The Brooklyn Nets have relieved Avery Johnson of his coaching duties, general manager Billy King announced Thursday.
P.J. Carlesimo has been named the interim coach, a source told ESPN.
Johnson, who was in the final year of his contract, was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November following an 11-4 start. But the Nets have won just three of their last 13 games in December, prompting the team to go in another direction.
The Nets, at 14-14, currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
"The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future," principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov said.
The Nets' season took a turn for the worse when center Brook Lopez, who was playing the best basketball of his career, missed seven games due to a sprained right foot. The Nets went 2-5 in his absence, and have gone just 2-5 since his return. They have not beaten a team with a winning record since Nov. 28.
More than a week ago, star point guard Deron Williams, who is having the worst season of his career, criticized Johnson's isolation-heavy offensive system, saying he felt uncomfortable.
After Tuesday's 93-76 loss to the Boston Celtics, CEO Brett Yormark tweeted that "Nets fans deserved better," though he later clarified through a team spokesman that he wasn't just referring to the team's on-court performance.
upgrade their roster as they moved into their first season at the $1 billion Barclays Center, but have certainly not lived up to lofty expectations.
Prokhorov said before the start of the 2012-13 campaign that a successful season would be defined by a possible trip to the Eastern Conference finals.
Johnson was named coach of the Nets on June 15, 2010. In two-plus seasons with the Nets, Johnson compiled a record of 60-116.
Backup center Andray Blatche was among the first of the Nets players to react to the news, posting on Twitter: "Thanx coach Avery for everything"