The Nets have Phil Jackson atop their list of potential replacements for Avery Johnson and will make a hard push for him, sources told Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Jackson's longtime rep Todd Musberger says that his client has "no interest" in the job at this time, but a source says that Jackson would indeed entertain an approach from Brooklyn.
That same source said that Jackson's flirtation with the Lakers after Mike Brown's dismissal got him "thinking about coaching again." The 67-year-old Jackson appeared close to returning for a third stint in November before L.A. unexpectedly gave the job to Mike D'Antoni.
Meanwhile, Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops (on Twitter) reports that the Nets have already made contact with Jackson through back channels. However, sources say that the reaching out hasn't been from CEO Brett Yormark or General Manager Billy King. We know that Nets brass isn't terribly patient when it comes to reaching out to their desired targets from their dealings with Dwight Howard. King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov reportedly met face-to-face with Howard in Miami one year ago when he was still a member of the Magic.
One coaching source told Stein and Broussard that an approach for Southern Methodist University's Larry Brown could not be ruled out because of Brown's close relationship with Nets general manager Billy King. Brown is in his first season at SMU, but he hasn't had any difficulty in moving from job-to-job over the course of his career. That would include Brown's stint as Nets coach in the early 1980s, which ended when he took the head coaching gig at the University of Kansas rather than guide his playoff-bound NBA team.