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Phil Jackson and the Top 5 Candidates For Brooklyn Nets’ Coaching Vacancy

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Top 5 Coaching Candidates For Brooklyn Nets

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Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

The Brooklyn Nets made the decision to part ways with interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo following the team's elimination in the opening round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

Carlesimo was 38-23 during his time in Brooklyn, but despite being 15 games above .500 in that span, the organization has decided to look elsewhere. It's interesting to think that if the Nets advanced past the Chicago Bulls in the opening round, would Brooklyn have kept Carlesimo on board? Who knows and either way now, the search for a new head coach is on.

There are a number of names being tossed around in connection with the Nets' coaching vacancy, but how many of the candidates at this point are viable? Who would be interested? Who are the top candidates for the job from Brooklyn's perspective?

It is already being reported that Brooklyn is not interested in either Jeff Van Gundy or Stan Van Gundy. So just who are the top five candidates on this team's radar?

Let's take a look at five names that are worth keeping an eye on:

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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No. 5- Doc Rivers

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David Butler II-USA Today Sports

Doc Rivers is a what-if situation. The Celtics would have to let Rivers out of his contract if he is going to go elsewhere, but why would he? Rivers has done an excellent job in Boston and although the Celtics' landscape could potentially be changing, it just doesn't seem like a departure will happen.

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No. 4- Jerry Sloan

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Douglas C. Pizac-USA Today Sports

Jerry Sloan is a reported long shot, but he's still a potential candidate. If the top candidates on Brooklyn's radar fall through, Sloan could easily move up the big board within the Nets' coaching options.

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No. 3- Larry Brown

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Marvin Gentry-USA Today Sports

Larry Brown has a relationship with Nets' GM Billy King and the veteran coach is a proven Hall of Famer. Brown is the only coach to ever win both an NBA and an NCAA championship, but in case you didn't know he's currently the head man at SMU. After one season, you can understand what might sway Brown to Brooklyn, but does he really want to relocate and begin another chapter in his storied career?

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No. 2- Phil Jackson

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Jayne Kamin-Ocnea-USA Today Sports

Obviously the Nets would love to have Phil Jackson as their coach and at this point, he's a viable option. However, Jackson may be more interested in the team's front office than a position alongside the bench.

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No. 1- Brian Shaw

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Nelson Chenault-USA Today Sports

Brian Shaw is looking like a more-than-viable candidate in Brooklyn. He's a budding assistant coach who has been simply waiting for his opportunity. This would be a great choice for the Nets to replace Carlesimo.