EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo went 35-19 in the regular season after taking over for Avery Johnson and his players seem to enjoy playing for him.
But despite all of that, Carlesimo said he has “no idea” what he needs to do in the playoffs to keep the position on a permanent basis next year -- and perhaps years to come.
Asked if he thinks he’s already done enough to merit a full-time gig, Carlesimo responded, “That’s not my call. That’s [owner Mikhail] Prokhorov’s call.”
Prokhorov said at the beginning of the season that a successful season for the Nets in their first year in Brooklyn would be defined by a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Prokhorov will be in attendance on Saturday night for Game 1 of his team’s first-round series against the Chicago Bulls, his PR person confirmed.
Does Carlesimo expect to have any talks with the Russian billionaire?
“I don’t anticipate any,” Carlesimo said. “I haven’t anticipated any since the first meeting the first day. It was just do the job, do what you think is best and we’ll talk when it’s all over. So hopefully we’re not going to talk for a long time.”
Carlesimo joked that if he were Prokhorov, “I would give me a lifetime contract and I would pay a lot of money, but he can do whatever he wants. But if it was my team, that’s what I would do.”
Sources have told ESPNNewYork.com and ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Carlesimo does have a chance at retaining the job, depending on how the Nets do in the playoffs.
Still, with names like Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy potentially on the market, coaching insiders believe Prokhorov will pursue them given his desire to make a splashy hire.