It has happened again.
Another coach fired after his team hasn’t performed the way it should.
This time it is Avery Johnson formerly of the Brooklyn Nets.
It was reasonable to think Johnson would get the full season to try out the new roster assigned to him upon the team’s move to Brooklyn this season. After all he signed on to coach when the team clearly had no chance of competing.
But standing at 14-14 and losing 10 of their last 13 games it was decided that Avery’s early loyalty while admirable was not enough to grant him passage the rest of the way this season. Never mind the fact he was NBA Coach of the Month for November.
The NBA is a systematic league. The same series of events seem to follow each other when a team doesn’t live up to the expectations the paper roster says it should have and the coach is always the first to go. Sometimes the sample size of perceived success is miniscule as was the case with Mike Brown and the Lakers but sometimes the sample size is just.
In this scenario 28 games seems to be fair. A 500 record wasn’t good enough for a team with the 2nd highest payroll in the league. They currently rank 22nd in scoring at just 94.5 points per game with its top two offensive options (Deron Williams and Joe Johnson) having abysmal shooting years.
Williams made waves last week when he questioned Johnson’s offense saying that too much isolation was involved. Ironically the “Little General” who has a reputation of being a dictator of sorts sided with his point guard and began to implement more sets that Williams would be more comfortable with.
To me that signaled that Johnson had lost both control and confidence. On the other hand it could be said he was just trying to appease his star player and didn’t get the time necessary to implement the sets and right the ship.
But coming on the heels of some terrible losses and voiced frustration from role players like Gerald Wallace who said “It seems like guys are content with the situation that we are in, and I’m (expletive) pissed off about us losing, especially losing the way we are losing,” and the Nets were almost forced into making the move to relieve Johnson.
”The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future,” owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement.
P.J. Carlesimo will take over interim duties while the team decides on what to do next. The Van Gundy’s are out there, along with Nate McMillan, and of course Phil Jackson with a host of others should the Nets want a higher profile coach in charge.
The new coach will have to fix what Net’s management thinks Avery messed up but for now that responsibility will fall on Carlesimo. He will get some help from GM Billy King who said the team is always open to making trades but it has to be determined if there is a viable trade out there.
As for Johnson I am sure he will coach again and will probably land a T.V. job before the season is out. Avery has always been a good coach but a good coach with a shelf life. The expiration date ran sour on his run in Brooklyn a bit sooner than most would have expected.
But this is the NBA, where failing to meet expectations will get you fired…happens.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com