The Brooklyn Nets announced today that they have relieved head coach Avery Johnson of his coaching duties while the team is mired in a miserable month long 3-10 stretch. The Nets are currently 14-14 following last nights bad loss to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-93 after starting the year 11-4.
The Nets coach was named “Coach of the Month” 24 days ago when the Nets got off to a hot start and the world looked to moving in the right direction. That same world changed less than a month later for Johnson and now he is unemployed.
General manager Billy King also announced that assistant coach PJ Carlesimo will coach the team on an interim basis.
The team released this statement via Press Release – December 27, 2012
Brooklyn Nets Relieve Avery Johnson of Coaching Duties
BROOKLYN—The Brooklyn Nets have relieved Avery Johnson of his head coaching duties, it was announced today by General Manager Billy King. A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
“The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future,” said Brooklyn Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Johnson was named head coach of the Nets on June 15, 2010. In two-plus seasons as head coach of the Nets, Johnson compiled a record of 60-116.
The Nets have looked miserable on the court the entire month of December going 3-10 and it seems the locker room is not a pretty sight as well. Last week Deron Williams spoke out about how much he loved his old coach Jerry Sloan’s offense and didn’t really feel “right” in Johnson’s offense.
This prompted Johnson to scrap a large part of his offense and make a player friendly offense just this past weekend. The change did not seem to help as the Nets were embarrassed on Christmas Day on national television at home by the Boston Celtics. The next game they were again beaten by double digits in Milwaukee while Williams sat out the game with a sore wrist. Hmmmm.
The latest loss to the Bucks prompted a usually quiet and soft spoken guy in Gerald Wallace to erupt in the postgame and call out his teams effort as well as their attitude.
“We are a way better team than what our record is, how we’re playing,” Wallace said. “It seems like guys are content with the situation that we are in and I’m [expletive] off about us losing, especially losing the way we are losing.”
The firing of Johnson could be looked as a massive overreaction for a .500 team after only 28 games but this isn’t the old Nets and mediocrity won’t fly in Brooklyn like it it did in New Jersey.
Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is simply not going to have a middle of the pack team after he just spent in excess of $300 million in the offseason.
The NBA‘s reality show, “The Association” that the Nets are on this year, just got a whole lot more entertaining for viewers.