P.J. Carlesimo

And-Ones: Seattle, Carlesimo, Germany, Bone, Von Nieda

P.J. Carlesimo, the last coach the SuperSonics had before moving to Oklahoma City, is confident that the NBA will return to Seattle soon, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Carlesimo still lives in Seattle, which is considered among the favorites to land a team in the next round of NBA expansion. However, the league doesn’t have any immediate plans to expand, and it’s not expected to happen until after the next television package is in place.

“I have no inside info, but I’m very, very confident. Have been for a long time, but more so now than ever that we will get a team,” Carlesimo said. “I think there’s a very good chance and a better chance that it’s expansion than (a team) moving. Either way we’re going to be on top of the list. The building, now called Climate Pledge (Arena), is ready to go.”

It’s been 15 years since the Sonics left town, but Carlesimo said they’re still a prominent topic of conversation among city residents. He believes the new team will have a solid fan base waiting whenever it returns.

“I just think for so many years it was a great franchise,” he said. “A week doesn’t go by during the year that I don’t see somebody and they say, ‘I can’t believe we’re not in Seattle anymore.’ I think yeah, we’re going to get a team. It’s going to be sooner rather than later, but who knows the timetable?”

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Appearing on FIBA’s Talk Show, Pau Gasol said Germany’s success in the World Cup is the result of a long commitment to its basketball program, per Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. Gasol cites the contributions of Dirk Nowitzki in making the nation relevant in basketball circles and says Germany has shown over the past six years that it can compete with anyone. “They’re taking steps forward with the same guys,” Gasol added. “It’s a process, it’s all about making steps in terms of growth.”
  • Former NBA guard Jordan Bone has left Vanoli Cremona before playing a game with the Italian Lega Basket Serie A club, according to Sportando. A second-round draft pick in 2019, Bone had brief stays with the Pistons and Magic. He spent last season in the G League before signing with Vanoli Cremona in July.
  • NBA pioneer Stanley “Whitey” Von Nieda died Wednesday, The Associated Press reports. He had been the oldest living former player at age 101, having spent time with the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and Baltimore Bullets during the 1949-50 season.

Atlantic Notes: DeRozan, Carlesimo, Whitehead

Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but judging by his comments made after Toronto was eliminated from the postseason, the shooting guard prefers to remain in Toronto, Scott Stinson of The National Post writes. When asked pointedly if there was a better place in the league for him than Toronto, DeRozan told the media, “I don’t think so. My mindset has always been Toronto. I always preached it. I was passionate about it when we was losing. When we was terrible, I said I’m going to stick through this whole thing and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don’t want to switch up after we win.

DeRozan also noted that he feels like he has unfinished business in Toronto and expressed his desire to bring a title to the team and its fans, Stinson relays. “I feel like I really haven’t done anything, to be honest,” DeRozan said. “I’m just telling you the God-honest truth, I really feel like I haven’t did anything. It’s still so much to be done. Still so much.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers coach Brett Brown said that P.J. Carlesimo declined the offer to become Philly’s lead assistant because of his family ties to the west coast, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays. “As we talked, he felt like he couldn’t make the move and I respect it, knowing him like I know him,” Brown said.  “It didn’t surprise me. He’s got two young boys, one’s in high school. They are on the West Coast. Maybe if I was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, the distance would have been palatable.”
  • Former Knicks coach and current broadcaster Hubie Brown believes it will take much more than new coach Jeff Hornacek to turn around the franchise, Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “The hiring of anybody taking over a bad team that has limited talent and needs definite additions at key positions, you have to be lucky and fortunate that the players who are there can buy into the system and give it 100 [percent] every single night,’’ Brown told Berman. “I would expect he comes in and gets that. I know they’ll be more accountable. That’s key anytime you comes into a bad situation. You’re not going anywhere without accountability.’’
  • The Knicks have a pre-draft workout scheduled on June 4th for former Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). Whitehead s a projected second-rounder, coming in at No. 56 overall in the top 100 of Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

P.J. Carlesimo Won’t Join 76ers

Identified by the 76ers as the team’s top candidate to replace Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach on Brett Brown‘s staff, P.J. Carlesimo won’t be joining the Sixers after all, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. According to Stein, Carlesimo has decided to remain in broadcasting in order to stay close to his family.

