Saturday, November 22nd, 2008 at 10:23 am  |  55 responses

OK Bye! Thunder Fire P.J. Carlesimo

by Ryne Nelson

Don’t place the blame on P.J. Carlesimo for the Thunders’ League-worst 1-12 start. Well, at least not all of it.

The team’s list of needs runs longer than a NASA expense report, but the ousting of the coach is usually were personnel changes have to begin. From The Oklahoman:

The Oklahoma City Thunder has fired coached P.J. Carlesimo, according to league sources.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks is believed to have been named the interim coach.

The Thunder are not good. A coach could not have prevented a 105-80 loss to New Orleans or even an 88-108 loss to the Clippers a game before that. Carlesimo isn’t necessarily the scapegoat, but rather his firing is a sign of many changes to come.

GM Sam Presti spent enough time locking up draft picks and acquiring expiring contracts. It’s time to put his game plan into action.

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  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Which is?

  • rvr

    maybe they can just move the team to an even more out-of-the-way city again next year, and change the name. i think i’m catching on now. this is the old “fail miserably and then move on to somewhere nobody knows you yet” plan.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    How about Seattle? I hear they want a team.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    I agree with Russ. It’s still early in the season, we call them the Sonics and pretend it never happened? Just like we did with the microfiber ball two years ago?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    1-81 here we come

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Two Words: Paul Silas.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    no doubt, BLong. He’s been out of the league too long.

    “She had the over, I had the under….
    The Lakers beat the OK Thunder….”

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    They don’t need a new coach—they need new players. Sam Presti may be the boy wonder, but when your top veterans are Joe Smith, Nick Collison, Desmond Mason and Chris Wilcox, you ain’t winning sh*t.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Chris Wilcox does know this is a contract year for him, right? Get your Eric Dampier on, Chris.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    College coaches are much more cupable about performance than pro ones. You are totally right, Russ.
    Pro coaches do very little in my estimation.

  • underdog

    Now that PJ is gone, the Thunder definitely should sign Sprewell.

  • http://www.myspace.com/linkstigatorkevin Kevin Wilson

    Everything Russ said.

  • http://slamonline.com Josh D

    Why are they getting rid of PJ? He can’t do anything about the team unless he gets better players

  • Jacob

    we’ll trade the seahawks for the team-formally-known as the sonics!!!!

  • Jacob

    and I fully agree with underdog

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    I disagree. I think that the Thunder do need a coach who can motivate and command his players a little better. Right now they don’t need a coach like PJ, they need someone like Avery Johnson (hint hint) or Coach Popavich. I do agree that NBA coaches don’t have as much control or influence over the players as much as college coaches, but I do think there is more that could be done than what PJ did. I was at the game last night, and as soon as the Thunder got done by about 15, they just gave up. The only player really playing hard was Westbrook. And that to me is a lack of coaching and discipline. They also couldn’t run an offense, every possession was either a stupid turnover or a contested on-on-one shot. So I agree with this move.

  • Quail

    @Holy Baller: i second that. they need Avery Johnson. he would be good for them.

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Co-sign Holy Baller. Avery Johnson would be a good fit for the Thunder. :D

  • Keith

    Guttingly, Seattle can’t get 73 wins this year. Looks my bet was a waste of time. I’m still holding out on Washongton though…

  • Seadog

    Avery Johnson has already been contacted by various media outlets about the Thunder vacancy – he is NOT interested. Can you blame him? Time to blow the whistle on the season as a dead ball.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I hate to be the hater around here, but if Kevin Durant is your best player you’re not gonna win a whole lot.

  • Patrick

    And yet they have interesting young pieces to watch in KD, Jeff Green playing well and Russ… I am surprised they have such a horrible record. But like Russ said, the vets are pretty stinky.

  • ferrarigto

    will the thunder have caproom in 2010? with a roster like that they must. maybe they could get chris bosh>…

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    There was an interesting piece on the Basketball Reference blog citing certain percentages and asking whether Durant would ever live up to the expectations placed on him coming out of school. The conclusion of that particular piece was that he wouldn’t.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose


  • http://www.slamonline.com John D

    Here’s the link to what Russ is talking about. http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=320#more-320 Not sure if I completely buy into it, as it’s a little Hollinger-esque, but it’s still interesting.

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com JoeBasketball

    I think it’s pretty evident that Isiah Thomas is the answer. Thunder-Knicks 2009 finals!

