It\’s Official: Avery is Hired!

It\’s Official: The Avery Johnson Era Gets Underway

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

It\’s official. The Nets announced today that ESPN Analyst and former Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Avery Johnson is the new Head Coach of the New Jersey Nets.*

Reports have it that Avery may get the opportunity to meet up with the new owner, Mike Prokhorov, very soon. That could happen on Sunday at game five of the NBA finals. It will likely be followed by a press conference welcoming the new coach officially on Tuesday.

If you are a Nets fan, you have to be thrilled that the critical decision about who will be guiding the team is out of the way and that management can now get on with the rest of the business of the offseason that includes the NBA Draft, trades and/or free agency.

For my part, I think the Nets made a sound decision in bringing Avery Johnson aboard. It should pay many dividends. He is a winner and that will be felt throughout the organization.

Knowing Avery, he will impose his will-to-win upon the team. A winning culture will be re-established. He is an organized, structured individual who has a philosophy he believes in and a system that works. He will work hard to overachieve. He expects no less from others. He demands success by insisting on order and discipline. He motivates the troops.

Some have suggested that he wasn\’t the team\’s first choice … That others were ahead of him. Well, I say it\’s balderdash. I wasn\’t my mother\’s first child, but I don\’t feel any less loved. Besides, I don\’t think anyone else was under serious consideration because he was the only fellow formally interviewed. (No disrespect to Jeff Van Gundy, who I think will be happier in the TV booth for a while longer, and Tom Thibodeau, who has a great situation in Chicago.)

One of the things I like about Avery is his enthusiasm for the game. He is an exuberant personality that knows his stuff.

Avery will entertain, charm and never be at a loss for words. Rest assured, the Nets beat writers will never lack for colorful quotes. He is a bundle of energy and pure fun.

Avery wanted the position because it was a no-lose proposition with lots of upside. He moves into a situation that can only improve.

The Nets grossly underachieved last season. Roster change, youthful inexperience and injuries got the better of them in a lost season.

Still, towards the end of the season, the Kiki experiment began to bear some fruit. The Nets prevailed against the Boston Celtics and playoff bound Chicago Bulls.

Kiki\’s \”Dan Issel\” style of coaching brought a few impressive victories and some crucial player development, but with a new owner on tap that could not afford the patience to continue the experiment, someone with a more serious coaching resume and proven track-record needed to come aboard.

Enter Avery. From Little General (Lawrence Frank\’s nickname) to Little General (Avery Johnson\’s nickname). Sounds like a soap opera, doesn\’t it?

The only difference is that this general has been there winning a title as a Point-Guard for the Spurs and was but a mere two victories away from an NBA Championship as a Coach for Dallas.

While it is true that Avery Johnson took over a very talented Mavericks team that was peaking, he still guided it to some very successful regular seasons and consistent postseason appearances. His first year made it all the way to the finals against the eventual winner Miami Heat.

The Nets are far more than a 12-win team. They will move in the right direction even if no coach is hired. With Avery, they should overachieve. With a little luck, who knows? Mike Prokhorov\’s predictions may come true.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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