View Full Version : Carlesimo fired; Brooks to take over Thunder as interim

11-22-2008, 12:03 PM
The Oklahoma City Thunder, off to a league-worst 1-12 start in their new home town, have fired coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks has been named interim coach.

The Thunder dropped their 10th straight game on Friday night, a 105-80 home loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Sources told ESPN.com that Carlesimo was fired before the team boarded a flight to New Orleans for Saturday's game against the Hornets.

Brooks was told of his promotion after the flight took off. Carlesimo did not make the trip.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," team executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a prepared statement announcing the move. "It is one that I felt was necessary at this time. I am very appreciative of the hard work and effort that P.J. gave to this team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

The team said it also relieved Paul Westhead of his duties as assistant coach.

Carlesimo accompanied the Thunder when they moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle before this season. He was 21-74 in 95 games as the team's coach.

There had been word in NBA coaching circles that Carlesimo was in trouble, despite low expectations, because the young Thunder had not been competitive. The sight of a double-digit lead turning into a 20-point loss to the struggling Clippers on Wednesday prompted Oklahoma City's famously loyal fans to briefly boo their new team, which never happened when the Hornets were in town for two seasons.

In eight seasons as an NBA coach with Portland, Golden State, Seattle and Oklahoma City, Carlesimo has a career record of 204-296 in 500 regular-season games.

Brooks played on the Houston Rockets' 1994 NBA championship team during his 11-year career. He bounced around with seven teams before becoming a Denver Nuggets assistant in 2003. Brooks also worked for the Sacramento Kings before coming to Seattle last season on Carlesimo's staff.

This marks the second time Carlesimo has been fired early in a season. He took the Trail Blazers to three straight playoff appearances in the 1990s before moving to Golden State. His time there was marked by the Latrell Sprewell choking episode during his first season with the team. He was fired after a 6-21 start in 2000, his third season.

He got another chance after serving as an assistant on three NBA championship teams with the San Antonio Spurs, whom Thunder owner Clay Bennett once represented on the Board of Governors.

Source: ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3718961)

11-22-2008, 12:22 PM
It's about ****ing time. PJ's a nice guy, and maybe in the right situation he could be a good coach, but for this team, where they are at, he was ****ing terrible. I'm not a Thunder fan, but he needed to go. He was terrible. Just ****ing terrible.