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Co-sign Moose. :D

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    KD is a wealthy man’s Jonathan Bender. I don’t if that makes a superstar. He seems to have a lot of these 4-17 fgs nights… What’s really disappointing is the rebounding numbers. He can’t board in the L.

  • Caleb

    The team has been playing stupid basketball… run down the court and throw up a shot, run down the court and throw up a shot, and on and on. Granted, they’d probably still lose even if they played smarter… but atleast they’d look like they were giving an effort. I do think a lot of that is on PJ.

  • Yassi

    It surely was all just a temporary thing and if the central heating is fixed in Seattles arena, the team returns, right? Right???
    Btw, I watched the finals series Chicago-Seattle with a couple of friend last night….wow that was bb….that was fun!

  • ClydeSays

    It’d be one thing if PJ had a decent roster. But OKC is some decent young talent and a few passable vets. No coach is winning with that combination.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Yeh totally Z. Apart from them playing different positions, having different heights, the difference in injuries (non existent vs. retirement) and completely different games you’re absolutely right.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne


  • http://www.nba.com iLL wiLL

    It’s ugly in Oklahoma. Outside of KD and Westbrook, everything else is a disaster. Yeah, passing on Horford for Green was stupid.

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero Dma

    The Thunder roster is all sorts of retarded. I like Jeff Green. I like Kevin Durant. I even like Nick Collison. But not together. Green and Durant just don’t seem like a good pair. Earl Watson should be forever a bench player. They drafted Russell Westbrook about 5 spots too high. And they can’t draft a big to save their life. What would have happened had they gotten Oden instead of Durant?

  • BigWalt206

    I always thought hiring PJ was just another way to drive the fanbase away is Seattle. I was shocked that he made it to year 2.

  • daniel

    When i play nba 2k9 for ps3, theres this real tight real-life score ticker at the bottom of the screen, and the ticker sometimes says SuperSonics instead of Thunder. its freakin awesome

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Horford went #3, two spots before Green. Then again, in my opinion they were stupid for passing up Horford for Durant too. I’d keep Horford on my Hawks over trading him for Durant any day of the week. You can make excuses for his inefficiency scoring if you want, but that doesn’t explain why he can’t rebound, pass, or play defense.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Hursty: 1) They’re both wings 2) 6’11 – 6’9… ok, whatever you say 3)Sure but that wasnt my point 4) How? One is just better than the other one. They’re enamored with the jumper and they’re both oversized wings who get pushed around.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Ok Z. Benders best season closest to 82 games was 78. That was 01’02. His stats for that year:
    3.1 boards.
    .8 assists
    .24 steals
    .63 blocks
    and 7.4 ppg. He shot 43% from the floor, 36% from 3 and 77.3% from the line.
    For Durant, you can double every single one of those statistical categories (except rebounds and games played) and he would STILL be above Bender in every category.
    For the record Bender was 21/22 that year while Durant was 19/20.
    Bender played PF while Durant plays half the game at shooting guard.
    nba.com had Bender’s height at 7 foot by the way.
    Of course you’re going to have poor shooting nights. Thats what happens when your team is made up of (basically) scrubs and you are expected to carry a team by yourself from day one. What else can you expect?

  • Mark Z

    Durant has the talent, he needs decent players around him. A roster of 2nd yr players and veterans castoffs isn’t going to do it.

    You put any scorer on that team, outside of maybe Kobe or Lebron and they’re losing.

  • Young Chris MP3

    I think they’re still losing with either one, or even both of those two Mark Z. Do we remember the year after Shaq left? This Thunder team has less talent on it than that Lakers team did.

  • Young Chris MP3

    They’re literally an expansion team that didn’t get to choose which players to pick up from each team…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ what: Durant > Horford, chill.

  • Cizzo

    P.J. is not an NBA coach it took a while for OKC to get the message but NBA needs to realize that OKC is not an NBA city, Las Vegas is looking better by the second, but anyway what do I know right!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thebigticket05

    I’m not saying Carlesimo is a great coach but who do they think is going to come in and help them win games with the roster they have? Just saying I don’t think firing P.J. will resolve anything.

  • Breeze

    it wont resolve anything….they need to fire the players.

  • dsleepy


  • Howard Schultz

    Ha Ha. The Thunder suck! Ha Ha

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    Hey, you guys wanted basketball in Oklahoma City so you stole some other cities team! Sounds like you got what you deserved, enjoy the cellar.

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