In the wake of announcing the Nets’ decision not to retain P.J. Carlesimo, general manager Billy King said he planned to contact Phil Jackson. It didn’t take him long.

King contacted Jackson yesterday, according to, officially tipping off the team’s search for its next head coach.

Since the Nets fired Avery Johnson in late December and installed Carlesimo as his interim replacement, it’s been thought the team’s billionaire owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, has Jackson, an 11-time champion with the Bulls and Lakers, atop his wish list.

Jackson, however, has indicated he is not interested in a return to the bench and might prefer to have a front-office role.

That could lead to another potential candidate, Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, garnering interested from the Nets. Shaw — who played under Jackson with the Lakers, winning three titles, and then worked as his assistant from 2004-11, winning two more — is considered by many to be the top assistant in the NBA.

Shaw reiterated after his team’s practice yesterday he won’t be doing any job interviews until after Indiana’s playoff run, which continues tonight against the Knicks.

“Right now, we’re in the heat of the battle in the second round, and so I’ll deal with all of that stuff after we’re all done,” he said.

Shaw said he hasn’t spoken with Jackson about whether he has an interest in returning to the sideline.

“We communicate from time to time, but just mainly talking about other stuff,” Shaw said. “[His name] always is [thrown out there], because if a team is looking for somebody and he’s the most successful at doing what he did, why wouldn’t you reach out to him?”