at the Barclay Center after going 10-3 down the stretch.
General Manager Billy King offered these comments about the Nets’ decision not to retain P.J. Carlesimo in any capacity: “The Brooklyn Nets organization would like to thank P.J. for his efforts with the team in his roles as both head coach and assistant, and for his contributions to the team’s success both on and off the court … We wish P.J. and his family only the best in the years to come.”
P.J. Carlesimo has had wide-ranging experience as an NBA head coach and assistant coach, and he will likely land on his feet. He was also this close to winning the NCAA National Championship as head coach of the Seton Hall University basketball team. Michigan defeated Seton Hall 80-79 in overtime for the 1989 title only as a result of a phantom foul call on Seton Hall.
In 1997, as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Carelsimo was famously choked by Latrell Sprewell during a team practice. The Warriors voided Sprewell’s contract almost immediately, and the NBA suspended Sprewell for the rest of the season.
Billy King said that the team will contact Phil Jackson as well as other potential head coaching candidates for the vacancy.
Do you think P.J. Carlesimo was treated fairly by the Nets organization?