Nets fire Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson was a star point guard for St. Augustine High and Southern University before a stellar NBA career.Avery Johnson was a star point guard for St. Augustine High and Southern University before a stellar NBA career.

Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Avery Johnson on Thursday.

General Manager Billy King made the announcement in a press release and said a "search for a new head coach will begin immediately."

"The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future," said Brooklyn Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

There is a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. Several reports indicate P.J. Carlesimo, an assistant coach under Johnson, will take over on an interim basis.

The Nets are mired in an awful run during the month of December. They are 3-10 this month after a humiliating 17-point home loss to the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day and a 15-point road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

After the Celtics loss, Nets Chief Executive Brett Yormark tweeted: "Nets fans deserved better today. The entire organization needs to work harder to find the solution. We will get there."

Getting there apparently meant without Johnson at the helm.

Johnson, who was actually named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the month of November, also appeared to have trouble brewing with star point guard Deron Williams.

Williams is having his statistically-worst season since his rookie year and criticized Johnson's offense. He compared it unfavorably to his best seasons in Utah under the tutelage of Jerry Sloan.

"That system was a great system for my style of play," Williams said of the offense run by Sloan. "I'm a system player. I love coach Sloan's system. I loved the offense there."

Williams was then asked to compare the Sloan offense versus the Johnson offense.

"Is it as good as there? No," he said. "There's just more one-on-one and isos (isolations)."

Battling with the star player, not withstanding, Johnson went 60-116 in two- plus seasons as the Nets head coach. He endured two trying seasons when the Nets were in transition, both on the court and in ownership.

King made a huge play for Dwight Howard in the offseason. He traded for All- Star Joe Johnson to join Williams in the backcourt, and when Howard waited too long, King re-signed his own players, bringing back Brook Lopez, the team's leading scorer, and Kris Humphries, who recently fell out of Johnson's rotation.

Johnson was also the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and was named the NBA's Coach of the Year for the 2006-07 season. It was after that season the Mavs were upset in the first round of the playoffs as the No. 1 seed out west by the Golden State Warriors.

The next season, Dallas was ousted again in the first round and Johnson was relieved of his duties.


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