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SuperSonics hire Carlesimo as head coach

SEATTLE, July 5 (UPI) -- P.J. Carlesimo, who has been coaching basketball on various levels for 36 years, was named Thursday as the new head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics.

"I am excited to have P.J. as a part of our program," Sonics General Manager Sam Presti said. "His presence will continue to help build a culture of success both on and off the floor. The Sonics are getting a true teacher of the game."

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Carlesimo's most well-known tenure was a stint as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, where he was involved in a physical confrontation with his star player -- Latrell Sprewell.

Carlesimo began his coaching career as an assistant at Fordham in 1971. For the last five seasons he has been an assistant under San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich.

He replaces Bob Hill, who was fired at the end of a 31-51 season.

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