A report last week indicated that the Sixers intended to hire Carlesimo in the wake of D’Antoni’s departure, and Stein confirms that there was strong mutual interest between the two sides. As Stein notes, Carlesimo worked with Brown in San Antonio and with new Philadelphia GM Bryan Colangelo in Toronto, so it would have been a reunion of sorts for the former Spurs and Raptors assistant, who has also held several head coaching posts.

Carlesimo’s most recent coaching job came in Brooklyn, when he took over for Avery Johnson, who was fired by the Nets during the 2012/13 campaign. However, Carlesimo was let go after the team was eliminated by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs that season. As a head coach, he has a career regular season record of 239-315 and a postseason mark of 6-13.

With Carlesimo apparently out of the mix, the 76ers will continue searching for a lead assistant for Brown to replace D’Antoni, who is set to become the new head coach of the Rockets.

And-Ones: Carlesimo, Kings, Lee

The Sixers intend to hire former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo as lead assistant on Brett Brown‘s staff, David Aldridge of NBA.com relays (via Twitter). Carlesimo, 66, will replace Mike D’Antoni, who is reportedly set to become the Rockets‘ new head coach. His last post in the league was with the Nets during the 2012/13 campaign, when he took over for fired coach Avery Johnson but was let go after the team was eliminated by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs that season. Carlesimo has a career regular season record of 239-315 and a postseason mark of 6-13.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Kings have pre-draft workouts scheduled for May 31st with Roscoe Allen (Stanford), Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Nikola Jovanovic (USC), Manny Malou (Yuba College), Patricio Garino (George Washington) and Majok Deng (Louisiana Monroe), the team announced.
  • The reported hiring of David Fizdale as head coach signals that the Grizzlies are looking ahead to their future rather than adding a coach who is geared more toward the current crop of players, Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal writes. The scribe also analyzes the team’s offseason ahead, noting that Memphis will likely target depth at guard in the draft and mentions Wade Baldwin, Tyler Ulis and Demetrius Jackson as potential draftees this June.
  • The Mavericks expect the positive experience that David Lee had with the organization this season will aid it in recruiting free agents this offseason, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. “You know, we acquired David Lee two months ago. I don’t remember the exact date, but when you acquire a player like that that’s been a two-time All-Star and has been in some successful organizations, you know, you want him to have a great experience,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He did, and he helped us get to the playoffs. We wouldn’t have got to the playoffs without David Lee, and the word spreads. You know, veterans like him know other veterans, and the word gets out that Dallas is a high-level organization. And we take great pride in that.

Atlantic Notes: Atkinson, Jackson, Qi

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson acknowledged that the team’s lack of draft picks makes rebuilding more difficult, adding that the front office would just need to get creative in remaking the roster, NetsDaily relays. “We’re going to have to look under every rock, and that’s a great thing about the NBA today. I think there’s a lot of different ways to acquire players — D-League, international, free agency,” Atkinosn told reporters. “So I’m excited. I think we can get it done, and I’m ready to get to work. I think we have to focus on our future and think of the different ways we can get players here. We’re not focused on that. Past is the past, and we’re trying to be really creative.

The new coach tried to temper expectations, noting that it would not be an overnight process to turn things around in Brooklyn, NetsDaily notes. “I think we can build something,” Atkinson said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. I want to see steady improvement on a daily basis. I think we can find some players for the way we want to play. The first thing we have to sell is the change in culture. They have to feel that. A bunch of our players yesterday were saying, ‘we want to be a part of this.’ We have to put it into action now.

