Simmering tension between Sprewell and Carlesimo exploded in a Warriors practice when Sprewell choked the then Golden State coach, leading to the temporary termination of Sprewell's contract before it was reinstated by an arbitrator.
Sprewell: "I wasn't choking P.J. I mean, P.J., he could breathe. It's not like he was losing air or anything like that. I mean, it wasn't a choke, I wasn't trying to kill P.J.... If you're choking someone, you don't get scratches. You get welts totally around your neck. It's not like I was going to sit there and kill the man. No, I would have stopped, definitely."
Carlesimo: "I think it's more important that you're respected and it's more important that you're effective than you be liked. Coaching isn't a popularity contest. You'd like to be liked, but if you're concerned with that in coaching, you're not going to be successful."