LeBron James spoke out against how the Brooklyn Nets played under Avery Johnson, saying that it “sucks” that Avery had to get the axe when his team didn’t “want to play at a high level.”
LeBron’s full quote, from the New York Daily News, after the jump:
“They are not doing anything different. They are playing with more passion, more together, they are playing like they want to play for their coach,” James said. “It sucks that Avery had to take the hit of them not wanting to play at a high level, but that’s what it looks like to me. They haven’t changed their offense, they haven’t changed their defense. They’ve picked it up in intensity level and you can tell they like to play for PJ.”
The Nets are 13-4 since axing Avery Johnson, for a few reasons we’ve discussed. There’s little doubt that the Nets have played significantly better under Carlesimo’s watch. James’s statements indicate that he feels it was not coincidental, and though mentioning that the team enjoys playing for Carlesimo, made it seem that it was less a result of his coaching and more a result of them picking up the intensity after Avery’s firing.