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Friday, June 7, 2013
Coaching candidates: Where Nets stand

By Mike Mazzeo

Brian Shaw, Lionel Hollins and George Karl
Brian Shaw? Lionel Hollins? George Karl? Will any of these guys fulfill the Nets' five- two-year plan?
Who will the Nets hire as their next head coach?

Seeing as how the organization has been extremely quiet on that front, let’s take a look at where things appear to stand as of now:

Brian Shaw: Shaw, an assistant in Indiana, is at the top of Brooklyn’s list to replace P.J. Carlesimo, according to ESPN and other media reports. Shaw is expected to interview with the Clippers as soon as Monday, and is also seen as a front-runner for their job. While Nets players said on breakup day that they wanted a head coach with experience, Shaw doesn’t have any, but he was voted the top assistant in the league in a recent poll of NBA GMs. If the Nets are looking for a “fresh face” as the Daily News reported Friday, Shaw could very well be their guy.

Lionel Hollins: The Nets have been granted permission to interview Hollins, ESPN.com reported earlier this week, but Brooklyn has not spoken to him. Hollins did a terrific job in Memphis this past season, guiding the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals. Still, it seems like he’s not as high on the Nets’ list as Shaw. Hollins could have interest from the Clippers and Nuggets as well.

George Karl: A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that it’s “highly unlikely” that the Nets will reach out to Karl, who won Coach of the Year honors, about their vacancy. Karl’s 80-105 career playoff record isn’t very intriguing to the Nets, who have their sights set on winning a championship and fulfilling owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s five-year plan, which has been reduced to two. Perhaps the veteran coach ends up in Los Angeles or Memphis.

Other big names: The Nets reached out to Jeff Van Gundy and reportedly Larry Brown, but there doesn’t appear to be any traction there.

Shooting for the stars: The team’s coaching search began with a call to Phil Jackson, but the 11-time coaching champion said thanks but no thanks. Then the Nets tried to call the Celtics for permission to talk to Doc Rivers, but were rebuffed.

Mystery candidate: Maybe the Nets decide to make a run at someone whose name hasn’t surfaced yet, perhaps a coach overseas or another assistant like Shaw. At this point, nothing would surprise us. The draft is in two weeks, but the Nets don’t feel any pressure to hire a coach by then.