Brooklyn Nets

Phil Jackson Nets: Waiting on Zen Master Will Cost Brooklyn Top Candidates

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 27:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers watches the game against the New Jersey Nets with athletic trainer Gary Vitti, and assistants Frank Hamblen and Kurt Rambis on March 27, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

Per ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets have established Phil Jackson as their top choice to succeed Avery Johnson as head coach, and the whole thing is a bad idea.

The Nets don't have the superstars on their roster to lure Jackson, but the Zen Master will likely string the Nets along for as long as they allow. 

Mikhail Prokhorov would be wise to make this a very short courtship.

I don't advocate the interest to begin with, but if it must chase Jackson, it behooves the organization to press him for a commitment sooner than later.

Jackson is a legend with an ego nearly as large as his trophy case, so he won't allow anyone to rush him. If the Nets let this drag on too long, they will hurt their chances of inking more practical and quality options.

Coaches have egos as large—if not larger—than the players. No established coach with a highly regarded résumé wants to be the second choice—even to Jackson.

ESPN's Chris Broussard mentions guys like Jeff Van Gundy and Larry Brown as possible replacements for Avery Johnson, but will either of those guys be interested if the Nets unsuccessfully pursue Jackson for an extended period of time?

I doubt it.

According to ESPN, Jackson's agent Todd Musberger said his client has "no interest in the Nets' job at this time." Still, the Nets are allowing reports to circulate that Jackson is their top candidate.

This is a silly gamble to take.

Van Gundy is the smartest option for the Nets. This organization would be wise to focus their attention on him. Per ESPN, he would like to wait until the start of next season to take a job.

The smartest move the Nets can make is to allow P.J. Carlesimo to finish the year as interim coach.

If he does a good job, you can use him as a backup if Van Gundy or a realistic option turns them down.

Prokhorov should make a statement that separates his team from Jackson as soon as possible. They will never capture that prize; there is no need to insult realistic candidates with the prospects of such an unlikely hiring.

If they don't stop pursuing Jackson soon, they will only make a bigger mess while attempting to make a big splash.

 

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