Ian O'Connor on the Highly Transparent P.J. Carlesimo


There's a lot in Ian O'Connor's profile of P.J. Carlesimo. It starts with the Latrell Sprewell incident 15 years ago, and includes reminiscences of his near-championship moment at Seton Hall; a recounting of his recent lunch with "Michael," aka Mikhail Prokhorov; what he learned from Gregg Popovich; and his hope that he can keep the job beyond this season.

But what makes the profile so compelling is Carlesimo's transparency, his willingness to talk about virtually everything.

Take what he tells O'Connor about his lunch with Michael...who asked about his roster.

"He didn't necessarily come out and say it with each one," Carlesimo said, "but it was, 'Is this a piece to us winning a championship? Is this guy a good starter at that spot right now, but not a guy we can win a championship with?' What Michael [Mikhail] said was, 'If this piece is not the right piece, we've got to go get the right piece.' That's excellent to hear, but it better happen sooner than later."

Or how he can't watch, after 22 years, the Hall's one-point loss in the NCAA Finals...

"Winning a national championship is night and day from not winning one. When you win one, that sets you apart."

Carlesimo is also open about what his goal is...

"Any coach is going to believe he's the best one. I believe I'm the best one for the job, and it would be foolish for me not to believe that. I can't control Phil and Jeff and Stan and whoever else is out there. They're all really good coaches. But we're here and our guys right now are playing their asses off, and hopefully that continues."

So far, so good.

Carlesimo also spoke with Boomer and Carton Friday about many of the same issues, but also touched on Andray Blatche's situation. Carlesimo said he has not spoken with Blatche about accusations of a sexual assault in his hotel suite Tuesday morning in Philadelphia.

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