Various news outlets have reported that the Nets are in contract negotiations with Avery Johnson to become their new head coach.
Johnson, who previously coached the Mavericks a few years back, is a current analyst for ESPN. If the Nets were to sign Johnson as coach (and that appears to be the case), then he has the high task of turning this team around.
Can he get the Nets back into contention?
Here are the pros and cons of Johnson.
1. Johnson won Coach of the Year for the Mavs back in 2006. He has great knowledge of the game and was a floor leader for the Spurs up until the early 2000s.
2. He is close enough in age to the players for them to respect him as mentor, and he can understand what they are going through more than an old fart.
3. He would have a talented group to coach (assuming the Nets get a top free agent and a solid draft pick), and an owner willing to do anything to make this club good. He has also coached Nets guard Devin Harris before.
4. He has passion for the game; that is obvious when you hear him talk. Does that translate to coaching? Absolutely.
5. It's a new environment, the team is moving to Brooklyn eventually, and things can only go up from last season's debacle. (Hopefully.)
1. Although his age is a positive, it is also a negative. He does not have as much experience as other coaches, although age doesn't always equate to success.
2. Johnson was fired as a coach in 2008. Now, just because he was fired before doesn't mean that he's a poor coach, but it is a bit of a negative.
3. Does Johnson have enough fire to turn this absolutely pitiful team into a contender? Who does?
4. Because he is so close in age to some of the players, the hope is that they wouldn't treat him as a peer. Will he have enough control over the team and can he be stern enough? I think so, and ex-Nets coach Lawrence Frank was young and won his first 13 games with the Nets.
So, as you can see, there are more pros than cons if the Nets hired Avery Johnson. The bottom line is, the Nets need some infusion.
And Johnson's got it.