The Nets were surely dejected when Phil Jackson turned them down, so it seems they want at least one coaching candidate who’s extremely unlikely to reject them. Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (hat tip: Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball):
the Nets also have put Scott Skiles on their short list. Skiles was fired by the Bucks in January after four-plus tumultuous seasons in Milwaukee. Under Skiles, the Bucks had constant internal issues and qualified for the playoffs just once.
Frankly, I’m surprised Skiles hasn’t garnered more interest around the league. As Woelfel notes, Skiles has plenty of shortcomings, but he’s one of the few coaches on the market with a winning career record.
Most recently, Skiles guided the Bucks to a 46-36 record in 2009-10, his second season, after the team went six straight seasons without a winning record. Before that, Skiles helped the Bulls go 47-35 in 2004-05, his first full season and Chicago’s first winning season since Michael Jordan’s second retirement.
Skiles has proven he can implement a hardnosed, defense-first system – which might be what the Nets need – but they were already good enough to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs this year. Skiles specializes in changing the culture of losing teams before he grinds on everyone too much and gets fired, and that’s not what Brooklyn needs.
In his first head-coaching job, Skiles took over a good Suns team from Danny Ainge and kept them good for another season before losing his job during the following year. That experience might prove most similar to Brooklyn situation, and Skiles fared only OK. The Nets could do worse, but they could also do better.