Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo said Minnesota vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale left a message informing him of the Timberwolves’ decision to hire Dwane Casey as their new head coach, but the two have yet to speak.
“I appreciate the opportunity they gave me,” Carlesimo said of the Timberwolves. “They were great in working with us, given the circumstances. It was really nice for (Minnesota owner) Glen Taylor to fly down and talk to me.
“I think that’s a great job and I think they made a great choice in hiring Dwane. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time and I think he’ll be a great coach.”
Carlesimo (above) said McHale told him in the message that Kevin Garnett played no role in the team’s decision. There had been speculation in Minnesota that Latrell Sprewell had convinced Garnett to protest Carlesimo’s hiring.
“Kevin’s not like that,” Carlesimo said. “And I don’t think Spree’s like that.”
Carlesimo also has interviewed with New York but has not spoken with Knicks officials in weeks. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said Carlesimo deserves another head-coaching job.
“When I told Timmy (Duncan) and Manu (Ginobili) that he might be leaving if things worked out with another team, they were in shock,” Popovich said. “They would rather have me leave than him. They love the guy to death.”