Avery Johnson

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For the fictional video game character, see Characters of Halo#Avery Johnson.
Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson.jpg
Avery Johnson as coach of the Mavericks in 2008
Alabama Crimson Tide
Position Head coach
League Southeastern Conference
Personal information
Born (1965-03-25) March 25, 1965 (age 50)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school St. Augustine
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
College New Mexico JC (1983–1984)
Cameron (1984–1985)
Southern (1986–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Undrafted
Pro career 1988–2004
Position Point guard
Number 15, 6, 5
Coaching career 2004–present
Career history
As player:
1988 Palm Beach Stingrays (USBL)
19881990 Seattle SuperSonics
1990 Denver Nuggets
1991 San Antonio Spurs
1992 Houston Rockets
1992–1993 San Antonio Spurs
1993–1994 Golden State Warriors
19942001 San Antonio Spurs
2001–2002 Denver Nuggets
20022003 Dallas Mavericks
2003–2004 Golden State Warriors
As coach:
2004–2005 Dallas Mavericks (assistant)
20052008 Dallas Mavericks
20102012 New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets
2015–present Alabama
Career highlights and awards

As player:

As coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points 8,817 (8.4 ppg)
Rebounds 1,751 (1.7 rpg)
Assists 5,846 (5.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Avery Johnson (born March 25, 1965) is an American basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team. Johnson spent 16 years in the National Basketball Association as a player, and subsequently served as the head coach of two NBA teams: the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He led the Mavericks to their first NBA Finals appearance and to three consecutive 50+ win seasons. During his playing days, Johnson was known as the "Little General" for his small stature (by NBA standards), his leadership skills as a point guard and floor general, and his close friendship with former San Antonio Spurs teammate David "The Admiral" Robinson.


Playing career[edit]

As a high school senior in 1983, Johnson led New Orleans' St. Augustine High School to a 35–0 record and the Class 4A Louisiana State Championship. Johnson matriculated at New Mexico Junior College before moving on to Cameron University, and finally Southern University, at which in his senior season in 1988 he led NCAA Division I with 13.3 assists per game, an all-time record.[1] In that season, he also averaged 11.4 points per game, making him the first men's Division I player ever to average double figures in points and assists in the same season—a feat that was not duplicated until Jason Brickman of LIU Brooklyn did so in 2013–14.[2]

Upon graduation in 1988, Johnson was not selected in the NBA Draft.[3]

After a summer season with the USBL's Palm Beach Stingrays, however, Johnson was signed by the Seattle SuperSonics and spent the next 16 years playing in the NBA, including stints with the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Mavericks. A journeyman player, Johnson is best known for his time with the San Antonio Spurs in 1991, 1992–1993, and 1994–2001, and particularly his integral role on the 1998–99 Spurs team that won the NBA championship against the New York Knicks. Johnson made the go-ahead, championship-clinching shot in Game 5 on a jumper with 47 seconds remaining in the game.[4] The Spurs retired Johnson's number 6 on December 22, 2007, in a home game against the Los Angeles Clippers.[5] He was also inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame on February 20, 2009.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

Dallas Mavericks[edit]

On October 28, 2004, Johnson retired from playing and signed as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Don Nelson. Johnson had played under Nelson from 2001–2003, and it was understood from the beginning that he was being groomed to eventually succeed Nelson as head coach. His transition from assistant to head coach came five months later on March 19, 2005, after Nelson resigned.

Under Johnson, the Mavericks closed out the 2004–2005 season with a 16–2 run and a first-round playoff victory over the Houston Rockets, before being eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs. Johnson was named the April 2005 NBA Coach of the Month, only one month after becoming a head coach for the first time.

The 2005–06 season was even more successful for Johnson and was marked by a series of milestones. In November 2005, Johnson won his second NBA Coach of the Month award (which was also his second consecutive award, following the one he had won in April the previous season), making him the first NBA coach to win the award in his first two months as a head coach. On January 28, 2006, when the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz, Johnson's record as head coach improved to 50–12, making Johnson the fastest coach to reach 50 wins. In February 2006, he was chosen to coach the 2006 NBA All-Star team for the Western Conference. Although Johnson ultimately led the Mavericks to the second-best record in the Western Conference, the team entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the West due to the structure of the 2006 NBA Playoffs seeding. In April 2006, Johnson was rewarded for his success throughout the season with the 2006 NBA Coach of the Year Award.