Here’s the latest out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The success or failure of hiring Jeff Hornacek as the Knicks new head coach will be one of the major career-defining moves for Phil Jackson as an executive, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
  • One of the most intriguing players the Celtics worked out this week was Chinese big man Zhou Qi, whose size, soft shooting touch and shot-blocking ability has caught the team’s eye, Taylor C. Snow of NBA.com writes. “I went to China and saw him play,” said director of player personnel Austin Ainge. “We’ve known about him for a couple of years. He’s probably the third- or fourth-most recognized name in Chinese basketball, so he’s a known commodity, but it was great to have him in today to workout.
  • The Raptors scored the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft from the Knicks as part of the Andrea Bargnani trade, and GM Masai Ujiri views it as a solid chip the team can utilize this summer to improve, Chris O’Leary of The Toronto Star relays. “I think everybody talks about [having that pick],” Ujiri said. “I think this is a good, good asset for our organization and something else to add to some of the little things we can do.
  • If Mike D’Antoni accepts a coaching post elsewhere, the Sixers could look to replace him as lead assistant with former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo, Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Atlantic Notes: Wallace, Celtics, ‘Melo, Carlesimo

A Western Conference team has been inquiring with the Celtics about Gerald Wallace, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The veteran forward makes nearly $10.106MM this season and the same salary next year, making him Boston’s highest-paid player and difficult to trade. The proposals the Celtics have received for him and others are “lowball” offers, Bulpett says, though in Wallace’s case, that’s certainly not surprising, given the albatross his contract has represented ever since Boston acquired him in the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade of 2013. There’s more from Bulpett’s piece on the Celtics amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics reportedly have interest in Ty Lawson and Enes Kanter, but it’s unlikely either winds up in Boston come the trade deadline, as Bulpett writes in the same piece. Kanter’s public trade request is concerning to potential suitors, several league sources tell the Herald scribe.
  • Some within the Knicks have for weeks wanted Carmelo Anthony to stop playing this season so he can tend to his injured left knee, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The summer ahead will show whether the Knicks under Phil Jackson can truly commit to a long-range plan or fall prey to the sort of quick-fix moves that have hurt the team in recent years, opines Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • P.J. Carlesimo admits he’d like to coach in the NBA again and thought his productive, albeit brief tenure with the Nets two years ago might help boost his stock around the league. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has the details via Twitlonger.
  • Jerryd Bayless spoke glowingly about the time he spent with the Celtics and even admitted he would’ve liked to have re-signed with Boston when he was a free agent last summer, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe relays. Still, the seventh-year guard was quick to express a fondness for the Bucks, with whom he signed a two-year contract in July.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Jackson, Dumars, Carlesimo

Considering the rumblings that Pistons GM Joe Dumars had his sights set on either Nate McMillan or Maurice Cheeks as the team's next head coach, along with the notion that Dumars had apparently hoped to make a hire before the start of last week's NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, ESPN's Chris Broussard wonders if the hold up with regards to a coaching decision gives any indication that Phil Jackson – recently tabbed as an adviser for the head coaching search - could soon be running Detroit's front office (Insiders only). According to popular thought around the league, Brian Shaw would be Jackson's first choice, and while some insist that Dumars is still in charge as the general manager, Broussard suggests that their next coaching hire will be a strong indicator of how much control the Pistons legend still has of the franchise. Here are more notes out of the Eastern Conference tonight: 

  • Jackson – a member of two championship Knicks teams as a player – spoke with Harvey Araton of the New York Times about the current makeup of his former team and how he compares them with their cross-town rival Nets: "(The Knicks) still have to find some accommodating group of guys that know how to play ball together, move the ball, play the game the right way…With Brooklyn, if you’ve got a point guard and a solid center, or a good point guard and a great center, you’ve got two of the pieces that you want to have toward a champion.”
  • According to an NY Post report (via the Associated Press), former Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo is interested in remaining as an ESPN analyst just through the postseason and would consider a coaching opportunity if it presented itself afterward. 
  • Celtics big man Jared Sullinger tells Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com that he should be 100% healthy by September or October. 
  • Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated profiles Chris Andersen, the Heat forward who has shined as one of Miami's key reserves during the current postseason. 
  • Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago grades Carlos Boozer's season and touches on what's next for the Bulls' forward. 

