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Who’s next on the Brooklyn hot seat? Here’s a list of recycled coaches they may call.

Dec 27, 2012, 3:46 PM EDT

Orlando's Stan Van Gundy shouts during an NBA playoff basketball game in Indianapolis Reuters

It may be a while before we know who will be the next coach for the Brooklyn Nets in the wake of Avery Johnson’s sudden firing on Thursday. As in 2013. Sam Amick of USA Today reports the Nets don’t plan to really jump start the coaching search until after the first of the year.

Whichever coach takes over the Brooklyn Nets next had better like the roster as it is now because they are pretty much locked into it for a few years. Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and even the hustling Gerald Wallace would be hard to trade with their deals. And nobody wants to trade Deron Williams, they just need a coach who can get through to him (and shake him out of his shooting slump.

And he better like pressure, because Johnson’s firing shows this is not a patient ownership — Mikhail Prokhorov wants to win now. They want the expectations high.

So, who is it going to be?

You can bet on an experienced coach and ideally a big name to fit in with the Brooklyn market. Someone who can get this roster to play better defense (good luck) and find an offensive identity.

Here are the big names that are out there:

• Phil Jackson. You can bet they will make the call and Prokhorov can write a large check to entice him, but his agent told David Aldridge of TNT he is not interested in the job at this time. Jackson seemed serious about the Lakers job less than two months ago, but that was a franchise he was comfortable with and players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who already knew his triangle offensive system. The Nets roster isn’t nearly as talented as the Lakers and as a former Knick the Nets don’t hold the same allure. Jackson isn’t itching to come back to coach, it has to be a perfect situation for him to walk into a contender, and this isn’t it. This team isn’t that good.

• Stan Van Gundy. This should be their first call and the guy on top of the list. But it may not matter, Van Gundy has no interest reports the Orlando Sentinel. Brooklyn should call anyway. Why? Because his system in Orlando can fit in Brooklyn even if the Nets lost out in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes — a good offensive center in the middle (Lopez), a point guard who can penetrate and run the pick-and-roll (Williams) and guys who can knock down threes and just generally make shots (Johnson, to start with). More importantly, Van Gundy gets his players to defend. Finally, and most importantly, with some locker room turmoil Brooklyn needs a coach who can stand up to a star player like Williams and tell him how it is. Van Gundy can and would do that.

• Nate McMillan. This would be another good hire, a guy players respect that deserves another chance. He would bring a slowed-down, grind-it-out style that worked with Brandon Roy and could work with Williams and the Nets. It may not be “showtime” fun, but it has worked and gotten a lot of wins. He has a relationship with Williams from Team USA where McMillan was an assistant coach the past Olympics.

• Jeff Van Gundy. They may call to see if there is interest, but do you think he’s leaving the comforts of the broadcast booth and lifestyle to coach this roster? He will just give them Stan’s number.

• Jerry Sloan. Oh, this would provide some real entertainment. Terrible idea for the Nets, but great for bloggers everywhere. Sloan and Williams had issues in Utah, but now Williams is pining for the days of the flex offense. That would come in and Sloan would not put up with the selfish attitude that seems to have come over the team. He’s not young and he might not want to deal with the New York media, but man this would be entertaining.

• Larry Brown. While it seems like a longshot, Brown would jump at it and he is an old friend of GM Billy King. Still, don’t bet on it.

• Mike Brown. No, that’s not happening. And as Mike Brown is still getting fat checks from the Lakers while watching his son play high school ball, he’s probably good with that.

  1. reupjosh - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    “…and guys who can knock down threes and just generally make shots (Johnson, to start with).” Have you been watching the Nets lately? No one makes shots, and Johnson is a complete no show. Wallace and Evans are the only two that try on this squad.

  2. gpatrick15 - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    If Phil Jackson isn’t an option (and he probably wouldn’t bite on their offer anyway) the two best retreads from your list would be Stan Van Gundy and Nate McMillan. Van Gundy would be my first choice, simply because he’s not afraid to stand up to the so called star players. On top of that, he took a slightly worse Orlando Magic team to the finals, and had them in contention for a good part of his tenure. He could win in Brooklyn. McMillan could too, but I’d be more comfortable going with SVG for this particular team.

