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Nets start coaching search with Avery Johnson

May 13, 2010, 8:24 AM EDT

Ajohnson.jpgNets president Rod Thorn has been waiting.

The Nets need a coach, ideally before the draft, to start setting the new direction for the team. Thorn had done his homework but didn’t make any calls until new owner Mikhail Prokhorov was in place — which is the biggest key for the franchise to take a new direction.

According to Sam Amick at FanHouse, Thorn’s first call was to Avery Johnson.

Johnson, the former Dallas coach, is considered the front-runner for the Hornets job in his native Louisiana, and he has interviewed for that one and the Philadelphia job. Both of those teams are in their first round of interviews, talking to a number of coaches before making and decisions and setting up second interviews.

The rumor has long been that the Nets really want to pry Jeff Van Gundy out of the broadcast booth. That may take a lot of money — which the Nets now have — and a lot of convincing. Then again, if they win the draft lottery next Tuesday and get the rights to John Wall, maybe they won’t have to do as much convincing. People will be coming to them.

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