P.J. Carlesimo was going to have a tough time keeping his job even if the Brooklyn Nets had made it past the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. However, Carlesimo will not be brought back for next season despite posting a 35-19 record after taking over after Avery Johnson was fired earlier this season.
As with any coaching search Phil Jackson’s name is sure to come up even though Jackson just signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons as an adviser. Jackson recently said he wanted to get back into the game but might be content with his new role. Another potential replacement is Larry Brown, who worked with GM Billy King in the past when King was GM of the Philadelphia 76ers and Brown was the head coach.
One extremely interesting option could be Jerry Sloan. Sloan coached the Utah Jazz when Deron Williams was there and it is widely believed that Williams ran Sloan out of town. However, Williams recently said he would love to be reunited with his former coach, perhaps to prove he isn’t a coach-killer. Or, perhaps, Williams realized he played his best basketball under Sloan.
Sloan would be a very good option for the Nets who have a veteran team and would need a coach who has a strong track record. If Williams is serious about being happy to reunite with Sloan the Nets should look into bringing Sloan in. Sloan hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2010-2011 and is a little far removed from his appearances in the NBA Finals in the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons, losing both times to Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and the Bulls.
Whomever the Nets get to coach the team there will be a ton of pressure on him to get the team to the next level. Owner Mikhail Prokorov was hoping for an appearance in the Conference Finals after spending $350 million on the team this summer with new players like Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans and re-signing Willams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace.