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Nets GM King not sure what will work for team, just knows it wasn’t Johnson

Dec 27, 2012, 5:35 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets Press Conference Announcing Firing Of Head Coach Avery Johnson Getty Images

Nets GM Billy King spoke with the media about the firing of coach Avery Johnson and this was my takeaway from it:

He doesn’t know what’s wrong but he knows Johnson wasn’t the answer.

“Watching us, we just didn’t have the same fire we had when we were 11-4,” King said. “Been talking with Avery, just wasn’t able to pinpoint what was missing. You lose by 17 to the Celtics, you lose to the Knicks like we did, you lose to Milwaukee, these are teams that you’re talking about competing with. It was a pattern….

“I just got a sense, like I told Avery this morning, for some reason he just wasn’t reaching them anymore. It happens in sports, especially at the professional level. “

King was insistent that it was he along with ownership — Mikhail Prokhorov on the phone in Moscow — that made the decision about firing Johnson. He said multiple times that Deron Williams was not involved.

King also said that after missing one game due to a wrist injury he had played through all season, Williams was expected to be back in the lineup on Friday. Same with Kris Humphries, who suddenly missed two games with an abdomen injury after he was demoted from the starting lineup.

Draw your own conclusions, but it was pretty clear Johnson was losing the locker room’

King said that P.J. Carlisimo was the coach and put off the idea he would be calling around to seek a replacement. That said, it’s widely considered around the league that he will call around to seek a replacement. Just not immediately.

In a short meeting with the media (as tweeted about by Howard Beck of the New York Times), Avery Johnson said that this sucks because it’s his wife’s birthday and this is not a good present. No kidding.

Aside that, he sounds like a lot of coaches who have been fired and realize that they are the scapegoat for a host of issues. It’s not that Avery Johnson and his isolation-heavy offense was good, or that players loved him, but that there is a lot of blame to go around, he’s just the piece that got changed.

For now.

  1. 00maltliquor - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Bring in StanVan!!

  2. dalucks - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Really Billy.
    Another coach fired because a general manager put together a bad roster. Billy King is a terrible general manager.

    • zerole00 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      I just don’t know how anyone would willingly take on Joe Johnson’s contract. I mean he’s making more than 5 future Hall of Famers and he’s not even in the same universe as far as contribution goes.

  3. zerole00 - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Well Billy, your team’s locked in with this roster for the next 3-4 years so there’s really only two options:
    1) keep firing the coach whose job it is to “compete” with a bunch overpaid average players (despite competing being Hellish middleground if you’re not contenders in the NBA)
    2) fire the GM

    Have fun bro.

  4. cmehustle - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I dont know about you guys but I really didnt see this one coming. But I live under a rock so what do I know. I also thought Romney would win the election.

    • louhudson23 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:13 AM

      Johnson’s firing was rather unexpected at this juncture…as for your election prediction,that must be one big f*k*n rock…..

  5. skizzy79 - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    You can’t coach chemistry.

  6. anvilrepairman - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    You think Billy was the voice think again. The owner Mikhail Prokhorov is the one calling the shots and pulling the trigger. This is a Statement move to organization that win now or we will find someone else. This includes players as I see this team making serious trades

    • somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      What trades? What contract do they have that any other team is going to be interested in? If they could get anything for Humphries, he’d already be gone. Anyone lining up to give Lopez 16 mil per for the next 4 years? how about Johnson at over 20 mil? Has D-Will done anything to show that he’s worth his max contract?

      It seriously says something when your most movable contract is your 5th most expensive, which is Gerald Wallace at 4 years 40 mil.

      If they find someone to take any of those guys on, they are going to get garbage back. You may be able to get a good young player for Williams. Possibly an expiring contract for Lopez, but that would even be lucky. Most likely you get a few players with no upside that make 1/3 the money, and then try to move them to someone else for scraps. Even that scenario is assuming you can find someone to take on those contracts, which is not a given.
      I dont care how much money he has, or is willing to spend. With guranteed contracts, and a cap, you can’t just go all Snyder/Stienbrenner and outspend the world.They are stuck with what they have for at least 2 years, when they can move Humphries (who is probably the best value), and 4 years with the rest. Maybe 3 when they become expirings

  7. thomaskouns - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    This team would have been so much better off by keeping their lottery picks like Favors and the one that Portland used on Lillard instead of getting aging over-priced free agents.

    Atlanta must be giddy at unloading 32 year old Joe Johnson who is getting 20 mil per for the next three.

    And what does it say if your PG says he’s a ‘system player.’ Truly great PG’s are great in any system.

    Most of the blame should go to Prokerov who mortgaged the future to be merely average and now is stuck with a highly overpaid, aging roster for years to come that will get worse not better with age.

  8. somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    As I put in the post about Johnson getting fired, this is what King does. He overpays for decent to good players that don’t go well together. He builds teams that are never good enough to anything, but never bad enough to hit rock bottom. Since he overpays for guys, his team is always in cap hell. The mediocre teams result in mediocre picks, and mediocre talent.

    If they want to fix the Nets, fire King, get a real GM in there, and be patient. Because it’s going to be 3 years before another GM can get this mess totally cleaned up. Let alone begin to rebuild.

    • thomaskouns - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM


      In other words, King is the new Isiah Thomas.

  9. jssgriffi - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Glad this ahole is outta Philly. Also glad he is the nets GM. He has no clue what he is doing, just like most of that organization. Great fit for one another.

  10. kavika6 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    A.J.’s firing was his own fault if he had anything to do with bringing in deron williams. He should have known better than to gamble with that hateful, arrogant basket-case.

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    if he doesn’t know, the owner will get someone who does.

    as Jay Z SAID ,” Brooklyn IS UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.”

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