At some point, according to several reports, the Nets are prepared to deal, in earnest, with Phil Jackson, prepared to give him what he wants and needs, but until then, they are prepared to let P. J. Carlesimo coach. They want and need him to be good and thus far, he has been.
Howard Beck and Alex Kennedy both write Thursday that the Nets are likely to be Carlesimo's for the duration of the season, that with each passing game, the team's Russian ownership understands it has to follow a two-track strategy: patience with one P . J., the one they're already paying, and aggressiveness with another P. J., the one they are ready, willing and able to pay.
Beck summarizes their strategy...
They will woo Jackson whenever he is ready to be wooed, whether now or this summer.
They will happily stick with Carlesimo as the interim coach for the duration of the season, and perhaps even beyond, depending on the results.
Kennedy writes of the difficulty they face, having fired Avery Johnson so deep into the season...
It’s not easy to assemble a coaching staff in the middle of the season, when most coaches are already employed. An incoming coach would also have little to no control over to the team’s personnel, since Brooklyn has little flexibility.
There is no doubt that their list continues to have one name on it, Jackson's, and that they will wait for him if necessary. At the same time, they're pursuing personnel moves, even within their limited options. Writes Beck, "If Jackson is going to coach again — and that remains unclear — he will want to see a 'path to the championship,' in the words of one confidant. The Nets cannot provide that path with the current roster."
Meanwhile, in social news, Jeannie Buss, Jackson's long-time girlfriend and daughter of Laker owner Jerry Buss, announced via Twitter that she and Jackson are engaged, tweeting the news by noting, "Phil finally gave me that ring I wanted!" How will this affect the Nets pursuit? "Buss has always publicly maintained she would have no problem with Jackson coaching another NBA team," writes ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne, noting the Nets interest in Jackson.
- Nets Belong to Carlesimo, Unless, Perhaps, Jackson Cuts In - Howard Beck - New York Times
- Nets Waiting Until Offseason to Hire Coach? - Alex Kennedy - HoopsWorld
- Phil Jackson, Jeannie Buss engaged over Christmas holiday - Ramona Shelburne - ESPN LA
Could Phil's bliss prevent Nets hookup? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- P.J. making case to keep Nets job - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- NBA AM: Carlesimo Not Trying To Copy Spurs - Yannis Koutroupis - HoopsWorld