After Avery Johnson led the new look Brooklyn Nets to an impressive opening month, starting 11-4, Johnson was still at the helm for an equally unimpressive December month, going 3-10. Coach Johnson has been with the Nets for 3 years and amassed a 60-116 record, most of which has been without the talent that Brooklyn GM Billy King brought in for the 2012-13 season. However, the headline seeking Nets decided to let Avery Johnson go and have named P.J. Carlesimo the interim head coach. While Carlesimo is an experienced head coach, he has been about as successful as Avery Johnson’s last 3 years. I have no doubt that Mikhail Prokhorov, Billy King and the Nets will be searching for the big hire to upstage the Lakers.
The most obvious choice to make the biggest headlines is to bring in the legendary Phil Jackson. After the Los Angeles Lakers strangely picked Mike D’Antoni over Jackson for their heading coaching fiasco, the Nets would be wise to go full steam ahead for Jackson. According to ESPN, Phil Jackson has surprisingly expressed interest in the Nets head coaching gig, which if true, should render the rest of this article pointless because the Nets shouldn’t even talk to another candidate. Phil Jackson isn’t the only possibility though.
Stan Van Gundy seems like a great choice as well, but it has been widely publicized that Van Gundy, whether he was contacted or not, has zero interest in coming to coach the Brooklyn Nets. Which leaves us with two potential hires if the Nets miss out on Jackson. Knowing that the Nets have a love affair with making headlines, the next coach must be a familiar name, which leaves Mike Brown and Nate McMillan. Both are fairly defensive oriented head coaches, which is something that the already 6th ranked defensive team could use as a strength. While I like Nate McMillan as a coach, I think that the surprisingly bigger hire would be Mike Brown. The first headlines would make it seem that the Nets are just taking the Lakers castoff because they can’t do any better. But, if Mike Brown succeeds in Brooklyn, the headlines would change to the Lakers making a bone-headed coaching change and the Nets were smart enough to snatch up a criminally under-rated head coach.
Everyone that has followed the NBA since Mikhail Prokhorov has taken over the Brooklyn Nets knows that they want to be the media darlings and they want to stay in the limelight. The hire will be a big one, and I can’t wait to hear who it ends up being. I do expect to hear both Phil Jackson and Mike Brown to be associated with this job, and I expect that decision to hire one of them to go in that same order. The Nets can’t pass up the opportunity to bring in Phil Jackson if the opportunity presents itself like the Lakers chose to.