The Brooklyn Nets entered the 2012-13 NBA season with high hopes.
They had re-signed key members of their team.
Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez were all coming back. The Nets had also made a major trade to acquire shooting guard Joe Johnson.
The team had talent, a new location in Brooklyn, and a brand new home court, the state-of-the-art Barclays Center.
Now they need a new Head Coach.
Less than two months into the season, and less than one month since Avery Johnson won NBA Head Coach of the month, Johnson was shown the door Thursday afternoon.
ESPN.com reported that Johnson was dismissed following a 14-14 start. The Nets are 3-10 in December and have lost seven of their last 10 games.
The Nets issues go beyond their on-court issues though.
It was just over one week ago that Deron Williams took his issues with Avery Johnson's offense public. Williams who signed a contract for five years and $98.7 million last July is the Nets' biggest star.
If Williams were the only player to express frustration with the team, then perhaps that would have been okay. Wednesday night, following a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Gerald Wallace called out his teammates claiming that they lacked a cohesive team attitude.
Those accusations may not have been aimed at Johnson, but they certainly paint a picture of a team with serious internal problems. After all, the job of Head Coach goes beyond just drawing up plays, and in-game decisions.
Players have to have faith in both each other and in their coaches.
Over an 82-game regular season, nearly every team will go through ups and downs. The Nets may be in the midst of a streak of poor performance, but they're still a .500 team with plenty of talent, and two-thirds of the NBA season remaining on the schedule.
So why fire Johnson now?
Wallace's comments had to play a major role. The image of a group of well-paid athletes more concerned with individual achievements than winning games is not a reputation any owner wants hanging over their team.
Firing Johnson gives the team plenty of time to become the type of close-knit unit that wins games not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well.
USA Today reports that former Trail Blazers and Warriors head coach P.J. Carlesimo has been named interim head coach.
The Nets next game is Friday night, at home in Brooklyn against a Charlotte Bobcats team that is mired in a 16-game losing streak. That's a game the Nets will be expected to win regardless of who the head coach is.
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