Avery Johnson Becomes New Nets Coach

Avery Johnson always defied the odds as a player. In the next NBA season, he will be facing what could be the greatest challenge in his young coaching career–turning the worst team in the league into a contender. Johnson revealed that he has agreed to become the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, who finished a league-worst 12-70 this season.

Johnson, once confirmed as the Nets’ coach, would be the first significant hire of new team owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Johnson coached the Dallas Mavericks for more than three seasons, guiding the team to a 194-70 record and to the 2006 NBA finals. He was fired after the Mavs were booted out in the first round of the 2008 playoffs by the New Orleans Hornets.

The Nets fired coach Lawrence Frank after the team lost its first 16 games, they eventually set a new league-record by starting the season with 18-straight losses. Johnson will inherit a team that has former Mavs guard Devin Harris and top center prospect Brook Lopez. Prokhorov, who became the Nets owner this year, has also vowed to get the best talents money can buy in the coming free agency, which may include the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Amare Stoudemire.