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Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner?
Frank Deford
February 01, 1999
A year after being assaulted by one of his players, the Golden State Warriors' P.J. Carlesimo is the same obsessed, demanding, exuberant coach he's always been
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February 01, 1999

Guess Who's Not Coming To Dinner?

A year after being assaulted by one of his players, the Golden State Warriors' P.J. Carlesimo is the same obsessed, demanding, exuberant coach he's always been

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When practice was finally over, Carlesimo called home. "Mom," he said, "we had a little brouhaha here today. Sprewell tried to choke me."

Carlesimo resides in a stylish high-rise smack in downtown San Francisco, with a gorgeous new custom floor just going in and, as befits a man who says he eats out 365 nights a year, a refrigerator featuring victuals that range all the way from Evian to beer to Coke. Each day he trims his beard, dresses stylishly casually, eschewing socks, then drives across the Bay to the Golden State offices in Oakland. A CD of classical music plays in his Cadillac, but P.J., at the controls, overrides it, making continuous telephone calls hither and yon. In fact, once he is encased in the Caddy, he is magically insulated, inasmuch as time zones no longer exist anywhere in the world.

It is past 11 p.m., East Coast time, when P.J. decides to call a woman friend who is coming to San Francisco. "She used to be really mad at me," he declares. "See, I didn't call her back for six months."

Oh.

On the phone he seems to smooth things out with the woman, arranging a rendezvous. "The worst thing in the world," he explains woefully, "is having to call someone when she expects you to. That's killed a lot of my relationships."

Oh.

"Really, I just can't seem to go out with someone more than three times. I've never been remotely close to marriage. But to answer the question"—which hasn't been asked on this occasion, but which Carlesimo is asked all the time, so, he figures, why wait for the question?—"would I rather be married or single? Well, I'd rather be married."

He moves on to answer the next unasked question. "I really believe it's because I haven't found the right person."

The colloquy continues as he interrupts himself. "I know, I know. Everybody says I'll always find an excuse. But I promise you, that's not it. It's tough, though. And I know what she'll have to be...."

The right woman?

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