Jeff Van Gundy may well end up being the Brooklyn Nets' permanent head coach once the season is over, but Van Gundy told USA Today Thursday that he thinks interim coach P.J. Carlesimo deserves to have that interim tag removed after leading the Nets to a 13-5 record since replacing Avery Johnson.
“(Carlesimo) has earned that opportunity to come back and be the coach for a long, long time,” Van Gundy said. “I like the way the team is playing. They play hard. It seems like (Deron) Williams and Joe Johnson are playing with a little more energy, Brook Lopez has been terrific. I think P.J. has done a wonderful job.”
ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard thinks the Nets may very well make Carlesimo the permanent head coach if he continues to draw the best out of D-Will, Lopez and J.J., especially in the postseason:
"Despite the interim tag, Carlesimo is a lock to finish this season, and if the Nets can put together a strong playoff run -- in my opinion, reaching the sixth or seventh game of the second round would qualify -- he might get the job long term. While the Nets covet Phil Jackson, that might be wishful thinking. Ever since leaving the Lakers' bench, Jackson has been interested in a front-office position, and one might await him in Seattle. Getting Jackson to Brooklyn is not a complete pipe dream, but it's unlikely. Jeff Van Gundy would be a marquee hire, particularly in New York, and there are plenty of other great candidates as well (Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Mike Dunleavy). But who knows? Carlesimo might be the answer. He certainly has been so far."