P.J. Carlesimo to be Pitino's GM?

May 14, 1997

He didn't say no. He didn't say yes. He didn't even say maybe. P.J. Carlesimo would talk about Jermaine O'Neal, the Portland coaching situation, or even, dare we say it, the Celtics.

But he refused to comment yesterday about a report in the New York Post that Rick Pitino has offered him the general manager's job with the Celtics.

"If anything like that happens, it will have to come from Boston," said the otherwise engaging Carlesimo, who was recently dismissed after leading Portland to the playoffs for three straight years. "I don't like to dignify rumors and I won't comment on them. I'm not going to say anything."

Later on TNT in Atlanta, where he is doing a three-night stint as a playoff commentator, Carlesimo said, "Rick hasn't talked to me, but as usual in the NBA, that hasn't stopped the rumor mill."

Carlesimo added that he would love to work with his good pal Pitino, "but that's for him to say, not me."

Carlesimo, who turns 48 in 16 days, told the Globe he plans to return to Portland tomorrow. Beyond that, he had no comment. He doesn't need the work; the Blazers owe him more than $ 3 million for the final two years of his deal.

The Post story said only that an offer had been made and indicated that Carlesimo, who still likes to coach, might not even be interested. Pitino has said he wants to hire a general manager who would serve as an all-purpose contract negotiator, salary capologist, agent baiter, and talent spotter who had NBA contacts.

Pitino, through the team's public relations department, said he may not be available to comment for a couple of days. (The team's official answer to the Carlesimo rumor: "No comment"). The coach has plenty to do before Sunday, when he lounges in front of a television to see where the Celtics pick in the June draft.

Carlesimo is a coach, and with the escalating salary structure in the NBA, he might want to keep his name available for vacancies in Denver, Golden State, Vancouver, and possibly Orlando, Detroit, or either team in Los Angeles. His only NBA frame of reference is his three-year stint with the Blazers and his job as an assistant coach on the first Dream Team in Barcelona.

Before coaching the Blazers, Carlesimo coached for 19 years in college, starting with New Hampshire College (first in the Mayflower Conference) in 1975-76 and continuing to Wagner (six years) and Seton Hall (12 years).

It's Carr's lot

M.L. Carr will be in Secaucus, N.J., Sunday. The former director of basketball operations and coach will be the Celtics' lottery representative. He will be joined by Jeff Twiss, the team's director of public relations . . . Hiring a general manager is not Pitino's only task. He still has to take care of selling his home in Kentucky and purchasing a home here. In the meantime, he and his staff will continue to look at college players. Word is that the Celtics will be bringing University of Michigan forward Maurice Taylor to town for a workout . . . A week before they fired several full-time employees, the Celtics fired their interns.


FLCeltsFan said...

Pitino was power hungry. He wanted it all to be about him. PJ was too smart - wouldn't have worked.

Lex said...

I wonder how close they got?

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