That didn’t take long. The day after the Nets’ inaugural season in Brooklyn ended with a thud in a 99-93 loss in Game 7 of their first-round series with the Bulls, general manager Billy King announced P.J. Carlesimo wouldn’t be retained as the team’s head coach. “It was a difficult decision,” King said yesterday, adding the team’s first-round exit from the playoffs didn’t impact his decision. “We talked about it, but looking at the long-term future with this organization, I felt it was best to look elsewhere and try to find the right fit. “I thanked him. He did a hell of a job for us in a difficult situation. But by doing it now, there’s a lot of jobs open … hopefully, it gets P.J. a chance, and as well gives us a chance with a lot of candidates out there to explore and look at, and that’s what we’ll be doing in the next couple of weeks.” After taking over for Avery Johnson in late December, Carlesimo led the Nets to a 35-19 record over the final four months of the season. But despite Carlesimo getting votes of support from Williams and Brook Lopez following the team’s season-ending loss Saturday night, the decision not to bring back Carlesimo didn’t come as a great surprise. It had been expected the Nets were going to make a long-term commitment to a coach when their season came to an end. But with that decision officially made, the next step is to determine who will be the coach to take over this roster, one that went 49-33 this season and finished fourth in the East before bowing out to the Bulls. King said getting a coach with experience leading an NBA team wasn’t a requirement for him, citing the likes of Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, Erik Spoelstra in Miami and Mark Jackson in Golden State as examples of first-time head coaches who had success. His players, however, seemed to have other ideas, as both Deron Williams and Reggie Evans said the Nets need a proven head coach to take over a veteran-laden roster.
P.J. out as Nets look long term
New York Post | May 6