On Saturday night, the Brooklyn Nets squandered a golden opportunity to take advantage of a heavily depleted Chicago Bulls team in a game seven situation. The Nets had the obvious talent advantage in the game, but they lacked the effort that the Bulls put forth and were subsequently ousted from the NBA Playoffs, not making it out of the first round.
The Nets, general manager Billy King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov didn’t waste any time in making a decision about interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who took over in December after Avery Johnson was fired. On Monday afternoon it was announced that Carlesimo would not be back at the helm for Brooklyn next season and that the organization would now begin to look for a new coach.
Obviously the firing of a coach immediately brings the speculation about who is going to be the next guy to take the job, especially for a big-market team like the Nets. Big names in coaching like Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan have already been thrown around regarding the newly vacant job in Brooklyn. Though it would obviously be a good thing for the Nets to get either of those coaches, they simply need a coach that is able to drive the team to work hard and to be more disciplined.
With Carlesimo, there were constantly strange reports coming out of their locker room. The most recent and possibly the weirdest was in the middle of their series with the Bulls when Gerald Wallace came out and said that he had no idea what his role on the team was. This was after an 82-game regular season and after 40-plus games with Carlesimo, so how is that possible unless the coach is doing something obviously wrong and isn’t disciplining his team?
That wasn’t all Carlesimo did wrong, either. He was often criticized for not playing younger players like MarShon Brooks and Mirza Teletovic when he had the chance to get them experience or when he desperately needed to shake things up. He rode Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez to the end, no matter what.
There is no telling who the Nets will eventually bring in as their next head coach. However, all things point to the fact that the organization needs to bring in a disciplinarian coach that will push this team to give maximum effort. If that happens, this team will undoubtedly be better than they were without Carlesimo.