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Carlesimo reiterates what we all know: The Nets aren’t winning a title

May 24, 2013, 7:01 AM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

Veteran coach P.J. Carlesimo has landed on his feet. After the Brooklyn Nets let him walk when the season ended he strolled over to ESPN and has landed a job as an analyst (essentially taking the Flip Saunders job).

Carlesimo held a conference call on Thursday to talk all things NBA, but much of the conversation focused on the Nets, directly and indirectly. There was a lot of talk about how star player, management and a coach need to all be pulling in the same direction to win. And some other nice vague stuff that made you wonder about life in Brooklyn.

Then there was some direct stuff, like when Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News asked Carlesimo if the current roster could live up to owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s demand they win a title.

“I don’t know if that’s realistic the way the roster is right now. I would not say that team could not win a championship. We thought we could this year if things broke a little better for us. But if you have that on your plate, that you need to win a championship in two years, I think it makes it a little challenging. But, again, everybody starts the year saying we want to win a championship. Brooklyn has more reason to say that than a lot of the other teams in the league. I still would not call them one of the favorites. I wouldn’t put that on whoever is lucky enough to get the job. I think it’s a team that could win a lot of games. I think it’s a 50-win team, a playoff team and a team that could do well, particularly in the Eastern Conference. But to win a championship is a bear. …

“I still do think it’s a good job. I think the expectations are maybe not totally realistic, but you’d rather have that from your owner and you know he’s got the wherewithal to back it up. That’s his goal. We talked about that from day one. He doesn’t make any bones about it. He doesn’t want to have a nice team. He doesn’t want to sell just [tickets] in Brooklyn and make the team competitive; he wants to win an NBA championship. And as a coach, you can’t ask for more than that. If what comes with that is a short leash, then so be it.”

I like that Prokhorov is pushing that hard, organizations that win start with strong ownership. The Nets have that.

But in order to put together a roster good enough to open the Barclays Center in Brooklyn the Nets tied their hands with this roster — what you see is what you get for a few years. They have three max contracts with Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, plus Kris Humphries makes $12 million this year and Gerald Wallace $10.1 million. The Nets have $85 million on the books for next season already.

It’s not about the luxury tax — Prokhorov will pay that to win — it’s about flexibility. Under the full effect of the new CBA this summer, the Nets payroll is so high they are not allowed to do a sign-and-trade, use the bi-annual exception and they will only have the taxpayer’s mid-level exception of around $3 million to add a player.

Basically, the Nets roster is what it is. They won 49 games last season and the only way that improves is because they hire a coach that can get more out of them.

Whoever gets that job just has to know going in that management expects more out of that roster than it can give.

  1. drubeatz - May 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Sounds like he didn’t believe in his players. No wonder he couldn’t get the best out of them. And now he’s gone. Go figure. Lopez should of Sprewell’d him.

  2. dmitchell624 - May 24, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Hmmmmm. Phil Jackson likes the Nets roster but Kurt Helin and PJ Carlesimo don’t think that much of it…….. i wonder who has a better understanding of winning?

    • Kurt Helin - May 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Phil likes it so much he will not coach there.

  3. observingii - May 24, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    You got five guys making more than $5M and three of them aren’t worth $5M apiece. It’s a wonder Pete got 49 wins out of that bunch.

  4. observingii - May 24, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Ooops, make it three guys making more than $10M!

  5. cranespy - May 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Big Mistake canning PJ…….keep him around 53-57 wins next season and a first round series win.

  6. stayhigh_247 - May 25, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    If the Nets were really trying to win a championship they shouldn’t have chained themselves to Joe Johnson or Wallace. The way this team is built, even if they were extremely lucky and won a ring they wouldn’t win another one for a decade. Why not build a team through the draft and through trades. Look at the Pacers, or the Dub’s those are great templates for success. The Nets owner has too much ego and not enough sense. Lopez and D Will are the only keepers, they need to figure out how to free up some money. They fired Avery shortly after winning coach of the month, would you want to coach this team? Management is on the road to nowhere, fast!

  7. henryd3rd - May 25, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    PJ’s definitely in the catbird seat now. He’s entertaining, glib and knowledgeable so he should be able to do this ESPN job for a long time. Plus he’s gets away from this band of talented misfits. Whomever takes on that job has a really difficult assignment

  8. billbadguy - May 29, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    Funny, no mention of how the Nets were totally out coached in that embarrassing first round debacle.

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