Avery Johnson was the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in October and November. An 11-4 start to the season will earn you those sorts of accolades. Unfortunately, in the 13 games since that hot start the Nets went 3-10.
With the team losing five of their last six (including an embarrassing home defeat to the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day) and the friction developing between Johnson and Deron Williams, it was clear that something drastic would have to be done.
On Thursday, in something of a stunning move, the Nets fired Johnson.
While firing a coach 28 games into the season is never ideal, Johnson hadn’t exactly earned the right to keep his gig. In a little more than two seasons at the helm he had recorded a 60-116 record – hardly awe-inspiring stuff.
Still, some people were sad to see him go. Namely his kin. Here is what Avery Johnson Jr. posted on Twitter when news of his dad’s firing hit the web:
This is a fuxking Outrage. My dad is a great coach, he just got coach of the month and they Fire him. #Smh. Completely new team he had.— Avery Johnson Jr. (@itsaveryjohnson) December 27, 2012
The expectations were way to high for this team. We didn't even have a losing record.... Didn't even give my dad a full season. #OUTRAGE— Avery Johnson Jr. (@itsaveryjohnson) December 27, 2012
I'm sorry are best players couldn't make open shots. Yeah that's my dads fault totally...— Avery Johnson Jr. (@itsaveryjohnson) December 27, 2012
While you can certainly appreciate the youngster’s loyalty, that’s how basketball works. When players’ shots go in, the coach retains his job. When the shots don’t go in – they don’t retain their jobs. And again, Johnson hadn’t actually done anything to make himself stand out. He got handed a pretty solid group this summer, but aside from a fast start, he hadn’t really managed to do much with it.
Frankly, the Mike Brown firing was much less reasonable than this one is.