In June 2006, after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, and the Phoenix Suns in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Johnson led the Mavericks to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. However, the Mavs were defeated in six games by the Miami Heat, losing four straight after winning the first two games.

On December 31, 2006, Johnson became the fastest head coach (at the time) to win 100 games when his squad defeated the Denver Nuggets. This record was later broken by Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls. In the 2006–07 season, Johnson's Mavericks had the best record in the NBA with 67 wins and entered the playoffs as the top seed. However, his Mavericks lost to the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors, led by former Mavericks head coach Don Nelson, in one of the biggest upsets in recent NBA history.

With the Mavs' win over the Grizzlies on November 18, 2007, Johnson became the fastest coach to reach 150 wins. Following the 2007–2008 season, the Mavericks under Johnson were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. A day later, on April 30, 2008, Johnson was dismissed as head coach of the Mavericks.[7][8][9]

First stint at ESPN[edit]

On October 17, 2008, Johnson joined ESPN as a studio analyst. He remained in that role for two seasons, until he received an offer to become head coach of the New Jersey Nets.[10]

New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets[edit]

On June 10, 2010, Johnson was hired as head coach of the New Jersey Nets,[11] which had just finished a dismal 2009–10 campaign with a 12–70 record. In his first year as coach of the Nets, the team improved slightly, doubling its win total from the previous season and finishing 24–58. However, the next year saw no such improvement, as his team went 22–44 in the lockout-shortened season.

Johnson remained with the Nets when the team moved to Brooklyn in 2012. He was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November 2012 following an 11–4 start to the season. Despite that early success, the team went on to lose ten of its next 13 games, and subsequently Johnson was fired from his head coaching position on December 27, 2012.[12][13]

Second stint at ESPN[edit]

In 2013, Johnson rejoined ESPN to appear as an analyst on SportsCenter, NBA Coast to Coast, and NBA Tonight.[14]


On April 5, 2015, ESPN reported that Johnson had verbally agreed to become the new head basketball coach at the University of Alabama, replacing Anthony Grant.[15] The following day, the university officially announced Johnson's hiring.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson and his wife Cassandra have two children, Avery Jr. and Christianne.[17]

Head coaching record[edit]


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Dallas 2004–05 18 16 2 .889 2nd in Southwest 13 6 7 .462 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Dallas 2005–06 82 60 22 .732 2nd in Southwest 23 14 9 .609 Lost in NBA Finals
Dallas 2006–07 82 67 15 .817 1st in Southwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Dallas 2007–08 82 51 31 .622 4th in Southwest 5 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
New Jersey 2010–11 82 24 58 .293 4th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
New Jersey 2011–12 66 22 44 .333 5th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
Brooklyn 2012–13 28 14 14 .500 (fired)
Career 440 254 186 .577 47 23 24 .489


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Alabama (SEC) (2015–present)
2015–16 Alabama 0–0 0–0
Alabama: 0–0 (–) 0–0 (–)
Total: 0–0 (–)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Records Book, page 20 PDF (4.57 MiB); retrieved August 13, 2007
  2. ^ Darcy, Kieran (March 1, 2014). "Jason Brickman earns 1,000th assist". ESPN. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Get to know Avery Johnson with 15 facts, milestones and defining moments". AL.com. April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Selena (June 26, 1999). "N.B.A. FINALS; Spurs Win Title as Knicks' Dream Ends". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ White, Elizabeth (December 23, 2007). "San Antonio Spurs retire Avery Johnson's No. 6". USA Today. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ "San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame Names Class of 2009" (PDF). San Antonio Sports Foundation. October 21, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ ESPN – Mavs, Johnson part ways after team's playoff ouster – NBA
  8. ^ MAVERICKS: Avery Johnson dismissed as coach
  9. ^ MAVERICKS: Official release: Mavericks relieve Avery Johnson of coaching duties
  10. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3648496
  11. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=5268483
  12. ^ "Struggling Nets fire head coach Johnson". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive. December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  13. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/news/1-nba-slumping-nets-fire-coach-avery-johnson-190611505--nba.html
  14. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2013/10/02/avery-johnson-espn-nba-coverage/2904933/
  15. ^ Goodman, Jeff (April 5, 2015). "Sources: Avery Johnson to coach Tide". ESPN. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  16. ^ Smith, Jordan; Dover, Drew (April 6, 2015). "Avery Johnson officially named Alabama men's basketball coach". WBRC. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Avery Johnson". rolltide.com. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 

External links[edit]