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Nets GM Billy King: “P.J. Carlesimo is our coach”

Dec 30, 2012, 8:55 PM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

After the Brooklyn Nets fired Avery Johnson, we heard all the big names come up. Phil Jackson. Jeff Van Gundy. Jerry Sloan.

But according to Nets GM Billy King, he has “not contacted anybody” about the coaching position yet. While you would hope that King would be involved in the coaching search, considering he’s the GM and all, it is interesting that the Nets don’t appear to be in quite the same rush the Los Angeles Lakers were when they fired Mike Brown.

Here’s what King had to say about the coaching search:

King told Ian O’Connor during an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Sunday morning that the team “supports” interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and will “re-evaluate” things moving forward, while deflecting questions about Jackson by repeatedly saying “P.J.’s our coach.”

“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.”

Via Mike Mazzeo | ESPN New York

It’s hard to believe that the Nets haven’t already reached out to Phil Jackson and had a conversation. He’s arguably the greatest coach of all-time, and although Carlesimo may have paid his dues to earn another head coaching job, he’s still not quite Phil Jackson.

Throwing the public support in Carlesimo’s corner is the right thing to do in the meantime, however. We don’t know if the Nets are actually willing to give Carlesimo a fair shake, but it only seems prudent for the organization to give off the impression that they are.

Make no mistake about it — if the Nets get the inkling that one of the coaches on their wishlist is interested, they won’t hesitate to call. Carlesimo is their interim coach, and the Nets management and ownership support him in that capacity. But until you hear that first word removed from his official title, you better believe the Nets are searching for someone to occupy the chair Carlesimo is keeping warm.

  1. davidly - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    “But until you hear that first word removed from his official title…”
    Well, even when they do sign a longer term contract, we know that doesn’t change anything, no matter how much dough is involved.

    The head coach is expendable. This very fact should be instructive to folks who fancy themselves experts in the field of NBA-ology: If a player has a huge contract, they don’t just fire him, ie. allow him to go elsewhere to seek employment while still having to pay him. But a coach? Meh.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 31, 2012 at 6:46 AM

      PJ the job is yours until Phil takes over and fires ALL of us……………………..
      or until D-Will thinks you should go………………….

      oh boy!

  2. shockexchange - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    PJ is in the same position as deputy commissioner, Bill Rawls, from The Wire. Rawls was essentially a “placeholder” for LT Daniels. PJ has to gain the respect of the players while Nets’ management actively pursue Phil, Van Gundy, the ghost of Red Holtzman, et. al.

  3. sf49ers4 - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Nets gave Laurence Frank the opportunity to see what he can do so why not PJ. PJ always makes excellent points when they interview him going into the half. He’s an underrated coach.

  4. redbearwoodall - Dec 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Phil Jackson is arguably the greatest coach of all time? Really? Yes he’s good, but he had the added benefit of coaching two of the greatest players ever (definitely the greatest of their generation) in their prime to get all his rings. He’s a very good coach, but lots of decent coaches could’ve won championships coaching those teams.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Name a coach who won a title without fantastic talent on the roster, please?

  5. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    PJ can relax. Spree aint playing for him anymore… in fact, Spree aint playing anymore.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 31, 2012 at 6:45 AM

      how will he feed his kids……………

  6. doctorfootball - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    “P.J. Carlesimo is our coach” Translation? Nobody will call us back. We’re stuck with P.J.

  7. pike573 - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Fire your head coach without a plan. Nice

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