The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have added veteran NBA coach P.J. Carlesimo as an assistant to head coach Jay Triano’s staff. Carlesimo brings 35 years of coaching experience to the Raptors, including 13 seasons in the NBA.
This will be the second time that Triano and Carlesimo have worked together. Carlesimo was the head coach and Triano his assistant of the USA Basketball Select Team in 2007 and 2008.
“I got to know P.J. and had the opportunity to watch him work with USA Basketball,” said Triano. “He is highly respected within the NBA coaching fraternity. He possesses experience at all levels of the game which will make him a great addition to our coaching staff.”
Carlesimo spent five seasons (2002-2007) as Gregg Popovich’s lead assistant with the San Antonio Spurs where they captured three NBA titles. He also served as the head coach in Portland (1994-97), Golden State (1996-2000) and Seattle/Oklahoma City (2007-09). Each of Carlesimo’s three teams in Portland finished in the top three in the NBA in rebounding totals. All three teams also held opponents to under 100 points, with each season lower than the previous year. His 1998-99 Golden State squad set franchise records for defensive field goal percentage (.420) and fewest points allowed (90.8).
Prior to joining the NBA in 1994, Carlesimo was the head coach at Seton Hall University for 12 seasons. He led the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament in six of his final seven campaigns. He was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1989 after his squad finished 31-7, and advanced to the NCAA Championship Game. In addition, he was named Big East Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1989.