Avery Johnson Makes The Grade

Updated: April 26, 2006





Being named NBA Coach of the Year

is always a Great Achievement

but even Better when

it’s your first year ever

as an NBA Coach

Welcome to Avery Johnson’s world. One year ago Avery was still an NBA player . Now he is the youngest former player and the fastest coach ever to rise to NBA Coach of the Year. How impressive is that.

Count the ways !

In a 16 season NBA career that began in 1988 with Seattle and took him to Denver then San Antonio to Houston back to San Antonio then to Golden State from there back to San Antonio back to Denver once again on to Dallas and finishing up again with Golden State, Johnson played in 1054 regular season games scoring 8817 points, and played in 90 Playoff games scoring 949 points. That’s the skinny. It’s plenty.

What’s even more impressive

Avery Johnson was NEVER drafted by an NBA team. He took the hard way to the hard wood. He began his pro career playing for the long forgotten if ever known Palm Beach Stingrays of the United States Basketball Association. Then signed as a free agent good term FREE agent with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. Yes the rest is History.

And all of that History

is only Prologue to

his even greater talent


Sure it’s too soon to go over the Top but we will anyway. We’re allowed in the Box where we stretch boundaries. Avery Johnson could prove to be one of the best coaches in the history of the NBA before he is done. Celebrating his 40th birthday one month ago, born March 25, 1965, Avery may be looking at a good 30 years to make that statement true. And well enough conditioned to keep playing and well late into his 30s coaching at 70 should present no problem for this talent laden super fit African American.

And we sure are making that point for a reason.

Even in the NBA the majority of head coaches are still White Guys. Where is the logic ? What we have in Johnson is the prefect template. An outstanding Black player with lots of smarts, with leadership qualities who has real rapport for and identity with the players since he was just one himself. Bonding with the players even if he is a “screamer” who is apt to show his displeasure when he is forced to endure poor play by the team. Being nice isn’t always the Answer.

Are you listening Isiah Thomas

instead of Old Larry Brown

the Hapless Knicks should be

looking for a Coach like

Avery Johnson

Back to Dallas. More Kudos for Maverick Bad Boy Owner Mark Cuban who gets all the Credit for deciding to name Avery Johnson his Coach. Proving another point that pro sports teams would be better off with young Iconoclastic owners rather than the rich geriatric Old Brahmans many are.

In all sports.

So what specifically won Johnson the Award

now that we covered the other stuff

that got him here

Johnson retired as a player October 28, 2004, and immediately was named assistant coach to Dallas Head Coach Don Nelson. Then later last season on March 19, 2005, Nelson resigned as Coach to work as a consultant with the team.

Mark Cuban instantly named Johnson his replacement. Taking over at the end of last season Avery gave a very strong hint of what was to come this season. In their final 18 games of the 2004-2005 season with Johnson as Head Coach the Dallas Mavericks were 16-2.

Yes you can say it


Which brings us to this season.

Johnson led these Mavericks to a team record tying 60 victories. A record set 3 seasons ago with Johnson playing for Dallas. In the Coach of the Year voting Johnson received 63 first place votes and a total of 419 points from 124 voting sports journalists and broadcasters. His closest rival far behind with 27 first place votes and 247 overall points was Mike D’Antoni, coach of the Phoenix Suns and last season’s winner.

Dallas finished the regular season 60-22 and second to San Antonio 3 games behind. In their first round Playoffs the Mavs out played Memphis 103-93 in Dallas Sunday under Johnson’s command with their next game Wednesday night. In Dallas again.

It looks good for Dallas

but no matter how far

Dallas goes in the Playoffs

Avery Johnson is a Winner

will be for years to come.

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box …….