Raptors hire P.J. Carlesimo

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.

New York Liberty to have Foxwoods logo on game jerseys

The New York Liberty today announced a new multi-year premier partnership with Foxwoods Resort Casino, North America’s largest resort casino. As part of the partnership Foxwoods will receive prominent logo placement on the Liberty jersey, a first-of-its-kind partnership for an Eastern Conference WNBA team and the first resort casino to have branding on the front of a professional sports team jersey.

“The New York Liberty has a passionate fan base in the world’s largest media market, and we are thrilled by the opportunity this partnership presents to promote our brand to WNBA fans, the team’s loyal followers and the New York Metropolitan area at large,” said chief marketing officer for Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises Robert Victoria. “As North America’s largest resort casino and the East Coast’s premier entertainment destination, Foxwoods always strives to align itself with other best-in-class industry leaders, and we’re confident we’ve done just that with this partnership of the Liberty and its home venue, the legendary Madison Square Garden.”

The Foxwoods name and logo will appear on the front of the Liberty’s home and road jerseys as well as shooting shirts for all games, providing the company with premium brand exposure to fans in-arena and other consumers via national and local media coverage and television broadcasts. The Liberty will debut its new uniforms when the team takes on the Connecticut Sun on Friday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome Foxwoods Resort Casino as the premier partner of the New York Liberty. This partnership between two premium brands and industry leaders is a perfect match, bringing together one of the world’s largest resort casinos and ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena.” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “This innovative new partnership provides Foxwoods with a powerful platform that connects an entertainment destination with our incredibly loyal and passionate Liberty fans and New York.”

Added Carol Blazejowski, president, New York Liberty: “We are very proud to partner with Foxwoods Resort Casino and welcome their support of the Liberty and WNBA. We look forward to strategically integrating the Foxwoods brand across all of our business platforms and developing a partnership that will be great for our team and fans both on and off the court.”

The partnership helps build presence for Foxwoods in the New York area and beyond, with brand integration across all of the Liberty’s promotional and marketing platforms, including extensive presence in-arena during Liberty home games with courtside LED signage, logo presence on-court, a feature on GardenVision, and Foxwoods branded on-court contests. In addition, Foxwoods will be promoted to the thousands of passersby daily on The Garden’s outdoor marquees on 7th and 8th Avenue.

Miami Heat hire Tim Hardaway

Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald reports:

Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning are officially a tandem again for the Miami Heat.

Only now, they’re making moves in the community and front office instead of on the court, where they led the Heat to division titles and perennial playoff appearances two decades ago.

The Heat confirmed Hardaway’s hiring Tuesday saying he would be the team’s Community and Corporate Liaison. Hardaway rejoins Mourning, who last year was brought in to work as vice president, player development.

Although the team never announced Hardaway’s hiring, he has made appearances at community events since April and was introduced as a `Heat legend.’