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.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has fired coached P.J. Carlesimo.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks has been named the interim coach and immediately took the helm with tonight’s game at New Orleans. Thunder lost 109-97.

The Thunder lost its 10th straight game Friday night against the Hornets, making the team 1-12. The 25-point defeat to the Hornets served as the final straw to what’s been a horrific start to the Thunder’s inaugural season in Oklahoma City.

“This was a very difficult decision to make,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti in a statement released by the team. “It is one that I felt was necessary at this time. I am very appreciative of the hard work and effort that P.J. gave to this team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Carlesimo guided last year’s Seattle SuperSonics to a franchise-worst 20-62 record in his first season with the team in 2007-08.

The Thunder has lost by an average of 14 points during its current losing streak, and front office executives became increasingly incensed with the team’s lack of effort. Oklahoma City has trailed by at least 30 points in five of the past nine games.

The Thunder’s lone win was a three-point victory on Nov. 2 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are third-to-last in the Western Conference with a 2-9 record.

After showing signs of defensive improvement over last season in the first six games, the Thunder allowed 100 points or more in the past seven games.

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