Eastern Notes: Hawks, Bucks, Sampson, Nets

After the Pacers took a 1-0 lead over the Knicks with a win in New York yesterday, the second Eastern Conference Semifinal will get underway tonight, as the Heat play their first game since April 28th. As we look forward to the first game in the Bulls/Heat series, let's round up a few items from out of the Eastern Conference….

  • The Hawks are facing a potential roster overhaul this summer, but Louis Williams, one of just three players on a guaranteed contract, says he's looking forward to playing with the other two (Al Horford and John Jenkins) next season. Williams also told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he'd be glad to help recruit free agents if he's asked.
  • Two Hawks free agents, Zaza Pachulia and Kyle Korver, are interested in re-signing with the team, as Vivlamore and Jeff Schultz write in a separate Journal Constitution piece. According to Korver, the Hawks have expressed interest in bringing him back.
  • Now that the Rockets are out of the playoffs, assistant Kelvin Sampson figures to receive plenty of phone calls from teams seeking a new head coach. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sampson has an interview lined up for Thursday with the Bucks, and that the 76ers and Bobcats have also requested permission to speak to him.
  • With the Nets searching for a new head coach, Deron Williams indicated he wouldn't be opposed to playing for ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan again, and Sloan says he'd be open to the idea as well, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. "I'm open, I would listen," Sloan said of the Nets. "I haven't did the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called."
  • Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show today, the Nets' former coach, P.J. Carlesimo, said he doesn't think a first-round Nets victory would have saved his job. "I think short of winning a championship, it wouldn't have made any difference," Carlesimo said, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. "I mean, [GM] Billy [King] was pretty candid….
    I think anything short of winning a championship wasn't going to change his mind or [ownership's] mind."

P.J. Carlesimo Out As Nets Coach

12:12pm: Bondy hears Van Gundy isn't a high priority candidate for the team, and says it's unlikely the Nets will even meet with him (Twitter links). King, meanwhile, told reporters he'll be giving Jackson a call, tweets Andy Vasquez of the Bergen Record.

11:50am: Nets GM Billy King told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, that interim coach P.J. Carlesimo will not return (Twitter link). The team elected to let the coach go after last night's first-round elimination in Game Seven against the Bulls. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported within the hour that the team would make its decision on Carlesimo swiftly, and hinted that the Nets would not retain him. The search for a replacement will begin immediately, and sources tell Berger that Jeff Van Gundy will be a primary target (Twitter link).

The Nets aren't setting a timetable for themselves as they begin their search, tweets Joshua Newman of SNY.tv. Carlesimo had been an assistant coach when the team fired head coach Avery Johnson in December. Brooklyn had a record of 14-14 at that point, but under Carlesimo the Nets went 35-19 over the rest of the regular season and grabbed the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Van Gundy and Phil Jackson were reportedly among the team's targets to take over in the middle of the season, but with tepid response from its top candidates, the team decided to let Carlesimo coach the rest of the season. The Nets have continued to be linked to Jackson over the past few months. 

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, Carlesimo, 76ers, Raptors

It's become an almost annual rite of spring to wonder about the future of the Celtics as soon as they're eliminated from the playoffs. Last year, one of the "Big Three" finally departed, as Ray Allen signed with the Heat. Here's more on who could be next, along with more on three other Atlantic teams whose 2012/13 seasons are over.

  • The Nets will quickly decide on Carlesimo's fate, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Berger also says the team is expected to begin a coaching search soon, so that would seem to indicate Carlesimo is on his way out. 

Earlier updates: