Mark Cuban Fires Avery Johnson after Playoff Loss to New Orleans Hornets

Eddy DelSignoreContributor IIIApril 30, 2008

Just one day after the Mavericks lost to the Hornets three games to one, Avery Johnson was fired by Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who follows basketball because of the numerous reports of Johnson and Cuban butting heads during the playoffs. 

Cuban is known for his extremely hands-on ownership of his team and antics in the seats of every game.  He fires a coach who led his team to a .735 winning percentage and a trip to the 2006 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Miami Heat. 

However, in the past two seasons, the Mavericks have been ousted in the first round of the playoffs.  Last year, they were heavy favorites but were beaten by an athletic, energetic team in the Golden State Warriors. 

This year, even though they were not heavy favorites, they lost to a younger team in the New Orleans Hornets in five games.

This Mavericks' season will be remembered for the blockbuster trade for Jason Kidd right before the trading deadline.  This trade can partially be blamed for the fatal flaws that the Mavericks showed during their playoff run. 

They traded away a faster, more athletic point guard in Devin Harris (one who could have stayed with Chris Paul) for a playmaker with playoff experience in Jason Kidd. 

Some argue that this move was necessary.  At the time, the Mavericks were sliding down the Western Conference rankings and were in limbo of making the playoffs. 

With Kidd, the team made the playoffs as the seventh seed in the West but ran into an athletic team with a budding superstar in Chris Paul.  The playoff loss ended up costing Johnson his job.

Johnson's hiatus from coaching may not be a long one, since there are currently job openings for the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks.

The trend of coaches being blamed for the mistakes of GM's is starting to become prevalent.  Along with Johnson, who took the blunt of the blame for the controversial Jason Kidd trade, Mike D'Antoni is reportedly also on the hot seat. 

D'Antoni, the coach of the Phoenix Suns, may be fired.  His team, which made a very controversial midseason trade for Shaquille O'Neal, lost their series with the Spurs last night. 

Whether or not these coaches were given a fair chance to change their teams according to the moves of their respective front offices is up in the air. 

However, Mark Cuban and perhaps Steve Kerr apparently do not have the patience for adjustments for the sake of winning.