Brooklyn Nets Fire Head Coach Avery Johnson

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2012

A 14-14 start for the Brooklyn Nets after a busy offseason that saw the team re-sign Deron Williams and trade for Joe Johnson has cost head coach Avery Johnson his job.

Via Nets Public Relations on Twitter:

The Brooklyn Nets have relieved Avery Johnson of his head coaching duties, Nets GM Billy King announced.

— Nets PR Dept. (@Nets_PR) December 27, 2012

The Nets invested a lot of resources into building a team that they thought could compete at or near the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference, only to see them sitting eighth, just ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Nets have named former Portland head coach P.J. Carlesimo their interim head coach.

In fact, the Nets have made P.J. Carlesimo the interim head coach, sources tell Y! Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 27, 2012

Marc Stein of ESPN.com, speaking to sources, is reporting that the Nets are going to launch a full-scale search for their next head coach, including contacting former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson. 

According to NBA coaching source, Nets launching broad search that will include call to Phil Jackson to gauge Phil's interest in Brooklyn

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 27, 2012

Wojnarowski also reports that the decision to get rid of Johnson was general manager Billy King's after the team had discussions about their head coach. 

While front office had discussions w/ ownership on Johnson's future, GM Billy King made ultimate choice to fire him now, sources tell Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 27, 2012

Carlesimo hasn’t been a head coach since being fired by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, after the team got off to a 1-12 start. That was the first season in Oklahoma City after the franchise moved from Seattle.

Avery Johnson took over the Nets in 2010. He never finished above .500 with the team, posting a career mark of 60-116 in his two-plus seasons with the franchise.

This was supposed to be the start of a new era for the Nets, who moved to a luxurious new arena in Brooklyn and were going try to steal some of the New York market from the Knicks.

As fate would have it, the Knicks are currently the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. They have a record of 21-8, and the NBA is buzzing about this return to prominence for one of its most storied franchises.

The Nets started out the season on fire, winning 11 of their first 18 games. They have fallen on hard times since, losing seven of their last 10 games. This is the second time Johnson has been fired, as he lost his job with Dallas following the 2007-08 season.