HoopsHype Avery Johnson rumors

December 28, 2012 Updates

Less than a month later, the award can be used to wrap fish. After ownership called and asked many within and outside the organization for input, Johnson was notified yesterday he was being canned. “It was ownership,” said general manager Billy King when asked who made the call. New York Post

By the time Johnson was fired, he had lost several members of the locker room. Williams was the most obvious one, and his decision not to play Wednesday night in Milwaukee — citing a wrist injury that he had played through all season — only fueled speculation that he had, as one friend of Johnson’s said, “totally quit on Avery.” Suspicion also surrounded Kris Humphries, who went on the inactive list this week — right after Johnson yanked him from the starting lineup — because of a previously unmentioned abdominal injury. New York Times

Avery Johnson said he never saw his firing coming. “You don’t think as a .500 team that something like this would happen,” Johnson said yesterday in a press conference at the team’s practice facility after he was relieved of his duties as the Nets head coach. “But this is ownership’s decision. This is what we signed up for.” New York Post

Howard Beck: Would have been easy to just disappear, as most fired coaches do. Avery thanked everyone from owner to front office to players to video guys Twitter @HowardBeckNYT

December 27, 2012 Updates

Just like in Utah two years ago, where coach Jerry Sloan retired following a reported rift with his point guard, Williams was blamed for the departure of Avery Johnson, who was abruptly fired Thursday morning by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. "I was surprised," Williams said in a telephone interview with Daily News. "I never had any conversation with (GM) Billy King about not liking coach, nothing about coach Johnson. Avery was a big reason I came back, because him and Billy. So I was surprised. "We've never had an argument, we've never had a fight, any disagreements, anything. So, I think it was more kind of what happened in Utah, people still saying I got coach Sloan fired even though he resigned and that's going to stick with me for a while." New York Daily News

"I definitely don't think the losing is coach's fault. I have to play better," Williams said. "I have to figure out how to balance. When I said the comments that our offense was heavy on isolation plays, that's a lot of our guys games. That's a lot of Joe (Johnson's) game. That's how he's coachable. "So a lot of times I'm going to be sitting in a corner and watching him work, and that's fine. And Brook (Lopez) needs the ball on the block. I don't have the ball in my hands as much as I'm accustomed to. I'm still trying to figure out how to get going, get my offense going off of that. Is it coach Johnson's fault I'm missing wide open shots? No. That was never his fault. That's on me. I have to play better. So I never said or thought it's his fault we were losing." New York Daily News

Stotts said he’s rarely surprised when a coach is fired. Johnson is the second coach fired this season, which is not even two months old. In November, the Lakers fired Mike Brown after a 1-5 start. “It’s the unpleasant truth of our profession,” Stotts said. “It’s a zero-sum game. There’s a winner and loser. That’s the reality.” Oregonian

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