Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov should try to bring in the greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson, to replace Avery Johnson. He will command a high price, but it will be worth it if he can turn the Nets into a winner.
Jackson has won 11 world championships, six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers, including back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Prokhorov will offer Jackson in the neighborhood of $10-$15 million per season to bring him in, as money is no object. Jackson is 67 and could be given a three-to-five year contract.
The expectations are high, as Prokhorov said he expected a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals with the team they have.
Prokhorov is spending $83.5 million on this team, including $19.75 million to Joe Johnson and Deron Williams was given a 5-year, $100-million contract to return. This is a team built to win now. He also gave lucrative contracts to Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries.
Jackson showed he is interested in returning after his retirement in 2011.
He sought out the Lakers job in early November after they fired Mike Brown. There were numerous reported demands Jackson had, including a limited road schedule and an ownership stake.
He was promised a meeting on Monday, November 12th with Lakers ownership, but the team named Mike D’Antoni on Sunday night before the meeting with Jackson was held.
This rankled Jackson, who felt it was a dirty move by the Lakers.
Jackson is used to coaching stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, so he is the perfect man to coach Deron Williams.
Williams is quickly gaining a reputation as a malcontent, having run Jerry Sloan out of Utah, and now Avery Johnson after 28 games this season.
Sloan coached for 20 years in Utah and had as close to a lifetime contract as you can get in the NBA, and resigned abruptly in February 2010 when he battled with Williams.
Jackson will not allow Williams to be a selfish player and will turn him into a great teammate. Williams will not be able to show up his teammates on the court by putting his hands on his hips and sighing when a bad play is made.
He can be developed into a facilitator on the court in the mold of Derek Fisher, and not a scorer. Fisher arguably was as important as anyone to Jackson’s success with the Lakers.
There is a lot of talent on this roster and Jackson will know how to utilize the strenghts of his players.