Nets Going Old School For New Coach

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The sting of blowing a Game 7 on their home floor will linger for a while in Brooklyn. There is no way to dress up that debacle.

A new coach, though, one with a high profile and Hall of Fame credentials, is a good place to start. And from all indications the Nets are setting their sights high. Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Jeff or Stan Van Gundy and even Larry Brown‘s name has been mentioned by a few league executives who are watching the Nets and waiting to see where they go next.

They are all on the Nets’ short list as of this afternoon.

Nets GM Billy King didn’t even let the sun rise the morning after that Game 7 loss before P.J. Carlesimo was informed that his services would no longer be needed. Carlesimo is an old pro at this. He knew what we all did when he took over after Avery Johnson was fired, that anything short of a miraculous championship run from the Nets would mean he’d be cleaning out his office at season’s end.

What makes the Nets search for a replacement for the replacement is that Sloan, who coached with and clashed, at times, with Nets star Deron Williams in Utah, is on the list of candidates to fill the job.

Much like the other candidates on the Nets’ list, Sloan’s name tends to come up whenever there is an opening. This Nets opening, however, appeals to him. He said as much to Chris Haynes of

“I’m open, I would listen,” Sloan told via phone. “I haven’t done the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called.”

Already linked to the Milwaukee Bucks Head Coaching gig, Sloan admits he’s interested in getting back to roaming the sidelines, but only under the right circumstances and conditions.

“According to reports, I’m interested in every job that’s out there,” Sloan said. “That’s just not the case. I don’t like being linked to every opening. If the right situation presented itself, I will look into it.”

Sloan dropping his John Deere cap and days spent on his tractor for the sideline in Brooklyn has movie of the week potential. But any team could use his wisdom and guidance, provided the players on the roster are willing to listen.

The Nets won’t have the flexibility to tinker with their roster this summer, so the most significant change they’ll make will be in the coaching ranks. There is also a temperament change that is needed, one highlighted by many in the immediate aftermath of that lackadaisical Game 7 effort.

Williams has his own ideas about what the Nets need in a new coach and it’s all about someone who demands his team play with the intestinal fortitude to win a Game 7 on their home floor in the playoffs, based on what he told Mike Mazzeo of

Williams was asked what quality the Nets need more of.

“Toughness,” he replied. “I think that’s what we’ve used a lot. Toughness. I think we got out-toughed in that last series, especially [Saturday], so I think that’s the main thing.”

Williams thinks a coach like his former one in Utah, Jerry Sloan, could get toughness out of his players.

“When I played for Coach Sloan, I think he had that effect — just the way he coaches and the way he talked to us every day and the way he prepared us for games kind of rubbed off,” Williams said.

Would Williams want to play for Sloan again?

“I would love to,” he replied.

And Phil Jackson?

“Who wouldn’t want to play for Phil Jackson?” he replied.

Regardless, Williams believes the team’s next coach needs to be experienced.

“Yeah, I think so. I think somebody that’s creative on offense and has a good system on defense,” he said. “I haven’t really thought much about it. I think we just need somebody that’s going to lead us, somebody everybody respects for sure; it’s tough.”

That “somebody” could be anyone on the Nets’ short list.

But the description sounds an awful lot like Sloan …


  1. john says:

    deron williams is the best handler lebron is better

  2. Edvino says:

    Nets will get Dwight via sign and trade for Lopez as lakers do not want to loose Howard for nothing.

  3. neeks britt says:

    If they get sloan, theres a huge possibility that something will go wrong between him and d-will like it started to do in Utah. I would get Stan, who preaches defense and who has an up tempo style offense that will really suit the nets roster and athletic ability

  4. M. James says:

    As much as I dislike Mike Brown, he would’ve be an excellent fit for Brooklyn, but he just got settled back in with Cleveland.

  5. brooklyn says:

    I think Jerry Sloan is the man for the job & trade Marshon Brooks to the bulls for Marco Belineli

  6. nets won’t be making a deep champ run anytime soon-that has to be earned & not bought on dirty money?

  7. Earnest Brooks says:

    I think Van Gundy should get another shot in the league very knowledgeable coach will make players more accountable will get most out of roster and Joe Johnson need to step up no-show in game 7.

  8. Dean says:

    Stan Van Gundy for sure, Dwight won’t be coming to Brooklyn any time soon.

  9. Are you Kidding me says:

    There is no way that Stan Van Gundy is going to be the next coach if they are still in pursuit of free agent Dwight Howard. It wont happen.

    • eric says:

      If you want the Nets to keep losing, get Dwight Howard….he’s useless

    • whaaa says:

      i don’t think they are that interested anymore, considering the season lopez had and the season dwight and lakers had. they will probably talk to him, but they will move on quickly if they feel like howard is not worth all the hastle/money. nets needs spot up shooters more than anything so that should be their primary concern this summer.
      i also think in the likely events that both phil jackson and jerry sloan decline the nets, stan the man is the best option they have left (who was doing an underrated job in miami and orlando and got screwed by supermen in both). i heard jeff van gundy wants the job a lot, but i also heard nets don’t want jeff. so that could complicate things because stan and jeff are brothers.

  10. jeff says:

    I am glad that they made a decision to let go of PJ and pursue someone else. The next coach need to be experience with up tempo knowledge and utilized the player athletics that can allow the players to play to their strength. They need Phil Jackson because of expertise in the triangle offense where Wallace and or M Brooks can play play the 3 position as a point forward giving D William the opportunity to play the 2 guard and feed off one another. The new coach need to play the younger players on the bench because they are much-talented players. The Nets have a deep bench. I could not understand why did PJ make a decision to benched Joe Johnson because he was not contributing offensively.

    I think the Nets need a big body that can rebound and score.

  11. W/E says:

    Phil – sloan i dont think they want to coach for the Nets, most probably Stan van gundy is their next coach