12-29-2012, 02:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Re: BREAKING: Avery Johnson fired by Nets
NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said Friday he decided to fire Avery Johnson last week but now wants patience with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
A day after dismissing Johnson after 28 games, Prokhorov said he won't rush into a coaching search, insisting he wants Carlesimo to have a chance to lead the Nets out of their slump.
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The Russian billionaire cut short a vacation to British Columbia to travel to New York, where he plans to meet Saturday with Carlesimo. But even with big names such as Phil Jackson potentially available and Prokhorov vowing to spend whatever it takes to build a championship team, he said repeatedly that Carlesimo was the head coach.
Prokhorov did say that if the Nets do look for a new coach, he would be personally involved. He wouldn't discuss anyone by name, even joking he had never heard of Jackson, the 11-time champion coach.
"Now P.J. is the head coach and if it becomes necessary, you know who the usual suspects are," Prokhorov told news reporters at halftime of the Nets' game Friday, which they won 97-81 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
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Johnson led the Nets to an 11-4 start, winning Eastern Conference coach of the month honors for November. But they were 3-10 in December under Johnson, had been blown out of their last two games and, Prokhorov said, were lacking team spirit.
Still, deciding Johnson would be fired last week means Prokhorov had made up his mind even before the lackluster Christmas performance at home against Boston that preceded a rout Wednesday in Milwaukee.
"I think we have very talented players but they are capable of much more than what we have seen in the recent weeks," Prokhorov said. "I respect Avery and really I wish him well, but sometimes chemistry just isn't right. It happens.
"I think the main question is why we were unable to bounce back and to play like champions."
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Prokhorov added around $300 million in payroll this summer and has set the expectations high, saying he believes the Nets can reach the Eastern Conference finals. Though it's believed he wouldn't back away from paying top dollar for a coach, he left open the possibility that he may already have the guy he wants.
"P.J. is the head coach and just I think we have a lot of trust in him and really I want him to lead the team," Prokhorov said.
Looks like its been pre-determined, just need a perfect time to pull the trigger lol.