The Brooklyn Nets found it easy to be cool -- new city, new uniforms, new vibe -- after their move from New Jersey but harder to sustain the momentum of an 11-4 start.
So they fired their coach Thursday after losing 10 of their past 13 games ... and Avery Johnson showed up at the news conference that announced his own dismissal and thanked everyone from owner Mikhail Prokhorov to the video guy.
Ultimately, Johnson lost a locker room in which many players -- everyone from All-Star point guard Deron Williams to Kris Humphries -- grew unhappy either with Johnson's offense or their playing time, or both. The Nets named assistant P.J. Carlesimo the interim coach.
"In this business, you got to have the power -- in terms of the ability to coach -- and the respect," said Johnson, who coached with just this season left on his contract after being denied an extension. "It would help if you do have a contract the players respect. That's the nature of our business ...
"It's not about the fair game. A lot of times it's about the blame game."Surf's up in L.A.
The Los Angeles Clippers extended their franchise-record winning streak to 15 games and did so Thursday night by beating a Boston team that four years ago was the last team to win that many games consecutively.
By 29 points.
"It still feels like we can get better," Clippers center Ronny Turiaf told reporters after his team's largest victory ever over the Celtics. "We're just having fun. We're in the now. We're just trying to ride the wave."He said it
TNT analyst Charles Barkley on the Nets' Williams: "He's got the reputation of getting coaches fired. Whatever happened in Utah [where Jerry Sloan retired], it happened. Whatever happened in Brooklyn, it happened. This is all on Deron Williams right now. It's time to put up or shut up."