You get the impression that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov still wants a big name as coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
That was what they wanted a few years ago, so they went with Avery Johnson over top assistants at the time such as Tom Thibodeau. How’d that work out for them?
The first names that have come out in the Nets coaching search this time are the big ones — GM Billy King said he will gauge the interest of Phil Jackson, for one, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Phil Jackson wants a role where he can be Billy King’s boss, not his coach. With the Nets power structure pretty locked in, hard to see how that works out.
Another name that came up quickly was Jeff Van Gundy, but multiple reports have shot that down. There is some friction there.
Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan’s name came up and Nets point guard Deron Williams would be good with that, reports the New York Post.
Williams said he “would love” to play again for Jerry Sloan, his old coach in Utah, and when Phil Jackson’s name came up, Williams said, “Who wouldn’t want to play for Phil Jackson?”
Sloan, with his flex offense, seems a better fit to add some versatility to the predictable (and therefore defendable) Nets attack. But at 71 and a disciplinarian, will that work in New York?
After that there are other candidates including Pacers lead assistant Brian Shaw and Nate McMillan, who are apparently now mentioned with every coaching job opening and are likely to land one of them. Maybe the Nets after they strike out on big names (although McMillan is up there).