  3. 32magicman - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Well done deron! You got another coach fired! Would be a brave man who takes on this job……. Avery Johnson was coach of the month for november!

    • kungfubowler - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Didn’t Jerry resigned/quit the Jazz. He had previously signed an extension with them, as well. The guy is a legend in SLC. The Jazz would’ve kept him as long as they could, I’m sure.

    • kungfubowler - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      Jerry resigned/quit the Jazz. He had previously signed an extension with them, as well. The guy is a legend in SLC. The Jazz would’ve kept him as long as they could, I’m sure.

  4. cantonbound13 - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Isiah? Now that would be funny!

  5. illegalblues - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    a coach ain’t gonna fix this team. they really didn’t add that much talent this offseason outside of ISO joe. this isn’t a contender, it never was a contender

  6. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Is Lawrence Frank doing anything?

    • doctorfootball - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      Coaching the Pistons

      • dmitchell624 - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        so Frank is doing nothing ;-)?

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    • Phil Jackson. You can bet they will make the call and Prokhorov can write a large check to entice him, but his agent told David Aldridge of TNT he is not interested in the job at this time. Jackson seemed serious about the Lakers job less than two months ago, but that was a franchise he was comfortable with and players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who already knew his triangle offensive system. The Nets roster isn’t nearly as talented as the Lakers and as a former Knick the Nets don’t hold the same allure. Jackson isn’t itching to come back to coach, it has to be a perfect situation for him to walk into a contender, and this isn’t it. This team isn’t that good.
    —————

    I wish these goofy Nets “fans” who suddenly came out of the woodwork a month ago, but suddenly only come out to talk reckless on the off occasion that the Knicks lose would UNDERSTAND THIS. They are NOT a good team. You got two guys making max money and both are average at best. Williams is only slightly above average and vastly overrated.

  8. jhuck92 - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    So instead of ruling out who won’t be coaching, could you throw out some possibilities?

  9. freemantowilliams - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Sam Mitchell. Someone needs to hire that guy.

  10. thetooloftools - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Anybody who takes this job with Deron Williams on the team better stock up on headache meds. Williams is a total wussy, refuses to be a leader, and is a prima donna lil’ 8itch.
    I hope the money is worth it because this team isn’t going anywhere with Williams on it.
    EVER.

    • dko83 - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      I too get the feeling that D Will is a coach killer, regardless of people saying that he “isn’t involved.”

  11. Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Phil Jackson ain’t going to a team with a legitimate superstar. The Nets don’t have anything CLOSE to that — even when Williams is healthy (and he’s not; bum wrist, shattered ankle). I don’t think Phil coaches ever again, unless LeBron bolts to the Lakers in 18 months — WHICH COULD HAPPEN.

    However, that Phil bullet point was copied and pasted from PBT. I am enjoying the local sports talk. They’re grasping at straws. You can tell they did this SOLELY to assuage Deron Williams. They had no backup plan in mind, because the basketball people (King, etc.) thought the players’ lack of productivity and efficiency offensively was the problem, not Ave. So now that Deron forced their hands, they have to put out all this damage control talk on radio and it’s hilarious to watch from first place in the division — where the Nets somehow thought they’d be just by opening a new arena and running smear campaigns on the Knicks 24/7 LMFAO. They don’t have any viable candidates, and the one coach who WOULD make sense for them has already been burned by that clown Williams.

    If the Lakers hadn’t been handling business like cokeheads, they would have given Phil what he wanted and passed on D’Antoni; who’s about to ensure that Dwight won’t re-sign in July. D’Antoni is a better fit with this Nets team, to be honest, but the Lakers sure won’t be willing to enter luxury territory for non-personnel reasons (i.e. paying three coaches at one time) by firing D’Antoni just to hire Phil.

