Who's next for the head coaching job at the Brooklyn Nets? And how far along are the Nets in their search for Avery Johnson's replacement? The answer to the first question is still TBA. No one disputes that. As for how far along they are, there are indications they have already begun looking as well as reports that the search has just begun.
Marc Stein tweets the Nets are likely to make a call to Phil Jackson as part of a broad search for a new coach, but David Aldridge tweets, "Phil Jackson's rep, Todd Musburger, tells me via text that Jackson 'has no interest in the Nets' job at this time'." Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel tweets Stan Van Gundy has "no interest in Brooklyn job." The rest of the list would be long. Chris Mannix goes further, tweeting, " Stan Van Gundy says he has 'no interest at all' in the Nets head coaching job." David Aldridge notes, "Nets have not yet contacted Nate McMillan or Pacers' asst HC Brian Shaw, per league sources. But doesn't mean they won't down the road."
Despite punditry that says Deron Williams reputation as a coach killer would limit the market or that the team is capped out forever, the Nets are confident that "99 per cent" of all coaches would be interested in the Nets job. It's a challenge, it's in New York and the owner has already proven that he is ready, willing and able to spend money.
Here's some suggestions.
--Former NBA coaches: Nate McMillan of the Trail Blazers (who's also been an assistant coach of Team USA); Mike Brown, fired by the Lakers after five games (and issues with both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant); Jerry Sloan (he wants back in the game, but with Deron Williams again? D-Will has said nice things about his playbook lately), Mike Dunleavy Sr. (Brooklyn native and former Clipper coach and GM).
--TV commentators: Jeff Van Gundy (happy he's away from all the pressure, but good on defense and with big men); Mike Fratello (knows the team and has spent last two summers coaching Team Ukraine ... 666 NBA wins)
--Assistant coaches: Brian Shaw (Phil Jackson acolyte with rings and toughness who's now in Indiana); Dave Joerger (Memphis assistant who keeps missing out on big jobs after stellar career in D-League).
--CSKA connections: Ettore Messina (coached CSKA Moscow to two Euroleague championships when Prokhorov owned them, later an assistant with Lakers and now back with CSKA); Quin Snyder (Lakers assistant who followed Messina to Moscow and has had interviews for big jobs).
--Dark Horses: P.J. Carlesimo (coached Seton Hall to NCAA Finals in 1989 but has failed at head coaching jobs in Portland, Golden State and Oklahoma City). Bob MacKinnon Jr. (Springfield Armor coach who knows the players -- and x's and o's)
How soon? We're betting sooner rather than later, like next week or two.