Saturday , Nov , 22 , 2008 Oly Sandor

P.J. Pinkslip: why Carlesimo is the ‘Fall Guy’ with OKC Thunder

No surprise here. Carlesimo was always a stopgap solution for a team transitioning between cities, slashing salary, and rebuilding around teenage star Kevin Durant. From the moment he accepted the job, the veteran sideline boss was on a short clock. And with the new Oklahoma City fans booing and the Thunder off to a miserable start, Carlesimo took the fall …

P.J. Pinkslip: why Carlesimo is the 'Fall Guy' with OKC ThunderBreaking NBA news mixed with quick analysis …

Their News: After losing 12 of 13 games to start the season, P.J. Carlesimo has been fired as Oklahoma City Thunder coach, sources told Yahoo! Sports.Assistant Scott Brooks will take over as the interim coach beginning with Saturday night’s game against the Hornets in New Orleans.

The final indignity for Carlesimo was a mortifying 105-80 loss to the Hornets on Friday night in Oklahoma City. General manager Sam Presti informed Carlesimo of the decision before the team boarded the flight to Louisiana. (Yahoo Sports)

Our Quick Analysis: No surprise here. Carlesimo was always a stopgap solution for a team transitioning between cities, slashing salary, and rebuilding around teenage star Kevin Durant.

From the moment he accepted the job, the veteran sideline boss was on a short clock. And with the new Oklahoma City fans booing and the Thunder off to a miserable start, Carlesimo took the fall.

When hired by Presti in the summer of 2007, the former Seton Hall bench boss was supposed to have a two-to-three year window until the next coach took over. Carlesimo was expected to develop, mentor, and teach. This never happened. Yesterday’s blowout loss to the Hornets showed that the players had simply tuned him out, so Presti, his friend from San Antonio, made the change.

Record aside, I think the veteran sideline boss deserves respect for making the best of an impossible situation. This is likely Carlesmo’s last head-coaching gig. Look for him to continue his run as a top assistant.

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