Thursday , Oct , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Mavs’ Johnson retires; will stay on as coach

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Dallas Mavericks guard Avery Johnson
announced his retirement Thursday after a 16-year playing career.

Johnson had signed a contract with the Mavericks on September 30 as a
player/coach put decided this week to concentrate on his bench duties. The 39-
year-old will serve as the top aide to Don Nelson and is slated to take over
the team once the longtime successful coach retires.

“I am looking forward to working with a Hall of Fame coach in Don Nelson, who
has been so good to me and supportive in helping me maximize my coaching
abilities,” Johnson said. “I am especially grateful to Mark Cuban for being a
man of his word and a man of great integrity. I want to be a part of him and
this organization winning their first championship.”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Johnson was not drafted out of college and began his
NBA career with Seattle in 1988 after a stint in the United States Basketball
League. One of only 75 players to play in over 1,000 career games, Johnson
averaged 8.4 points and 5.5 assists with Seattle, Denver, San Antonio,
Houston, Golden State and Dallas. He ranks 27th in NBA history with 5,846

The highlight of Johnson’s career came in 1998-99, when he helped San Antonio
to a world championship as the team’s starting point guard.

Johnson, who spent parts of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons with Dallas,
played in 46 games with Golden State last year and averaged 4.6 points, 2.4
assists and 13.8 minutes per game.

Johnson will replace Donnie Nelson, the head coach’s son, as the Mavericks top
assistant. The younger Nelson is the club’s president of basketball operations
and will concentrate solely on that role.