Phil Jackson Nets Negotiations For Coaching Offer

Phil Jackson is now the leading candidate to become the next NBA coach for The Brooklyn Nets after owner Mikhail Prokhorov fired Avery Johnson on Thursday. The former Lakers coach could find a good fit with the team because he could get the salary he wants, which was a problem for Los Angeles.

The Nets are on a 14-14 start, which includes 10 losses in the past 13 games, and that is deemed unacceptable for a team that made major offseason moves by resigning Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez and trading for Joe Johnson.

This team now has an $83.5 million payroll, No. 3 that ranks third in the league.

The Los Angeles Lakers swapped Brown for Mike D’Antoni in early November, when they took all of five games to decide an upgrade was needed for the $100 million, so-called Super Team that is more expensive than the rest.

A higher price tag means increased pressure. And since and the fact that coaches are easier to change than players, means they’ll almost always take the fall for an underachieving team.

The question in the case of the Nets, though, is whether expectations met reality.

Despite Prokhorov proclaiming early last month that a successful season could mean reaching the Eastern Conference finals, the view that the Nets could be the East’s second-best team is hardly the prevailing sentiment among executives around the league.

Even so, Nets general manager Billy King insisted the Johnson decision wasn’t just about the need to get more out of the roster because of the price that was paid for it.

“I think each situation is different, and it’s not just how much money you spend,” King told USA TODAY sports. “Being inside of it, you evaluate it based on what you’re going through at the time. I just don’t think we were playing the way we had played. And I couldn’t put a finger on why.”

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