Dallas Mavericks

Avery Johnson Returns: To Boo or Not to Boo?

He led the Dallas Mavericks to their 30-year apex. He Instilled defense and discipline into a franchise that had forever languished with an offensive philosophy. He orchestrated the best regular-season in team history. He was the NBA's Coach of the Year. And he took them within 2 1/4 games of an NBA championship.

On the other hand, he is responsible for the NBA Finals collapse, the humiliating first-round loss to an No. 8 seed after a 67-15 record, and, in the end, for wearing down players such as Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd with his micro-managed dictatorship.

So when he returns tonight, how should Avery Johnson be treated?

Likely, somewhere between a Mike Modano standing ovation/video tribute and Cliff Lee having the audacity to show up in pin stripes.

Johnson - fired way back in 2008 when this lil' blog was just hatched - and his New Jersey Nets will be in American Airlines Center tonight trying to stop the Mavericks' 10-game winning streak. At 6-16 (2-10 on the road) and with Dallas rolling along with a 17-4 record, that's very doubtful.

Still, it should be a fun night. Cheers or jeers.

Oh, and about that February '08 Devin Harris-for-Jason Kidd deal - which was actually Harris, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, DeSagana Diop, Keith Van Horn and first-round draft picks in '08 and '10 for Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen - let me be the first to admit I was wrong. Harris is an All-Star caliber point guard, but the Nets turned the deal's draft picks into nada (Ryan Anderson in '08 has since been traded to Orlando where he is a non-impact reserve and Jordan Crawford in '10 was used in a trade to get Texas-ex Damion James, averaging 3.1 points per game).

Kidd, in case you haven't noticed, is still going strong.


KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt