Brooklyn Nets Fire Head Coach Avery Johnson
The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday (Dec. 26) that they were releasing head coach Avery Johnson. Though Johnson was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November following the Nets’ fiery start to the season, the team has since gone 3-13 in December. And now that the organization has released Johnson from his three-year, $12 million contract, they have set their sights on the legendary Phil Jackson as his replacement.
In a statement to NBA.com, Jackson’s agent Todd Musburger expressed the former Lakers coach sentiments toward the position:
“Phil has no interest in the Nets job at this time,” he said in a text.
But it seems that Jackson may not be completely uninterested, according to a report from CBS Sports. From a source described as having “knowledge of his thinking,” the 11-time championship coach heading a New York team is “a situation that would intrigue him” and that “he has a lot of history with that place,” referring to Jackson’s extensive experience as a New York Knick.
In any case, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has reportedly still reached out to Jackson, an acquisition that guard Jerry Stackhouse is all for.
“I think he’s the logical choice,” he said. “He’s been in a lot of big-time situations. That’s who he is. If I’m an owner or a general manager and I’m going to make a coaching change, he’d definitely be the first guy I’d see if he had any interest.”
Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has also been mentioned in the discussion for a new Nets coach–to which Brian K. Schmitz, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, tweeted “Stan Van Gundy has no interest in Brooklyn job.”
Nets assistant coach P.J. Carlisimo will take on duties as the interim head coach until the organization makes its final choice. His first stab at the job will be tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Brooklyn.