Avery “The Closer” Johnson speaks, Carlesimo & Elie officially announced

Avery Johnson spoke to the media in East Rutherford today, along with newly announced assistant coaches P.J. Carlesimo and Mario Elie.

Some bullet points:

  • Avery officially announced that Mario Elie and P.J. Carlesimo, two guys rumored to join the staff for a long time, will join him as assistant coaches. Elie and Carlesimo both spoke, noting that they’re big fans of Avery’s vision.
  • Two of Avery’s bigger goals include turning the team into a top-15 team on offense (the Nets were 27th in offensive rating last season) and becoming a team that can protect the paint and rebound.
  • Avery sees Brook Lopez as a guy who can play the power forward position because of his “versatility.”
  • Travis Outlaw’s hand is injured, but he doesn’t know the extent of the injury — he is scheduled to get it checked by the Nets today or tomorrow morning at the latest. He also was coy about how the injury occurred, saying that “there are stories out there” but he wasn’t sure himself.
  • Jordan Williams is back from Poland and signed to the team, and will be available come training camp.
  • Avery appeared to have not listened to Deron’s radio interview on WFAN yesterday, but praised his “consistency” with his message to the team and to the media, which is something we’ve noted here; despite numerous reports in every direction, Deron has been clear about his intentions since day one.
  • Avery is confident that Billy King and he will improve the roster to Deron’s satisfaction, ruling nothing out regarding trades or free agency.
  • He had some positive things to say about Marshon Brooks, calling him a guy who can put the ball on the floor and score at any time, even when a play breaks down.
  • On the topic of free agency, Avery hasn’t talked to any players at this point, but plans to soon. “I’m like Mariano Rivera,” he said, “They bring me in to close.”
  • Training camp and free agency begin simultaneously on December 9th.