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Report: Nets will try to talk to Phil Jackson ‘in the next few days’

Dec 31, 2012, 9:56 PM EDT

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Nets GM Billy King can say that P.J. Carlesimo is the team’s head coach all he wants.

We all know the expectations are a little out of control in Brooklyn, and with the firing of Avery Johnson taking place earlier this week, the team will be looking to get a big-name coach on the payroll sooner rather than later.

There isn’t a bigger name out there at this point than Phil Jackson, but plenty of questions surround him in terms of whether he truly wants to return to coaching, as well as whether or not he’d be able to achieve the desired level of success, especially given the talent available on the roster as currently constructed.

That won’t stop the team’s billionaire owner from trying, of course.

In an interview with Sarah Kustok of YES, Howard Beck of the New York Times reported (via NetsDaily) that he expects Mikhail Prokhorov to be in contact with Jackson in the next few days.

We have heard pretty definitively thatPhil Jackson is number 1 as he should be, as you’d expect he would be on the list. What we don’t really know is timing. Will they hire Phil Jackson sometime this season? Would that be the goal? Do they want PJ to finish out the season and then go through a coaching search? How quickly do they want to move?

I think they will try to talk to Phil Jackson as soon as they can sometime in the next few days when Mikhail Prokhorov comes back from his new years eve partying. I think they’ll look to have that conversation.

While the conversation may take place, it’s tough to envision Phil taking over this Nets squad mid-season.

That being said, if the ultimatum (i.e., specific demand of a potential offer) was such that it was the mandate, it may end up happening. But Jackson would likely be forthcoming that he, like the rest of us, doesn’t view this Nets team as a legitimate title contender at this point, so he’d attempt to set the expectations at an appropriate point for the rest of this season.

As for what that level is, exactly, only ownership can decide. But realistically, it shouldn’t be higher than a trip to the second round of the playoffs at best, and a simple berth to the postseason at worst.

Missing the playoffs entirely, especially in the watered-down Eastern Conference, would be a bit of a disaster. That’s why Avery Johnson was dismissed, and if a more long-term solution at head coach is to be hired to replace Carlesimo’s interim status mid-season, that person will need to be firmly on board with the reality that the playoff train in Brooklyn must reach its final destination, and show measurable progress along the way as the season progresses.

  1. valiantdraws - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Whatever…I just wanna see Jackson coach again.

  2. BigBeachBall - Jan 1, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    1. No away games
    2. Elevated coach’s courtside seat
    3. 10 bills a year
    4. GM overrule power

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      if Zen Master takes the job it is not like he has a lot of time @ 67 years old….
      why not step right in and stick it to Lil Buss….
      if the Russian really wants the Zen Master it will be @15-20 mil per year, full control
      of roster and a chance to be a partner with Jigga.

      oh boy!

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    if Zen Master takes the job it is not like he has a lot of time @ 67 years old….
    why not step right in and stick it to Lil Buss….
    if the Russian really wants the Zen Master it will be @15-20 mil per year, full control
    of roster and a chance to be a partner with Jigga.

    oh boy!

  4. lakerluver - Jan 1, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I don’t see PJ taking the job. I’m sure he has more loot than he could ever spend already and, more importantly, the Nets just aren’t very good. Why would he come back just to get eliminated in the 2nd round for the next 2-3 years. Now, had D12 become a Net I could see it. D12 and Deron would’ve been two very nice building blocks. But Johnson and Lopez? Just don’t think those type of players are going to get the greatest coach ever excited about returning.

    • soopreme - Jan 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I have a hunch that if Phil takes the job, he has some kind of assurance that D12 is coming there.
      Also if the Nets can get Phil in place, its almost a no brainer that Howard ends up in Brooklyn.

  5. borderline1988 - Jan 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    I don’t think Lopez is the problem. He is actually clearly a better offensive player than Howard is, even in his 2nd year in the league. The defense is obviously lacking, but it’s not like the Lakers are a defensive juggernaut right now..

    Deron Williams is playing awfully right now. That’s the real problem. They need him to play like a superstar and take over games, like Chris Paul does. Right now, he is just a better than average PG, which is not good enough to make the Nets playoff contenders.

    We all know what Joe Johnson brings to the table – at least he’s consistent.

  6. kanemoney - Jan 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I think the issue is coaching, not talent. They can be a 2 or 3 seed with this talent.

  7. davidly - Jan 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    All this talk of exchanging one PJ for another PJ. The Nets need to forget all that and just put on their big-boy pjs.

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