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

Dec 30, 2012, 8:55 PM EDT

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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.

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