- (Photograph: Reuters/ Adam Hunger)
The Brooklyn Nets have recently acquired a new home, a new stadium, and now- possibly a new coach.
The nets fired head coach Avery Johnson earlier in the week, after the team went 3-10 during the month of December. Currently the Nets stand 14-14 overall, and Johnson was made to blame although the team's owner expressed no hard feelings.
"The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future," Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement on Thursday.
The Nets have been under pressure to perform after signing over $300 million in contracts and acquiring a new, $1 billion stadium in Downtown Brooklyn.
With little time to waste, the Nets are now seeking a new coach and considering the possibility of hiring Jeff Van Gundy. He has been considered as second in line to their top target, Phil Jackson, according to ESPN.
P.J. Carlesimo was named as the interim coach for the time being. Carlesimo has also expressed interest in staying on as a permanent head coach. His first talk with Prokhorov took place on Saturday.
"He wants to win a championship. He's willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship," Carlesimo said of Prokhorov. "He's got a good understanding of our team, and the NBA. I think if we keep winning games, that would be good. He definitely prefers winning."
Carlesimo expressed sympathy for Johnson, stating that he had been in a hard position to perform under extra pressure without the promise of a new contract.
"It's infinitely better to have many years on your contract and hopefully at a good number, because that does make you a more effective coach without question," Carlesimo told ESPN. "You really don't want to go into the last year of your contract ever. There's no coach that can say he wants to do that. ... But coaches don't have, with very, very, very few exceptions, the leverage that a player has. There's more zeros on their contracts than on coach's contracts."