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Nets fire Johnson; Phil Jackson a candidate?

The SportsXchange

The Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Avery Johnson after a 14-14 start, general manager Billy King announced Thursday.

According to multiple media reports, the team's top choice for a replacement would be former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. However, Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, told TNT's David Aldridge that Jackson has "no interest in the Nets' job at this time."

The team named assistant P.J. Carlesimo as interim coach. He has previously been a head coach with the Portland Trail Blazers (1994-97), Golden State Warriors (1997-2000) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2007-09).

The Nets sit 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Miami Heat in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They've lost their previous two games and have gone 3-10 in December.

Johnson was in the final year of his contract. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November following after an 11-4 start.

"The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future," principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement.

The Nets spent $330 million during the offseason to upgrade their roster to prepare for a their first season at the $1 billion Barclays Center, but have struggled.

Johnson became coach June 15, 2010 and compiled a 60-116 record in two-plus seasons.

Johnson's son, Avery Jr., tweeted his frustration regarding his father's dismissal.

"The expectations were way to high for this team. We didn't even have a losing record.... Didn't even give my dad a full season. #OUTRAGE" he tweeted. "I'm sorry are best players couldn't make open shots. Yeah that's my dads fault totally..."
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