Brooklyn, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Brooklyn Nets have dismissed coach Avery Johnson after the team won just three of their last 13 outings, dropping them to 14-14 after an impressive start, general manager Billy King announced.
According to an ESPN.com source, the Nets named P.J. Carlesimo as interim coach.
Johnson was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November following an 11-4 start but the Nets had an awful December, compiling a 3-10 record to make it 14-14, good for eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
“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 two-plus seasons with the Nets, Johnson had a 60-116 record after a 194-70 record with Dallas, leading the Mavericks to a spot in the NBA Finals in 2006.
However, Johnson had little chance of success in his first two seasons while the Nets focused all their planning on the move to Brooklyn and into the $1 billion Barclays Center.
As part of their move to Brooklyn, the Nets spent $330 million in the offseason to upgrade their roster.
The Nets’ roster moves paid off early as they started 11-4 but their season took a turn for the worse when center Brook Lopez missed seven games because of a sprained right foot.
The Nets went 2-5 in his absence and have gone just 2-5 since his return. They have not beaten a team with a winning record since Nov. 28.
Earlier, star point guard Deron Williams, who is having the worst season of his career, criticized Johnson’s isolation-heavy offensive system, saying he felt uncomfortable.
Backup center Andray Blatche was among the first of the Nets players to react to the news, posting on Twitter: “Thanx coach Avery for everything.”
Johnson’s son, Avery Jr., voiced his displeasure over his father’s dismissal with tweets of his own.
“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…” Avery Jr. added.