    Thinking you would supplant the Knicks is akin to the Texans (almost an exact parallel, being overrated, due for a fall in the playoffs, etc.) thinking they would supplant Dallas as the team in Texas. And as another parallel, despite not winning in over a generation, as the Knicks and Dallas have not, you cannot uproot 3-4 generations of fandom with millions of fans. You’ll have some bandwagoners jump ship to the flavor of the week, but you ain’t usurping the marquee team in the area (or state) without winning at least 2-3 titles in a short span. Media hype and smear campaigns aren’t going to cut it, especially if you don’t win. Just gives people more ammo AGAINST you.

    The fact is, they have nothing to build with. Everyone on the team is vastly overrated/overpaid. Williams has been exposed as a fraud and not a top PG. Gerald Wallace making $10M — FUH WHO? FUH WHUT? (Ricky Watters Voice) Kris Humphries, the same salary? PFFFFFFFFT

    BROOK LOPEZ, MAX PLAYER? LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    JOE JOHNSON, MASQUERADING AS A MAX PLAYER WHILE GETTING MAX MONEY SINCE 2006? ***SWAN DIVE***

    They whiffed on Dwight and they are stuck in cap hell for four years with a bunch of overpaid role players and make-believe All Stars ha.

    The only NEW MANAGEMENT the Nets will be undertaking in this city is their roles as the opening acts at Comix on 14th St.

  12. dko83 - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    The league needs SVG back.. If only to be a thorn in David Stern’s side before he retires.

  13. lemfax - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Williams as playing coach… To be comfortable with his own system:):):)

  14. anythingbutyanks - Dec 27, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    I know of a coach who loves the big city spotlight, knows how to get players to play defense, and, most importantly, knows how to get a group of egos who are new at play together to meld into a championship caliber team. John Calipari is the man for the job, if you can keep Big Blue Nation from counter offering him $10M/year to stay.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      The Nets remember what a train wreck he was when his system of paying guys to be one and done exposed him as not being a very good tactical coach.

      • anythingbutyanks - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        I wouldn’t exactly call Calipari a tactical luminary, but his teams have ranked 9th (2012), 15th (2011), 6th (2010), and currently 8th for adjusted defensive efficiency (kenpom.com). Almost always, top rated recruits are so rated because of their offensive prowess. College basketball is another animal altogether compared to the NBA, but what Calipari has accomplished clearly has shown that, besides being an ace recruiter, he is a great coach and solid if not amazing tactician. I wouldn’t really want him to return to the NBA, but I have to believe he learned enough from his first stint there that he would be an asset if the Nets wanted him.

  15. mazblast - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Calipari won’t come back to the NBA until the NCAA finally shows some cojones and investigates how UK gets the players it gets. I don’t see it happening any time soon, as Kentucky (like Duke, UNC, UCLA, and others) is too big a cash cow for them.

    And IIRC, Cal’s previous time in the NBA wasn’t exactly a rousing success.

  16. mojomarc - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    First off–why does Nate McMillan deserve another shot? He was a coach for 12 years in the NBA and one exactly one playoff series (in his contract year, with a miracle performance from Jerome James of all players) in that time. Plus, if you watched what he did in Portland then you saw a player that loves isos in order to create space for three point shooters. On the Nets, that would be great for Deron and horrible for the team as a whole outside of maybe Johnson (who I think would prefer not to stand still waiting for the ball and be expected to not drive). He’s just not a good coach in the NBA. People forget he was about to get fired in Seattle before he had a huge start to 2004-05, and it was clear he was riding Brandon Roy’s talent in Portland to get whatever he got there. After having watched him both in Seattle and Portland (I lived in Seattle but was a Blazers’ fan), I can honestly say Stotts is no coaching genius, but Nate sure makes him look like one.

  17. cantonbound13 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Brian Shaw would be worth a shot.

  18. qpoiu1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Nate McMillan is the guy, he knows defense

  19. sunsation3413 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    So its official….Deron Williams is a coach killer.

  20. tannethrill - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Patrick Ewing, perfect fit

  21. kavika6 - Dec 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Since McMillan had some experience with deron williams during the olympics I doubt he would want the job.

  22. fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    since D-Will likes Sloans system, bring him back.

  23. scalfor3 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    No coach is going to make a huge difference. They’re tied to this “meh” roster for the next three years. I hope all the preseason hype and November wins were worth it.

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