P. J. Carlesimo
Carlesimo in 2015
Personal information
Born (1949-05-30) May 30, 1949 (age 75)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolScranton Prep
(Scranton, Pennsylvania)
CollegeFordham (1968–1971)
NBA draft1971: undrafted
Coaching career1971–2013
Career history
As coach:
1971–1975Fordham (assistant)
1975–1976New Hampshire College
1982–1994Seton Hall
19941997Portland Trail Blazers
19971999Golden State Warriors
2002–2007San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
20072008Seattle SuperSonics / Oklahoma City Thunder
2010–2011Toronto Raptors (assistant)
2011–2012New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets (assistant)
2012–2013Brooklyn Nets (interim)
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:

As assistant coach:

Career coaching record
NBA239–315 (.431)
College277–259 (.517)
Assistant coach for  United States
men's national basketball team
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Team

Peter John Carlesimo (born May 30, 1949) is an American basketball coach who coached in both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and college basketball for nearly 40 years. He is also a television broadcaster and has worked with ESPN, The NBA on TNT, Westwood One, Fox Sports Southwest, Pac-12 Network, The NBA on NBC, and CSN New England.

Carlesimo served as the head coach of four NBA teams, the interim head coach of another NBA team, and was named Seton Hall University's "Coach of the Century". He was an assistant coach for the United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team") that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. He was also an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs team that won three championships between 2003 and 2007.

Early coaching career

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 (now Southern New Hampshire University) 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.[1] Carlesimo also had a successful coaching stint at Wagner College of Staten Island, New York, a Division I school, leading the team to one NIT berth in six years as coach from 1976 to 1982.[2] In addition, Carlesimo spent time coaching in Puerto Rico during the summers.[3]

Seton Hall University coaching years

Carlesimo coaching at Seton Hall in the early 1990s.

Carlesimo coached Seton Hall University from 1982 to 1994, leading the turnaround of a struggling program. The Pirates made their first ever NCAA tournament in 1988, and Carlesimo was named the Big East Conference coach of the year.

In 1989, Carlesimo led the Pirates to their first-ever Final Four appearance following a 78–65 upset over the #2 seed Indiana Hoosiers coached by Bobby Knight.[4] They advanced to the NCAA Championship game against the Michigan Wolverines, but lost in overtime 80–79.[5] Carlesimo was again named Big East coach of the year, following the 1989 season.

During Carlesimo's tenure the Pirates went to the NCAA tournament six times, four of them consecutively from 1991 until 1994. After a 6–23 record in his first season, he turned the team into a consistent title contender and eventual tournament runner-up and number one seed. Compiling an overall record of 212–166, he was named Seton Hall's "Coach of the Century".[6]

Carlesimo was an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski with the U.S. national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[7] He also was an assistant coach on the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team", winning a gold medal.

NBA coaching career

On June 23, 1994, Carlesimo was hired as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.[8] Midway into his first season with the team, the team traded long-time Blazer Clyde Drexler in an effort to rebuild. However instead of falling in the standings, Carlesimo led the team to a winning record and the playoffs in his first season as an NBA head coach. He led the Blazers to the playoffs in each of his three years as their head coach, but 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 succeeding Rick Adelman as head coach (Adelman had previously coached the Trail Blazers prior to Carlesimo's hiring). 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.

During a practice during the 1997–98 season while Carlesimo was head coach of the Warriors, he was attacked by Latrell Sprewell.[9][10] Sprewell choked Carlesimo for nearly 15 seconds until he was pulled off by other coaches and staff; Sprewell elbowed him several minutes later. The Warriors terminated Sprewell's contract, and the NBA suspended him for a year.

After leaving the Warriors, Carlesimo worked as a broadcaster and analyst with The NBA on TNT until being hired as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich in 2002. He worked with the Spurs until 2007, winning three championships in five seasons (2003, 2005, and 2007). Spurs GM Sam Presti was hired as general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics after the 2007 championship, and hired Carlesimo as their head coach on July 5, 2007.[11] The team broke up the core of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis which made for a difficult first season.[12] That season, their second overall pick Kevin Durant was named NBA Rookie of the Year.

The Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City a year later, where they became the Oklahoma City Thunder, making him the first head coach in Thunder history. Carlesimo was fired on November 22, 2008 by the Thunder after a 1–12 start.[13] During his time with the Sonics and Thunder, he coached the USA select basketball team that scrimmaged with the US National Team in preparation for the 2007 FIBA tournament and 2008 Summer Olympics.[14] The team included Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, both players with the Thunder.

On May 31, 2010, Carlesimo had reached an agreement to join the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach under Jay Triano.[15] After one season with the Raptors, he was hired as an assistant coach by the New Jersey Nets[16] (now 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.[17] Carlesimo took a team floundering at 14–14, and compiled 35–19 record for a fourth-place finish in the East, earning home-court advantage for the Nets in the first round. On May 5, 2013, Nets general manager Billy King announced Carlesimo would not be retained as head coach after the team lost in their first round series against the Chicago Bulls in 7 games.[18]

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Wagner Seahawks (NCAA Division I independent) (1976–1981)
1976–77 Wagner 3–21
1977–78 Wagner 7–19
1978–79 Wagner 21–7 NIT first round
1979–80 Wagner 14–13
1980–81 Wagner 16–11
Wagner Seahawks (Eastern College Athletic Conference) (1981–1982)
1981–82 Wagner 4–22 1–14
Wagner: 65–93 (.411) 1–14 (.067)
Seton Hall Pirates (Big East Conference) (1982–1994)
1982–83 Seton Hall 6–23 1–15 9th
1983–84 Seton Hall 9–19 2–14 9th
1984–85 Seton Hall 10–18 1–15 9th
1985–86 Seton Hall 14–18 3–13 9th
1986–87 Seton Hall 15–14 4–12 7th NIT first round
1987–88 Seton Hall 22–13 8–8 6th NCAA Division I second round
1988–89 Seton Hall 31–7 11–5 2nd NCAA Division I Runner-up
1989–90 Seton Hall 12–16 5–11 7th
1990–91 Seton Hall 25–9 9–7 T–3rd NCAA Division I Elite Eight
1991–92 Seton Hall 23–9 12–6 T–1st NCAA Division I Sweet 16
1992–93 Seton Hall 28–7 14–4 1st NCAA Division I second round
1993–94 Seton Hall 17–13 8–10 7th NCAA Division I first round
Seton Hall: 212–166 (.561) 72–109 (.398)
Total: 277–259 (.517)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs 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

Personal life

Carlesimo is married and has two sons.

He is the son of college basketball coach and athletic director Peter A. Carlesimo.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Men's Basketball Program History; Southern New Hampshire University". snhu.edu. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  2. ^ "P.J. Carlesimo". NBA.com. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  3. ^ "P.J. Carlesimo returns as an NBA head coach, ready to mentor Seattle's young stars - USATODAY.com". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Associated Press (March 24, 1989). "Seton Hall Ousts Knight, Indiana in a 78–65 Surprise". Retrieved June 13, 2018 – via LA Times.
  5. ^ "25 years later, memories still fresh of foul call that robbed Pirates of possible title". April 5, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Scranton's P.J. Carlesimo heads to Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "1990 USA Basketball". usabasketball.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "PRO BASKETBALL; Carlesimo Leaves Hall To Coach Trail Blazers". The New York Times. June 24, 1994. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Report: Sonics set to make Spurs assistant Carlesimo coach". CBSSports.com. July 3, 2007. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  10. ^ Puma, Mike. "Sprewell's Image Remains in a Chokehold". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  11. ^ BOOTH, TIM (July 5, 2007). "Sonics Hire P.J. Carlesimo As Head Coach". Retrieved June 13, 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  12. ^ "SuperSonics say Carlesimo will return as coach". ESPN.com. May 1, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Report: Thunder fire Carlesimo". NBA.com. November 22, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  14. ^ "Sonics' Carlesimo, Green to help Team USA get ready for Olympic qualifier". August 6, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "P.J. Carlesimo". espn.com. May 31, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  16. ^ "NETS Announce 2011–12 Coaching Staff". NBA.com. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  17. ^ "Nets fire coach Avery Johnson". Yahoo! Sports. December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Nets won't retain P.J. Carlesimo". ESPN. May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  19. ^ PJ Carlesimo Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. 2012–13 Brooklyn Nets media guide.