The Nets wasted no time making their decision on interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, announcing his ouster about 14 hours after the team was eliminated from the playoffs last night. GM Billy King says he won't rush to name a replacement, but King was quick to name Phil Jackson as a candidate. There's dispute over whether Jeff Van Gundy is in the running for the job as well. Here's what we know as the story continues to develop:
- Deron Williams told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), that he'd "love" to play for Jerry Sloan again. According to many observers, Williams and Sloan clashed quite a bit in Utah and there was speculation that their friction is what led the longtime coach to walk away.
- TNT's David Aldridge puts Jeff Van Gundy and brother Stan Van Gundy on a shortlist of "obvious" candidates, along with Larry Brown. Jackson doesn't want to coach the team, and would prefer a player personnel role similar to Pat Riley's team presidency with the Heat, Aldridge adds (Twitter link).
- King told reporters he has no idea about the level of interest Jackson may have in the job, as Newsday's Roderick Boone notes, via Twitter.
- Despite the splashy names already linked to the team, King said the Nets aren't prioritizing a marquee hire, citing the success that Chicago's Tom Thibodeau has had in his first job as a head coach, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com nonetheless believes the team will go after a big name coach, arguing that it would be easier to bring one of them aboard than to fix the team's roster. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has always coveted Jackson, Stein tweets.
- Stein also points out the relationship between Brown, currently coaching at SMU, and King (Twitter link).
- Current Nets assistants will have a chance to meet with whoever takes over as head coach before the team decides whether to retain them, Bondy tweets.