While many have already been labeling Deron Williams as a "coach killer," the Nets' decision to fire Avery Johnson today wasn't on D-Will, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). SI.com's Chris Mannix agrees, noting (via Twitter) that no Nets players, including Williams, were consulted before the decision was made. No matter who was behind the move, the Nets are in the market for a new coach, with P.J. Carlesimo taking over in the interim. We'll round up today's rumblings about the search right here, with the latest updates at the top....
- Phil Jackson's representative, Todd Musburger,
tells TNT's David Aldridge in a text that Jackson currently has "no
interest" in the Nets' job (Twitter link).
- Nate McMillan isn't on the Nets' radar right now, according to Mannix (via Twitter).
- Johnson had "badly wanted" a contract extension from the Nets, and was surprised when the team engaged in talks with GM Billy King before talking about a new deal for the coach, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Brooklyn isn't expected to begin its coaching search in earnest until the new year, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).
- The Nets are launching a "broad" search that will include a call to Phil Jackson, among others, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein. However, TNT's David Aldridge points out (via Twitter) that nothing seems to have changed regarding Jackson's desire to gain organizational control in any job he accepts.
- Talks with the Lakers got Jackson thinking about coaching again, so he'd at least listen if and when the Nets call, says Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter).
- According to Aldridge (Twitter link), the Nets have yet to contact Nate McMillan or Brian Shaw, but that doesn't mean they won't do so eventually.
- McMillan, David Blatt, and both Van Gundys (Stan and Jeff) are candidates Ken Berger of CBSSports.com thinks the Nets may consider in their search. However, "the answer to whether the Nets will consider [John] Calipari is an unequivocal no," according to Berger.
- In an email to Mannix at SI.com (Twitter link), Stan Van Gundy reiterated something we heard earlier today, writing that he has "no interest at all" in the Nets' job.
8:02pm: Drew is not visiting Blatt with any interest of having the coach join his staff in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Cunningham. (Twitter)
7:53pm: According to Sportando.net, Hawks head coach Larry Drew is in Israel to speak with Maccabi Tel-Aviv head coach David Blatt, presumably about joining Atlanta's coaching staff in the near future. Blatt has spent the past five years as coach of the Russian national team, and is open to working in the NBA.
Blatt just signed a three-year contract with the Israeli club, but is rumored to have a contentious relationship with team management. As of this moment, he's expected to stay with Maccabi Tel-Aviv for at least the upcoming season.