After being fired as Oklahoma City Thunder coach after the Thunder’s 1-12 start, P.J. Carlesimo landed some broadcasting work late in the season. He has called college basketball games for Westwood One radio — including OU in the Memphis Regional — six NBA playoff games for TNT and the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland for FSN, where he covered Putnam City star Xavier Henry.
Carlesimo, 59, talked about his broadcasting work and the Thunder’s season during a telephone interview from Houston, where he called the Trail Blazers-Rockets game Thursday night.
Q: Would you like to continue broadcasting or return to coaching?
A: It’s been really enjoyable. It’s just the second time for me. When I got fired by Golden State (in 1999), I did some Spurs games and I did the last two years of the NBC contract. I loved it. Given a choice, I would definitely rather be coaching. Obviously, I wish I was still in Oklahoma City. I think that was a great opportunity. I will just wait and see what happens. Usually come the end of the year, there are some opportunities out there. This (broadcasting) isn’t an easy racket to crack. I was lucky because it was the end of the year and they needed extra guys to try to get them through. The real jobs, the elite jobs where guys make a living doing that, not too many of them open up.
What led to the Hornets’ collapse at the end of the season?
I don’t know. They are a little dinged up. Tyson Chandler is definitely not right. He hasn’t been right the whole year. He’s physically OK to play, but he’s not 100 percent. He’s not explosive. He’s not jumping up and running the way he’s capable of. David West has been struggling a little bit by his standards. Chris (Paul) has been playing out of his mind, but he hasn’t been getting a lot of help. I still think the nucleus is there, but injuries just wrecked their year.
What were your impressions of the Thunder’s season?
I thought Scotty (Brooks) and the staff did an excellent job.