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DynastyRTR

Avery Johnson to coach Nets

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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5268483

By Marc Stein

ESPN.com Archive

The New Jersey Nets and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson have reached a verbal agreement to hire Johnson as the Nets' new coach, according to sources close to the process.

Johnson, who has been working for ESPN since his dismissal from the Dallas Mavericks after the 2007-08 season, was the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2005 and took the Mavs to the NBA Finals in 2006. He posted a record of 194-70 in three-plus seasons, good for a winning percentage of .735, and will be reunited in New Jersey with point guard Devin Harris.

Johnson was a finalist for the coaching job in Atlanta, having met Saturday with Hawks general manager Rick Sund for his third in-person visit with the team. The Hawks are expected to make their choice this week, after conducting multiple interviews with Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, holdover Hawks assistant Larry Drew, ESPN analyst Mark Jackson and Johnson.

The arrival of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov as the Nets' new owner initially prompted speculation that New Jersey would try to lure Duke's Mike Krzyzewski to the pros with an offer of $12 million to $15 million annually.

The Nets also had strong interest in ESPN/ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy, but Van Gundy told team president Rod Thorn that he wanted to stay in television for at least one more season.

Johnson was the only known candidate to get a face-to-face interview with Thorn, although Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau did have phone discussions with the Nets before striking a verbal agreement with the Chicago Bulls.

ESPN.com reported in early April that Harris was making a hard internal push for his former coach in Dallas, despite the fact that Johnson rode Harris hard as he was learning the nuances of NBA point guard play.

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I like this hire for the Nets.

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Not a fan of Avery Johnson as a coach, but this could be a solid hire for the Nets. He's got a nice PG and C to build around; plus he's got alot of cap space to build the team he wants. I just hope Harris doesnt mind Avery calling all the shots, because Avery doesnt really let his PG's call the shots. He wants everything on the court done his way. I read that was a problem Jason Kidd had with him in Dallas. I still dont know how he didnt win it all with some of those Dallas squads he had. They were very good teams, and he should've won atleast 1.

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Good selection from the Nets....I'm telling you to watch out for them in the years to come

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I'm glad Avery got another chance. He deserved it. I think this is a good fit for the Nets, and a better fit for Avery.

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Love this hire. I always liked Avery and felt he got a raw deal in Dallas. Fact is the Mavs are historically soft and don't play playoff basketball. Avery was a star on the rise before Mark Cuban unceremoniously dropped him. 2006 Coach of the Year and reaching 150 wins in record time are on his resume. The Nets are also on the rise. With the third pick in the upcoming draft they will have several options. They can go big and take either PF's Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins OR get a wing player like Wesley Johnson or Al-Farooq Aminu. Lastly though it seems unlikely that Russian guy could throw some serious money at Lebron too. Two years in Newark is not much worse than Cleveland.

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they should go after Cousins. I believe he is going to be a special post player. That Nets team already got some nice young pieces, and IMO they will be a fun team to watch for many years. Lebron should probably consider going to New Jersey. Newark isnt too much better than Cleveland(both cities suck lol), but atleast Newark is close to New York. Plus, they'll be in Brooklyn 2012

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