Less than 24 hours after the Brooklyn Nets were eliminated for the 2013 NBA Playoffs, general manager Billy King announced that P.J. Carlesimo would not be back with the club.
Carlesimo took over as the team’s head coach when Avery Johnson was fired in the regular season. He led the club to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed but lost to a depleted Chicago Bulls team in the first round.
The organization is now looking for a new head coach and there are several quality candidates. After winning 49 games in their inaugural season in Brooklyn, the Nets coaching job will be very attractive to both former and up-and-coming coaches.
Who will land the Nets head coaching job?
The Nets haven’t wasted any time in going after one of the best coaches of all time. ESPN is reporting that Brooklyn has already contacted Jackson about replacing Carlesimo.
Jackson retired in 2011 but has flirted with making a return to the NBA. He talked to the Los Angeles Lakers about replacing Mike Brown, but the organization decided to go with Mike D’Antoni instead. There were also rumors that he had interest in coaching the New York Knicks last year, but Mike Woodson was given a contract after a good stretch as the team’s interim coach.
Before he was contacted by the Nets, there had been reports that Jackson would come back as an executive with the team. If he isn’t interested in coaching 82 games a season, he could join Brooklyn in the front office.
Jeff Van Gundy
Van Gundy has spent six seasons without a coaching job, but he seems to be one of the most sought-after candidates each year. In nine full seasons with the Knicks and Houston Rockets, his teams missed the playoffs just once.
The 51-year-old has worked as a broadcaster since being fired from Houston, but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the league. He has said that he won’t discuss specific jobs publicly, but ESPN reported in December that Brooklyn has been eyeing Van Gundy.
The former Knicks coach has proved he can handle the pressure of the Big Apple and might be the ideal candidate to lead the Nets in 2013-2014.
The former NBA player has never had a head coaching job, but he’s considered by many to be a top assistant coach. He coached with Jackson and the Lakers from 2004-2011 and has been with the Indiana Pacers for the past two seasons.
If Brooklyn is looking to hire the next good young coach, Shaw might be the guy. The Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors have had great success by hiring first-time coaches in Tom Thibodeau and Mark Jackson, and Brooklyn could do the same with Shaw.
According to Chris Broussard, Shaw is near the top of Brooklyn’s list of candidates.
There’s a chance the Nets could reunite Deron Williams with his old head coach in Utah.
The two had a rocky relationship that ended poorly, but Sloan is reportedly on Brooklyn’s list of candidates. Williams has stated that he would not mind playing for his former coach, and Sloan recently told Comcast SportsNet Northwest that he would listen to the Nets if they called.
Sloan has never won a title, but he experienced tremendous success with the Jazz. From 1988-2010, he missed the playoffs three times and lost twice in the NBA Finals to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.