The Brooklyn Nets didn’t get off to the start they were looking for and now Avery Johnson is now their former head coach. (Ken Godfield/NY Daily News)
This was the year that Avery Johnson had been waiting for as head coach of the Nets franchise. His team finally moved out of New Jersey and into their $1 billion arena in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets were opened their 2012 season with a new building, new uniforms, new colors, and high expectations due to the $330 million upgrade they invested into their players. Well whenever high expectations are involved, the need for results is never too far behind.
The Nets ran out of patience waiting on Johnson to find a way to turn their struggling team around and as a result was fired as head coach by team owner and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. It was the team’s performance in the month of December that sealed Johnson’s fate. The Nets were playing like a team without an identity or any emotion whatsoever. At the time of Johnson’s firing, the Nets were 14-14, with a 3-10 record in December. It was a complete about-face from their hot 11-4 start to the season which had their fanbase beginning to buzz with excitement.
Things can change within a New York minute. Johnson went from NBA coach of the month in November to unemployed in December.
For all the positive headlines the Brooklyn Nets were getting in November, they quickly turned into the negative as the calendar turned towards December. The team began to lose and now all of a sudden their franchise point guard Deron Williams didn’t like Johnson’s offense. Kris Humphries and his $24 million that the Nets paid him over the summer was benched by Johnson. A blowout loss to the New York Knicks and then on national television with another blowout loss to the Celtics on Christmas day.
Deron Williams and Avery Johnson could not find a way to make it work together in Brooklyn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
The reality of this is that Johnson’s margin of error heading into this season was extremely thin. He was in the final season of a three-year deal and it appeared that the team gave him no assurances of a new deal on the horizon. The reasoning behind that was obvious, this team wants and needs to win now. The worst-case scenario for Prokhorov and his Nets franchise is that they go through this season looking like the same old Nets who were dreadful to watch play in New Jersey. That’s exactly who they were beginning to look like. Read more of this post