Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 4/26/13

After 28 games, the Brooklyn Nets needed a kick start. Head Coach Avery Johnson won the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November, the first month of the season, but then the team fell apart. By late December, the Nets fell down to 14-14 and it was time to make a change. For all the moves that were made (and all the money that was spent) on Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez, Derron Williams, and Kris Humphries, a .500 record after just about 2 months did not cut it for billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov. So Prokhorov made the move and fired Johnson. Assistant coach PJ Carlesimo was named interim coach, with “interim” thought to mean very interim. Almost immediately, the Nets began looking for a new coach. They asked Phil Jackson but he wasn’t ready to coach again, and why would he ever take over any team in the middle of the year. They probably also contacted the Van Gundy brothers, but nobody would take the job. Jeff Van Gundy went as far as saying he would not talk to the Nets because they already had a coach in place, even if it was just interim, and he didn’t want to talk to a team while someone had the job. Photo Credit: (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News) So the Nets stuck with PJ Carlesimo for the rest of the regular season. And you know, he didn’t do much. He just went 54-19, which just equates to a .650 winning percentage. You know, normal stuff that any random NBA Head Coach could do. Before this year, the last time PJ coached in the NBA was 2008 when he was fired 13 games into the inaugural season of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Carlesimo led the Nets to the postseason this year in the team’s first season in Brooklyn. The last time PJ had a team in the playoffs was in the 1996-1997 season. PJ Carlesimo is exactly what this team needed. PJ is a players’ coach. And the team reacted immediately to his promotion. Joe Johnson began playing on another level. So did Brooke Lopez. Gerald Wallace became a shut down defender night in and night out. Yet Derron Williams still struggled until about the All-Star break when he was finally able to get healthy. This offseason, the Nets will look to continue their coaching search. It will probably include PJ Carlesimo, Phil Jackson (another PJ), and at least one of the Van Gundy brothers. The Nets need PJ. Not Phil Jackson, the man with 11 rings as a coach and leader of the Bulls dynasty of the 90s. They need PJ Carlesimo. The man who went 15 years between playoff appearances. The man who was choked by Latrell Spreewell, a player on his own team. PJ Carlesimo has the Nets back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. PJ has done more than enough to keep his job permanently. So please Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov, do the right thing, take away the interim tag and give PJ Carlesimo the Nets head coaching job full time. -Goldberg

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