Who Wants Avery Johnson as Their Coach Anymore?

Eli FuchsContributor IMay 1, 2008

I sit here confused as to who or why anybody would want Avery Johnson as their next head coach.

Johnson inherited a team on the brink of a Championship and has since allowed them to implode. He led his team to the Finals in his first year which, started a buzz around the league. Could this man be the next Phil Jackson? Red Auerbach? Lenny Wilkins?

Nope! Avery, who has been a champion as a player, was simply a role player back when he won a ring and today still rides the coattails of true leaders. Since his stint in the Finals (with a Don Nelson-constructed team), Avery has led his team to first round exits each of the last two seasons.

Why does he deserve a shot at another team right now? It's not as if he inspired a poor team into a playoff-caliber team; Don Nelson can take credit for that, too. 

But, of course, leave it to the goat of the league—John Paxson—to be the first to want to interview the free agent coach. Why isn't Rick Carlisle signed already? As Pistons head coach, he became the first head coach to win 50 games and Division Championships in his first three seasons since Pat Riley. Then he gets fired?

That's a head scratcher; this was a man hired as Larry Bird's go to guy takes a team with aging stars and a decent-at-best bench to the league's best record! 

Hmmm, I'm still confused.

Back to Avery. Let's just go with the idea of Avery as the next coach of, say, the Chicago Bulls.

He goes from a team with a superstar (Dirk) an All-Star (Josh Howard) and a cast of very good role players (Stackhouse, Jason Kidd, etc.) to zero superstars, zero All-Stars, and a team full of role-players and a noticeable lack of chemistry.

Is this still college? Also, he moves away from a GM and owner who have no problem with bringing players into their city to a coach and GM who love to give  players away (Elton Brand, Tyson Chandler, Jannero Pargo, etc.); from a front office that attempts to improve by shying away from the big chemistry-breaking trade to a GM/Owner who rejects trades for Kobe Bryant and KG.

Sounds like a great fit.

At my job, if I inherit a good service and allow it to depreciate, I get fired and stay fired. I feel I deserve a chance at coach of the NBA more than Avery Johnson.

Buyers beware: look through the smoke and mirrors before you hire the sexy pick.