Thunder fires P.J. Carlesimo after 1-12 start

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: November 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm •  Published: November 22, 2008
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photo - Oklahoma City coach  P.J.  Carlesimo shouts during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Hornets at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. By Bryan Terry.
Oklahoma City coach P.J. Carlesimo shouts during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Hornets at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. By Bryan Terry.
Th
e team is ranked 25th in points allowed with a 101.2-point average and 29th in the league in scoring at 88.9 points per game.

The Thunder also ranks last in field-goal percentage (40.4 percent) and turnovers (17 per game).

Presti was non-committal on Carlesimo’s future following the end of last year’s tumultuous season, leading many to wonder how long the coach would be around in spite of the team’s rebuilding efforts.

Brooks, meanwhile, is one of the league’s up-and-coming assistant coaches and could be named the full-time coach.

A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Brooks averaged 4.9 points, 2.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds over an 11-year career from 1988-99 with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, New York and Cleveland.

Brooks was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings in 2006-07 before joining Carlesimo’s staff a year later. He began his coaching career with the Denver Nuggets as an assistant from 2003-06.

The Thunder announced assistant coach Paul Westhead will also be relieved of his duties. Westhead, the only coach who has won a championship in both the NBA and WNBA, had previously served on Carlesimo’s staff with the Golden State Warriors from 1997-99.


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