NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the third time in the last 2 1/2 years, the Brooklyn Nets are in the market for a head coach.
The team on Sunday fired Lionel Hollins, who went 48-71 in his 1 1/2 seasons. Assistant Tony Brown has been named the interim coach for the rest of the season, while owner Mikhail Prokhorov and whoever will be the Nets’ new general manager — Billy King has been reassigned — look for the next coach.
So who might be calling the shots in Brooklyn this fall? Here’s a look at six possibilites.
1. John Calipari
He served as the Nets’ coach once before (1996-99) with mixed results before re-establishing himself as one of the top coaches in the college game (six Final Fours, one national title). Calipari, 56, is reportedly seeking a 10-year, $120-million contract to run an NBA team, presumably as both a head coach and general manager. He, however, has denied he’s looking to leave Kentucky. Prokhorov was asked about the possibility of a Nets-Calipari reunion Monday, saying only, “Coach Cal is a great coach, but we won’t be discussing today any names because it’s the first day of our new approach.”
2. Tom Thibodeau
After reaching the playoffs in all five of his seasons as Bulls coach, Thibodeau, 57, was fired last year after feuding with the front office. The way things ended in Chicago could be a concern — is he tough to get along with? — but his 255-139 career record is hard to ignore. Heck, if the Nets really wanted him, he’s available right now.
3. Mark Jackson
The former Knick and St. John’s star still hasn’t landed a head coaching gig since getting canned by Golden State after the 2013-14 season. Jackson took over a downtrodden Warriors franchise and brought it to the playoffs in his second and third seasons, only to have the rug pulled out from under him a year before Golden State won it all. But much like with Thibodeau, there were rumblings that Jackson, 50, butted heads with management. He’s currently working for ESPN.
4. Luke Walton
Speaking of Golden State, Walton is sure to be a hot candidate this offseason. The Warriors assistant and son of Bill Walton has been filling in for head coach Steve Kerr as he recovers from back surgery. In Kerr’s absence, Walton, 35, has guided Golden State to a 35-2 record, which included a record 24-0 start.
5. Jeff Van Gundy
The ex-Knicks coach’s name comes up regularly with NBA coaching vacancies. Yet he’s been out of coaching since the Rockets fired him nearly nine years ago. In the 10 full seasons he served as an NBA head coach, his teams reached the postseason nine times — including, of course, the NBA Finals in 1999 with the Knicks. Van Gundy, 55, is part of the same ESPN broadcast team as Jackson.
6. Tony Brown
Sure, he’s a long shot, and if the Nets are serious about shaking things up, hiring Hollins’ top assistant is probably not the right way to go. But as interim coach, Brown, 55, is being given a chance to prove himself. If he can somehow turn things around, maybe Prokhorov would give him the keys permanently.