NETS FIRE P.J. CARLESIMO

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

He wouldn't have survived if the Nets had beaten the Bulls, but the loss to Chicago made the decision easier to carry out.

The Nets announced Sunday that interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo is out and that "a search for a new head coach will commence immediately."


"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," general manager Billy King said in a news release.

The Nets ownership and management had long seen Carlesimo as nothing more than an interim coach and had continuing problems with his rotation patterns and more importantly, his development strategy. The decision to move now, rather than wait, was the smart move, said a league source, adding, "May as well start attracting potential candidates!"

“It was more of an evaluation of the entire season,” King said, adding: “It was a difficult decision. Looking at the long term and future with this organization, I felt it was best to look elsewhere and try to find the right fit.”

Over the past several months, both had used the words, "baffling," "mystifying" and "predictable" when discussing his substitution patterns. As for his management style, officials in and out of the Nets organization saw him as "stubborn," and not willing to change. There was also problems with communications as well.

The most consistent complaint though was with his development of young players, particularly Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks, but also Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia. In comparing the strategy of Carlesimo and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, one league official said Thibodeau was playing chess while Carlesimo was playing checkers. He cited Thibodeau's trust in players like Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Nazr Mohammed and Marquis Teague while Carlesimo kept Teletovic, Brooks and Shengelia mostly nailed to the bench.

Although as recently as Saturday night, many of the Nets players had praised Carlesimo and said they were surprised at how fast it happened, once the announcement was made, their comments indicated they felt the team needed "toughness," as reflected in beat writers' tweets.

Joe Johnson mentioned "defining guys' roles" and "holding guys accountable" as something he'd like to see next coach to do. Brook Lopez said, 'We want someone who's demanding. We want someone who's going to push us," while Deron Williams, who welcomed working for Jerry Sloan again, told the writers he'd like to play for a coach that brings toughness ... "a drill sergeant who gets a lot out of his players.”

Who's the likely next coach? The rumors are already starting about Phil Jackson, but league officials call that possibility "remote." Sloan would have to want to work with Williams again. Their relationship ended badly in Utah two weeks before D-Will was traded to the Nets when he resigned without warning.

It marked the third time in the three years that Mikhail Prokhorov has dumped a head coach. On taking over the team in May 2010, the Nets fired Kiki Vandeweghe, then in December, it was Avery Johnson's turn.

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