Billy King stated today that PJ Carlisemo, a Johnson assistant, will be the interim coach right now and a wide-spread search will go on after the New Year. Carlisemo has coached Portland, Golden State and Seattle/Oklahoma City in his NBA coaching career.
Who is at the top of the Nets wishlist right now?
Sources told ESPN.com on Thursday the Nets have Jackson atop their list of potential replacements for Johnson and will make a hard push for the 67-year-old, who appeared close to returning for a third stint with the Los Angeles Lakers in November before L.A. unexpectedly gave the job to Mike D'Antoni.
Another source insisted Thursday night that the Lakers' presumed reluctance to give Jackson what he wanted, in terms of salary and say in basketball matters, would not be an issue with the Nets, thanks largely to the deep pockets and affinity for stars of billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
It's also worth noting that Williams, in his recent critique of Johnson's offense, described himself as "a system player." Jackson, with his triangle offense, is arguably the NBA's foremost system coach, provided he can be talked into one more job after the disappointment of losing out to D'Antoni after thinking he'd be getting the Lakers' job for a third time.
Specifically where the Nets would turn in the event Jackson ultimately passes is not immediately clear. There are a number of top coaching names available in addition to Jackson, but Stan Van Gundy told Sports Illustrated's website on Thursday that he has "no interest at all" in the job. Jerry Sloan would appear to be a serious long-shot candidate given the tension with Williams before Sloan's resignation in Utah in February 2011 and the Jazz's subsequent trade of Williams to the Nets even after Sloan stepped down.