If the New Jersey Nets don’t have a reality TV show next season, somebody either dropped the ball or was just afraid to pull the trigger.
The story lines are already writing themselves: You’ve got a team coming off a comically bad season, a quirky young star in Brook Lopez, and made-for-TV personalities in Terrence Williams and Chris Douglas-Roberts. There’s an international celebrity in Yi Jianlian still adjusting to life in the U.S., Jay-Z lurking around as a part-owner, an eccentric Russian billionaire on board as majority owner, (most likely) an 18-year-old adapting to NBA life in Derrick Favors, plus the close proximity to New York City and a bunch of frustrated fans with Jersey-certified foul mouths. There’s really no reason why this shouldn’t have already been green-lighted by NBA TV or VH1 or ESPN.
And now, the Nets have brought in a new head coach, Avery Johnson, who might be the most entertaining and quotable coach in the League just on his Bayou accent alone. According to numerous sources, the Nets have reached a verbal agreement with Johnson, who won the league’s Coach of the Year award in 2005 and guided the Dallas Mavericks to the 2006 NBA Finals and has been working as an ESPN analyst for the last couple of years.
Johnson was a top candidate for the coaching vacancy in Atlanta, having met with the Hawks as recently as Saturday, and was also in the discussion for the New Orleans Hornets job before they settled on Monty Williams. After rumors that the Nets had their eyes on Coach K at Duke University, the franchise had pegged Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau as their top choice, but he accepted an offer from the Chicago Bulls.
In Dallas, Johnson was one of Devin Harris‘ early mentors, but by the time Harris was dealt to the Nets in the Jason Kidd trade, it was believed Harris and Johnson were clashing over the coach’s overbearing style. But according to ESPN, Harris, who has since become an All-Star point guard, was one of the main people in the Nets organization pushing for Johnson to be hired.
Do you think Avery Johnson is the right coach for the Nets?