Wednesday June 2 2010 – 11:02am Eastern – Toronto, ON
Though the Toronto Raptors have not yet made any kind of official announcement on this, the club has reportedly hired PJ Carlesimo as an assistant coach to Jay Triano’s staff.
It was around this time last year that I wrote about the approaching 2009-10 season and proposed that Carlesimo and Alvin Williams would be good fits for T.O. and apparently somebody was listening, or reading.
Carlesimo’s experience and knowledge – and grit – will be a welcome addition to the Raptors. PJ is the kind of guy that you’d love to sit down with away from the floor and share a good meal with (especially Italian (he loves Sotto Sotto in Toronto by the way)) but on the floor – during ‘basketball hours’ – he’s ALL business.
“If it’s true that the Toronto Raptors have reached agreement with PJ Carlesimo on joining the staff as an assistant coach, I think it would be a wonderful hire for Jay Triano & Bryan Colangelo,” said Jack Armstrong.
Armstrong has known PJ for more than 25 years – not only at the NBA level, but during Carlesimo’s time in the NCAA as a Division 1 head coach in the New York area as well.
“He is an outstanding defensive coach who holds folks accountable yet has terrific people skills with everyone involved in an organization,” said Armstrong.
Carlesimo’s resume includes:
- NBA Head Coaching gigs in Golden State, Portland, Seattle, and Oklahoma City
- Lead assistant to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio
- Assistant coach with Chuck Daly on the 1992 USA Olympic ‘Dream Team’
“He’s a well rounded Coach who has seen it and done it all and will be a valuable veteran mentor/aide for Triano,” said Armstrong. “Bottom line: he ‘gets it’. In his role as an assistant, players will play hard and like being around him each day because he’s a straight shooter, good person and he’s fair. He’s real.
“Ask the players on the Dream Team and the Spurs what PJ was like as an assistant and you’ll get rave reviews from them. PJ comes from a first-class family and is one of the top-notch people in the basketball business. Always remember, this is a ‘people-business’ first and foremost and he’ll be a good influence and sounding board for players, coaches, support staff and management alike.”
Of course Armstrong couldn’t leave things without getting in a little plug for his Alma mater as well …
“On top of (everything else), Carlesimo’s a Fordham graduate and former assistant coach there – like myself – so what’s not to like?!”