So for the last four days, your favorite four NetsAreScorching writers have discussed the potential of some of the most likely coaching candidates for the New Jersey Nets next season. On Monday, Dennis Velasco argued that Coach K‘s college experience and respect throughout the league made him a viable candidate. On Tuesday, Mark Ginocchio posted about Tom Thibodeau, the assistant coach at Boston, explaining that his coaching roots (a Jeff Van Gundy disciple) and commitment to defense make him a great candidate for the job. On Wednesday, Devin Kharpertian took that commitment one step further, noting that Jeff Van Gundy‘s pedigree was too important to overlook. Yesterday, Sebastian Pruiti made a great case for former coach Avery Johnson, citing his ability to maintain the Mavericks as an offensive force while improving them on the defensive end.
Now, if we were to ask each writer to name one more candidate that they would be interested in seeing, who would it be?
Sebastian: For the past few months I have been on the Eddie Jordan bandwagon, and even though I may be the only one, I think the Nets need to look at Coach Jordan as a serious candidate. Yes, I do realize that he has been fired twice in the past two years, but in both instances I think he had a raw deal. First in Washington he had to deal with a ton of injuries, and second in Philly, he had to deal with 2 bloated contracts. Anyway, the reason I am all for Eddie Jordan (besides the fact that he is already familiar with the Nets – he was a former assistant) is because of his system. I have always been a sucker for motion offenses in the NBA, and I think the Nets’ roster is perfect for a motion offense (I have been saying this for a few years now). To run a motion offense you need a center who is comfortable playing on the outside who can pass, check. You need scoring options from the wing, check. Finally you need a scoring PG, check. That might be the most appealing aspect of Eddie Jordan, you don’t need a pure PG for his system to work. As much as I love Devin and his abilities, he isn’t a true point guard. He is more of a scoring, ball dominating point guard. You saw what Jordan was able to do with another PG with those qualities in Gilbert Arenas. While Eddie Jordan isn’t the flashy name Nets’ fans would want, if the Nets do go after him, don’t be disappointed.
DV: Everyone that follows the NBA closely and pays attention to not only player contracts, but coaches’, you know that the Holy Grail of all sideline stalkers will become a free agent after the NBA Finals when he wins an 11th championship ring. Yes, I’m predicting the Los Angeles Lakers will repeat and that Phil Jackson is a possible candidate to consider for the Nets. Sure, it’s a possibility as small as the size of Megan Fox’s acting ability, but she still gets work, right? So, why not pine and hope for Jackson, arguably the best NBA coach ever, to come back East and turn the Nets into a dynasty? Sure, there’s only one Kobe Bryant, but the Nets have a great chance to sign LeBron James, who has done… great… in the… postseason… yeah. Hmm. Is it a conflict of interest if we ask Michael Jordan to sign with the team for a season or two and inject him with HGH and liquid from the object of Ponce De Leon’s affection, the Fountain of Youth? It is? Well, regardless, Mikhail Prokhorov has tons of money and maybe, just maybe, Jackson will consider taking the greenbacks, as well as the challenge of making the Nets relevant again with the bonus of the Nets having some nice young players that is a LeBron away from easily making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference next season, and who knows in the next five? The added bonus is that Jackson would be able to stuff in his former employer’s face, the New York Knicks, on their own turf.
Devin: I can’t even deny that John Calipari is a giant sleazeball, so I won’t even try. But damnit if he doesn’t get the job done. He’s been in the coaching world for almost 30 years (he started at 23) got the respect of important players in the league, and regardless of the veracity of the CaLeBron rumor the ties between the two are impossible to deny. If Worldwide Wes is as popular as we all think he is, then having Cal as a coach could seriously influence the LeBron James sweepstakes. As a coach, he’s been around this organization before, was the creator of the “dribble-drive” offense that Devin & Brook thrived in and is the kind of guy who might mesh with a Russian billionaire pretty well. Also, I know it’s a long shot, but John Wall LOVED playing for Calipari, and if he has any say come June 24th…
Of course, there are other longshot candidates that we haven’t had a chance to mention – Rick Pitino, Mark Jackson, Jay Wright. But given what we’ve heard, what we know, and what we expect to come, you can bet on one of the guys mentioned this past week to be manning the sidelines next season.
UPDATE – Mark: Ok, ok, I’m here. Sorry folks, I picked an interesting week to be traveling the Southeast of the United States. Let me dissect one of the remaining candidates if I can – Mark Jackson. I think Jackson would be an interesting coaching candidate, but I just wish the guy could get a job as an assistant somewhere first, but he reportedly thinks it’s an unnecessary career move. I guess he’s got a great fallback job as an NBA analyst for ABC. I actually really enjoyed his time with YES and thought he was a great compliment to Ian Eagle and Marv Albert. Anyway, I think with Mikhail Prokhorov saying he’s looking for a guy with NBA experience, it would disqualify Jackson as a candidate. Plus if Prokhorov is serious about getting this franchise to the Finals in five years, he really needs to hire a guy who’s not going to spend a few seasons finding himself as a coach.