Jason Kidd is out in Brooklyn after one season, the result of a messy power play that sent him to Milwaukee and suddenly made this a much more interesting summer for Nets fans.
Whoever steps in needs to be able to manage Brooklyn's roster of veteran talent, but also play nice with owner Mikhail Prokhorov...which immediately rules out Mark Jackson, who ended up getting fired despite his success in Golden State because he "couldn't manage up" (owner Joe Lacob's words, not ours).
3. Lionel Hollins
Hollins is experienced, smart and well-respected in NBA coaching circles. A no-nonsense coach with a proven track record of playoff success, the only real concern is that his leadership style could be too harsh for Deron Williams and Brooklyn's other established talent. He'll get serious consideration, but at the moment he's still behind our other two candidates in the pecking order.
2. Ettore Messina
Messina is a European coaching legend with close ties to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (Prokhorov bankrolled CSKA Moscow, a team Messina coached to two Euroleague titles), and he immediately became a top candidate the moment Kidd's move became official. Despite his lack of NBA experience (other than a brief consulting role with the Lakers, he spent his 25-year coaching career in Europe), his wealth of basketball knowledge is legendary.
1. George Karl
Karl is comfortably the frontrunner in the Nets' coaching race, and he brings Hollins' experience with a much less heavy-handed management approach. Between 1991 and 2013, he coached every single season without missing the playoffs, and in 2009 he took a team with JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony on it to the Western Conference Finals. Karl will be back on the bench soon, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if it happens in Brooklyn.
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