Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King told ESPN New York radio on Sunday that interim coach P.J. Carlesimo is the coach for now and that the team is not actively looking for a permanent replacement for fired coach Avery Johnson.
Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy have been rumored candidates but King said he has "not contacted anybody," that the team "supports" Carlesimo and he will "re-evaluate" the coaching job going forward. King also repeatedly said "P.J.'s our coach" when asked about Jackson.
"We've put our support behind (Carlesimo) and then we'll look at things and evaluate it later," King said. "I know people have been throwing lists together and things like that, but we have not contacted anybody. ... We've made the move and now we're going to let P.J. coach."
King did not rule out letting Carlesimo finish the season.
ESPN.com, citing sources, reported that the Nets made Jackson their top candidate to replace Johnson, but King denied it.
"I don't know how many times I can say it or (owner) Mikhail (Prokhorov) can say it. P.J.'s our coach," King said. "We're gonna let him coach and then re-evaluate things. I know Mikhail said it about 10 times when he was asked, and I've been saying it, and I think people just keep dismissing what we say."
Prokhorov spent $330 million to improve the Nets' roster. After a fast start, the Nets (16-14) lost 10 of 13 games in December and fired Johnson.
Carlesimo is 2-0 since replacing Johnson.
"Sometimes you just need a different voice," King said. "What I like about P.J. is he's had NBA head coaching experience. I think he understands the game, he's been around it."
Kelvin Sampson, Nate McMillan and Mike Dunleavy have also been mentioned as rumored coaching candidates to take the Nets job.