The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry notes this December will mark the 11th anniversary of Latrell Sprewell trying to choke the life out of then-Golden State coach P.J. Carlesimo. Today ensconced as head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Carlesimo takes exception to Mayberry’s assertion the former Seton Hall taskmaster “is mostly remembered by fans as the victim of Sprewell™s vicious attack.”
“It had a big impact on both of our careers, said Carlesimo. “But I think people in the league think of me as an NBA coach. I think people who are not in our league go, ˜Oh that™s the guy that…™ That™s always going to be the same.
“Everybody always says if it wasn™t for that you probably would have…
Carlesimo shrugged, his voice trailing off.
Today, Carlesimo is hesitant to discuss the incident, considering it old news. The coach said he doesn™t remember if Sprewell ever apologized for the attack, which arose as a result of Carlesimo instructing the player to “put a little mustard on a pass.
“I never felt that there was any need, Carlesimo said. “It happened, we dealt with it…It™s been long over and done with.
Carlesimo™s has never used the incident as an excuse for being passed over for head coaching jobs.
“That became an easy thing to say because I was the lead assistant at a great program in the league, Carlesimo said. “But that™s not fair to the other guys in the league who were getting jobs and that™s not fair to the owners and GMs. Maybe they just didn™t like me or they liked the other guys better.