NEWARK — P.J. Carlesimo’s former Seton Hall players want his interim tag removed and would like to see him become the Nets’ full-time coach.
“I hope they actually keep him,” said Jerry Walker, a member of the 1992-93 Seton Hall team that was honored during Saturday’s 65-59 loss to Cincinnati.
“He deserves the opportunity. He’s doing a really good job and getting great reviews and hopefully they can keep him.”
Carlesimo addressed the crowd at the Prudential Center at halftime one night after the Nets beat the Bulls, 93-89, to improve to 14-5 on his watch.
“It’s like a different team,” Walker said. “Coach is a really good X’s and O’s guy. He knows how to motivate people to get them to play hard.”
Terry Dehere, the all-time scoring leader in Seton Hall program history, said he’s happy to see his old coach succeed.
“I think it’s great for us,” he said. “I think when you see a local guy who went to Fordham University and gets an opportunity to coach a new franchise and a new town, the excitement, I think it’s a great thing. It’s a great opportunity for him.
“I think the guys are playing much better now. They seem like they’re much more receptive to coach and his style.”
“It looks like he gives the players a lot more freedom and opportunity to be successful and I think it translates into what they’re doing now.”