NEW YORK — After spending $350 million to upgrade their roster last summer, the Brooklyn Nets will start this offseason by looking for a coach.
The Nets announced Sunday that P.J. Carlesimo wouldn’t return, hours after they were eliminated in the first round.
Carlesimo helped the Nets finish 49-33 after replacing the fired Avery Johnson in December, earning the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
But they spotted the Chicago Bulls a 17-point halftime lead and lost 99-93 at home Saturday night in Game 7.
General manager Billy King received a recent contract extension, but the Nets quickly decided they wanted someone new on the bench, even after Carlesimo went 35-19 on an interim basis.
The Nets were one of the NBA’s busiest teams last summer. They re-signed starters Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace and traded for Atlanta Hawks All-Star Joe Johnson in hopes of being a contender in their first season in Brooklyn after they were longtime losers in New Jersey.
They got back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, but expectations were higher, with owner Mikhail Prokhorov saying in the preseason that he thought the Nets could make the conference finals.
“In one sense, I will say how far we’ve come from last year, infinitely. But we didn’t get as far as we wanted to get,” Carlesimo said Saturday night.
“I think we made enormous progress from where we were last year and what these guys accomplished this year, but to me it’s a hill. You’re always trying to climb up the hill. You go up; you go back. But we thought we could get higher up the hill than we got.”
• More NBA, Page 4B