Avery Johnson lasted less than four seasons as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, which doesn't seem like an ample amount of time for a coach to put his stamp on things. Perhaps his stamp is that of two first-round disappointments. Unfortunately we'll never know what could have been.
Art Garcia | Mavs.com
Posted: April 30, 2008
Avery Johnson was dismissed as coach of the Dallas Mavericks the day after a disappointing season ended with a first-round playoff exit in New Orleans. Incredible highs and heartbreaking lows marked the tenure of Johnson, who leaves as the most successful coach in franchise history by many measures.
Johnson became the eighth coach in team history on March 19, 2005 and posted a record of 194-70 (.735) during the regular season. He led the Mavs to playoffs four consecutive years, including a trip to the 2006 NBA Finals. His postseason record of 23-24 (.489) included 12 losses in the last 16 games.
“I would like to thank Avery for his valuable contributions to the Mavericks organization,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “Over the past four years, he has been an integral part of our team’s success. We wish AJ nothing but the very best in his future endeavors.”
In his first full season as head coach (2005-06), Johnson guided the Mavericks to 60 wins and their first appearance in the NBA Finals. He became the fastest coach to reach 50 wins (62 games), coached the Western Conference All-Star team and was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
Johnson led Dallas to a franchise-record 67 wins, the NBA’s best record, the following season. The mark was also the sixth best in league history. Following a 10-0 month of February, Johnson garnered Western Conference Coach of the Month honors, an award he won three times in his career.
This past season, Johnson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 150 wins with a victory over Memphis on November 17, 2007. He accomplished that feat in just 191 games.
“It is never easy to relieve a coach of his duties, especially one of Avery’s caliber,” owner Mark Cuban said. “He is a talented coach and I want to thank him for his efforts over the last four years and what he has done for this franchise. We wish him well in the future.”