The Brooklyn Nets have spent the subsequent days since Avery Johnson’s dismissal pondering their next move and who might replace him as the head coach. Although the team’s wishlist still includes big names like Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, GM Billy King reveled Sunday that no offers have been made and no one has yet been contacted.
King told ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s Ian O’Conner that the team supports current interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who is 2-0 so far as the team’s leader, for the time being. King said the Nets will “re-evaluate” the situation as it unfolds.
“We’ve put our support behind (P.J.) and then we’ll look at things and evaluate it later,” King said. “I know people have been throwing lists together and things like that, but we have not contacted anybody. … We’ve made the move and now we’re going to let P.J. coach.”
Although the Nets still regard Jackson as the top candidate to permanently replace Johnson, King was intent to stick by Carlesimo after being asked about Jackson several times, saying:
“I don’t know how many times I can say it or Mikhail can say it. P.J.’s our coach. We’re gonna let him coach and then re-evaluate things. I know Mikhail said it about 10 times when he was asked, and I’ve been saying it, and I think people just keep dismissing what we say.”
Presumably, if Carlesimo proves successful as the Nets’ head man, he may be able to secure the job. If not, then the Nets obviously won’t hesitate to bring in someone else. We’ve already seen what happened to Johnson, who was fired after just 28 games, in which the team went 14-14.
King likes the amount of experience that Carlesimo brings to table and for now that’s enough.
“Sometimes you just need a different voice,” King said. “What I like about P.J. is he’s had NBA head coaching experience. I think he understands the game, he’s been around it.” (109)