P.J.'s revenge: he disses prospects of championship by 2015, players' "spin," etc.


In talking with reporters Thursday, P.J. Carlesimo damned both his bosses and players with faint praise then said the pressure to meet Mikhail Prokhorov's goal of a championship by 2015, originally made in 2010, is unrealistic and that neither he nor his predecessor, Avery Johnson, were given much of a chance.

On the prospects for a championship...

"I don’t know if that’s realistic the way the roster is right now. I would not say that team could not win a championship. We thought we could this year if things broke a little better for us. But if you have that on your plate, that you need to win a championship in two years, I think it makes it a little challenging. But, again, everybody starts the year saying we want to win a championship. Brooklyn has more reason to say that than a lot of the other teams in the league. I still would not call them one of the favorites..."

On players saying they needed a tougher presence in the locker room...

"I think when you ask players what they want, it's like spin. This time I think there was a little bit of I wasn't hard enough on the team. Every other time I've coached in the league, I was too hard on the guys. So I think people spin things the way they want to do it.."

On the control (unnamed) franchise players have with ownership and management...

"Sometimes the structure of professional sports can make it a difficult arrangement between a coach and general manager, and that is moreso true today because the players are more vocal. And particularly the franchise guys don’t hesitate to step up and say what they feel. ..When you’ve got $100 million invested in a guy, it’s really asking a lot for an owner to say, hey, I don’t care. This guy’s my coach. You get along with him. It’s not easy. "

On Avery Johnson...

"You got the two years of getting your head knocked off while they were getting the roster together and getting the salary cap right and all that. Then when the team had a very representative team to put out there and you had all the great things that we all enjoyed this year in Brooklyn, he didn't get a chance to reap the benefits of those two years, which was unfortunate."

On the current wisdom that the Nets need a veteran coach...

"I don’t think it’s got to be somebody that’s coached in the league for ten years. I don’t think it’s somebody that has to have been a head coach. There are too many examples of guys with no coaching experience thriving right off the bat. I think you’re not going to win in this league much less win a championship unless you have a veteran team."

He did say he liked the team, calling them a "good group, and whoever is lucky enough to get the job will like working with that group." As for Prokhorov, he said he respected him as an owner that he doesn't just want "a nice team. He doesn't want to just sell tickets in Brooklyn and make the team competitive. He wants to win an NBA championship, and as a coach you can't ask for more that. So if what comes with that is a short leash, well, so be it."

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