New Jersey Nets get 'credible' with Coach Avery Johnson
The New Jersey Nets and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson have reached a verbal agreement to hire Johnson as the Nets' new coach.
Johnson is expected to be introduced on Thursday, said a person who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the deal.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For a coach, credibility is everything.
Most NBA players earn more money than their coach. And player contracts are usually guaranteed for several years, while the typical coach's contract has a far shorter term.
So, players, especially stars, hold leverage over the man who, in theory, is their boss. With such a dysfunctional arrangement, players won't follow a coach they don't respect or believe in.
Fortunately, for the New Jersey Nets, Johnson has credibility to burn. He holds the all time best winning percentage for a sideline boss and led the Dallas Mavericks to the sixth game of the 2006 NBA Finals.
The current ESPN analyst will have the attention of the Nets' young core mostly because of his run with the San Antonio Spurs. Johnson may have been a role player, but The Little General's enthusiasm and leadership was key to the Spurs winning two NBA Titles.
Of course, this will be attractive to the summer's free agent class. Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade know of - and appreciate - Johnson's championship pedigree. So do second tier free agents like Carlos Boozer and Amar'e Stoudemire.
Expect the Nets to improve in 2010. And Johnson's credibility will be a big part of the turnaround.
Is Johnson the right hire for New Jersey?