By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignnment Editor - @JESchott19
The Brooklyn Nets wasted no time in making a decision on Interim Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo’s future, as General Manager Billy King announced on Sunday that the team will not offer Carlesimo a contract for next season.
King said in a statement, “The Brooklyn Nets organization would like to thank P.J. for his efforts with the team in his roles as both head coach and assistant, and for his contributions to the team’s success both on and off the court. We wish P.J. and his family the best in the years to come.”
Carlesimo took over as interim head coach when the Nets fired Avery Johnson on December 27th. At that time, the team was 14-14, and Carlesimo led them to 49 wins and the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. His 35-19 record as head coach was the best start by a coach in Nets franchise history.
Despite the strong finish to the regular season, the thinking around the team was that Carlesimo had to win a playoff round to keep his job. When the Nets could not beat the Bulls, and Carlesimo’s coaching was a reason for it, this news was expected.
The search for a new head coach will commence immediately, and it probably will involve “the usual suspects,” as Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov termed them after firing Johnson in December. They would be Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy, and, most likely, Byron Scott, who led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.