There are not too many people in this world that will call Avery Johnson a "player's coach."
Standing at just 5'10", 180 pounds, Johnson is easily one of the most combative personalities in all of sports. When you're that small, you have to be very tough in order to survive and thrive in the land of giants. He was like that as a player, and he's like that now as a coach.
In the past, Johnson has been confrontational with several of his players. He's had rocky relationships with two of his better point guards. While he was the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, Johnson has gotten into it with both Devin Harris and Jason Kidd. Even though Kidd is a superior player to Johnson, Avery has always felt the need to let his players know that he's in charge.
As head coach of the New Jersey Nets, he's already having issues with two of his players.
There are issues between Johnson and guard Terrence Williams. Things have been bad between the two for much of the season and have now escalated to a ridiculously high point right now. An announcement was made over the weekend that Williams was being sent down to the developmental league as punishment for repeatedly being late. The move has been universally panned by fans, journalists, players and executives.
Johnson also has issues with forward Troy Murphy. Despite being the team's highest paid player at $12 million, Murphy is not a part of the team's rotation. Johnson has stated that Murphy is not physically fit enough to be on the floor. It's an analysis that Murphy strongly disagrees with.
Whether or not it's the right way of approaching things, Johnson is undeniably in charge of any team that he coaches.