P.J. on interim status: “whatever happens, happens”

Ever since then Nets assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo took over the head coaching job of the 14-14 Nets in December, Nets brass has been clear that the coaching job is Carlesimo’s… for now.

Interim coach Carlesimo has shepherded the Nets to a 30-18 record, tying him with Kevin Loughery for the best start by a coach in franchise history. Under P.J. the Nets have also clinched their first winning road record in franchise history.  But as resolute as Nets GM Billy King has been about Carlesimo’s job status this season, King has said the team would revisit P.J.’s interim status after the season.

Recently Carlesimo, a Scranton, PA native, talked to Scott Walsh of The Times Tribuneabout his return to head coaching, the interim title and Carlesimo’s future with the Nets. Carlesimo, who has been thrice hired and fired as an NBA head coach — with Portland, Golden State and Seattle/Oklahoma City – – had this to say about taking over for Avery Johnson: “It was a shock to all of us and we were disappointed for Avery. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but that’s the way it is in the NBA. I’ve been on the other side of it three times also.”

Carlesimo credits much of his success as coach to  the groundwork Johnson laid as Nets bench boss.  “A vast majority of the stuff that we put in is Avery’s stuff,” Carlesimo said. “Yeah, we tweaked a couple things here and there. But essentially it has been a smooth transition for the players because it’s the same stuff and the same coaches.”

While Carlesimo may be modest when talking about the job he has done, Gerald Wallace was more willing to offer praise:

“He’s done a great job,” Nets forward Gerald Wallace said. “He’s given guys an opportunity to come out and play and express themselves. With a team like this, with so many high expectations, to come on in the middle of the season, he’s held the team together and kept us going. It’s a credit to him.”

As for the interim tag, Carlesimo admits it would be nice to have it dropped, but doesn’t feel any added pressure from its attachment to his job title:

“Yeah, I’d love it if I had a 10-year contract. That would make you feel a little more relaxed,” he said. “But it really doesn’t make any difference. You’re still doing the same things. It’s not anything you can control. Whatever happens at the end of the year, happens.”

 Read More: Scott Walsh, The Times Tribune — Net Gain: Brooklyn thrives under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo


  1. He seems like a nice guy. I would even root for him to keep his job if he had a change of heart regarding his rotations, pick & Roll strategies, and unwillingness to send a double-team (see Carlos Boozer). I have written it many times, I think the Nets could have won at a minumum five more games than they already have this season. They beat the crap out of sub-.500 teams based on their talent level alone.
    Third quarters are a mess because the other team makes an adjustment, and the Nets do not. I am thrilled as a Nets fan to have a season like this where most nights my team is not only in the game, but has a chance to win it. However, a second look makes me realize that on many nights, the Nets step onto the court with the two best players on the floor (Deron and Brook). The Nets really do have legitimate talent on this roster. I truly believe that this team should have finished the season with 53 to 55 wins. So unless I see something completely diiferent in the Nets’ gameplan, I wish PJ farewell and keeep my fingers crossed for JVG.

  2. He corrected a number of Avery-generated problems when he first took over, then slid back on a lot of them. Perhaps the undertow from years with Avery did him in. The offense continues to have more flow than under ISOAvery, but even now the quite obvious point that Crash and Reggie should never be on the court at the same time is utterly lost on him. Let’s get someone much better and have him bring in all new staff.