NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nets general manager Billy King has reportedly followed through on his plans to reach out to Phil Jackson to measure the 67-year-old’s interest in Brooklyn’s coaching vacancy.
The Nets previously eyed the coaching legend in December after firing Avery Johnson. On Sunday, King said he’d contact Jackson when announcing the team would not retain interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
The retired Jackson, who may be more interested in a front-office position in the NBA, “is so far the only candidate officially contacted in the Nets’ search,” the Daily News reported.
Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy could enter the mix, though both have been tight-lipped about the possibility. That wasn’t the case for Jerry Sloan, who told Comcast Sports Net Northwest that he “would definitely listen” if the Nets called.
Sloan and Nets point guard Deron Williams had a touch-and-go relationship in Utah, though both have said they’d be open to a reunion.
Brooklyn making its first phone call to Jackson was “a clear indication the 11-time champion is the top priority,” according to the Daily News. Jackson was linked to the Knicks job last summer, but owner James Dolan never picked up the phone.
The Daily News also mentioned Mike Dunleavy and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers as potential candidates.
The Nets were eliminated from the playoffs in a Game 7 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
“They want to move in a different direction,” Carlesimo told WFAN radio on Monday. “They want somebody who, Billy said, philosophically is more in line with the way he viewed the roster and the way they wanted it run. That’s their prerogative. It’s disappointing, because I thought we did a good job. But when you own a team or you’re the GM, you’ve got to get the guy that you believe is the right guy.”
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