The Brooklyn Nets are making a huge mistake by not chasing a high-profile head coach.
According to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York, the Nets are not actively pursuing a replacement for the recently fired Avery Johnson. Instead, the team will stick with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Mazzeo transcribed the following from an interview between Nets general manager Billy King and ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio host Ian O'Connor:
'We've put our support behind [P.J. Carlesimo] and then we'll look at things and evaluate it later,' King said. 'I know people have been throwing lists together and things like that, but we have not contacted anybody. ... We've made the move and now we're going to let P.J. coach.'
So far, Carlesimo is 2-1 as the interim head coach. The latest game saw Brooklyn lose 104-73 to the San Antonio Spurs.
We'll allow the public to decide whether Brooklyn is in the right.
Although Carlesimo appears safe, Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson is "intrigued" by the possibility of coaching the Nets. Berger states that the two sides share a mutual interest.
That was, until general manager King disproved that theory.
Regardless of what the Nets commit to, the only logical course of action is to hire a high-profile coach. As for why, the reasoning is simple.
They have no other choice.
The D-Will Factor
Let's not beat around the bush and leave this for last. The Brooklyn Nets need a powerful presence with a history of success to deal with the one man on the roster who has developed a reputation as a toxic locker-room presence.
Williams claims that he was "surprised" by the fact that Johnson was let go (via the New York Daily News).
As a result of this history, D-Will has created the distinction of a coach killer (via B/R).
The Key is Respect
In order for a head coach to take control of the Brooklyn Nets, he must command respect. In order for that to transpire, Brooklyn must hire a head coach with a championship pedigree.
Otherwise, the coach will be in the same position as the players: without a ring and without respect.
Due to the fact that Deron Williams is on the roster, it is imperative that the coach has something to use as grounds for superiority. A coach with previous postseason success would be able to do just that.
After all, Williams has yet to win a title. If he's going to respect something, it's a coach that can grant him said opportunity.
The same can be said for the likes of Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, who have solid resumes but nothing to round them out. With a coach such as Phil Jackson, who has won 11 titles as a coach, the egos would be eliminated.
For the record, P.J. Carlesimo has a career regular-season record of 204-96 and 3-9 in the playoffs.
Guided by a coach who has never won a ring, the Nets are in the same position as before. The players are inclined to ask a simple question: Who's to say the coach knows how to get a ring better than the players?
Until a high-profile name takes over, that mentality will not change. Nor will the results.