Nets’ Johnson honored in November, fired in December
NEW YORK – Coach of the month in November, out of a job by New Year’s.
The Brooklyn Nets have elevated expectations this season, and a .500 record wasn’t good enough. Coach Avery Johnson was fired Thursday, his team having lost 10 of 13 games after a strong start to its first season in Brooklyn.
“We don’t have the same fire now than we did when we were 11-4,” general manager Billy King said at a news conference in East Rutherford, N.J.
“I tried to talk to Avery about it, and we just can’t figure it out. The same pattern kept on happening.”
Assistant P.J. Carlesimo will coach the Nets on an interim basis, starting with today’s home game against Charlotte.
King said the Nets may reach out to other candidates, but for now, the job is Carlesimo’s. The GM wouldn’t comment on a report that the team planned to get in touch with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
King said the decision to dismiss Johnson was made by ownership after a phone discussion Thursday morning. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov had expressed faith in Johnson before the season.
U.S. juniors rout Germany 8-0 at world tournament
UFA, Russia – The United States routed Germany 8-0 Thursday at the world junior ice hockey tournament behind a goal and two assists each from Alex Galchenyuk and Riley Barber.
This was the first Group B game for the Americans, who are tied for first place with Canada.
The Canadians downed Germany 9-3 on Wednesday.
The U.S. will take on Russia today.
Also Thursday, Switzerland beat Latvia 7-2 in Group A.
U.S. goaltender John Gibson stopped 19 shots through two periods. He was replaced for the third by Jon Gillies, who made seven saves.
Sean Kuraly added a goal and an assist for the Americans. Goalie Marvin Cupper had 38 saves for the Germans.
The Americans were up 3-0 after the first period on goals by Kuraly, Jacob Trouba and Galchenyuk.
They scored another three in the second – Barber, Shayne Gostisbehere and Ryan Hartman.
J.T. Miller then scored on a solo effort midway through the third, and Seth Jones completed the rout less than two minutes later.
Rocky start for Murray with loss in Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Andy Murray’s 2013 season got off to a shaky start Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.
Two early breaks in each set helped Tipsarevic dispatch the third-ranked Murray.
The Serb next faces Nicolas Almagro, a late replacement for Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the tournament with a stomach bug.
In Thursday’s other match, fifth-ranked David Ferrer defeated sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal against top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won the tournament last year.
Ferrer easily won the first set after jumping to a 5-0 lead. He broke serve early in the second.
Beckham still mulling international offers
LONDON – Nearly a month after leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy, David Beckham is considering “a number of serious proposals” but is in no rush to find a new team.
He has been linked to clubs in France, Australia and Asia in what would be the final chapter of the illustrious career of the 37-year-old midfielder and former England captain.
A “host of clubs” have made offers, Beckham’s management company said.