Report: Hawks to interview Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports the Hawks will interview Avery Johnson for their vacant head coach position.

Johnson, an ESPN analyst, last coached the Dallas Mavericks. He took over during the 2004-05 season and Dallas won 60 games in 2005-06, earning Johnson Coach of the Year honors. But the Mavericks lost a six-game series to Miami in the Finals after leading 2-0. The Mavericks fired Johnson after they lost in the first round of the playoffs in both 2007 and 2008.

If the Hawks want to hire Johnson it would probably take a significant financial commitment. Johnson reportedly earned more than $4 million per year in his final contract with the Mavericks. That’s more than twice the final salary the Hawks paid Mike Woodson, who was told on Friday that he wouldn’t be retained.

Johnson isn’t assured of earning his previous coaching salary when he returns to the sidelines, but he has leverage as probably the most high-profile candidate available. He’s already interviewed with Philadelphia and New Orleans and Johnson also reportedly has interest in coaching the Nets, who were recently sold to Russian billionaire Mikhali Prokhorov.

The Hawks also are set to interview Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey.

MC

428 comments Add your comment

JB

May 17th, 2010
1:52 pm

He’d be perfect here. He’s a former guard and he commands respect from his players. He did a good job developing Devin Harris in Dallas and would hopefully do the same with our next PG.

steve brown

May 17th, 2010
1:54 pm

He’s to short to coach!

MotherGoose

May 17th, 2010
1:59 pm

Its about time! Ive been pleading with the Hawks long before woodsen was hired 7 years ago to interview Avery Johnson. Avery is the best coach available who is currently not coaching and would make the Hawks instantly WORLD CHAMPS in his first season. That is how close the Hawks are to hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.

victor

May 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

Yeah, and he talks funny too, but he wiil be a good selection. He is a proven commodity as a coach.

northcyde

May 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

If the ASG are serious, that’s a guy that they had to at least interview. Byron Scott is the other. They can go ahead and interview those other guys as well, but Avery and Byron need to be on that list.

Fresh

May 17th, 2010
2:02 pm

After hearing this news, the fanbase will force Rick Sund to sign Avery Johnson. There’s no doubt in my mind about it.

Downtown

May 17th, 2010
2:06 pm

If they want to interview a squeaky-voiced midget who can’t win the big one, why don’t they bring in Calvin Borel.

clarkekent

May 17th, 2010
2:08 pm

that’s good. At least they are bringing in the top candidates. They need to re-sign joe johnson and trade for rudy gay as well. send marvin to memphis with a pick.

MrHughes

May 17th, 2010
2:08 pm

Yes!!! ASG, Sign Him!!!

THE TONE

May 17th, 2010
2:09 pm

They will not hire Johnshon , they will not put the money out that it will take to get him, I hope i am proven wrong but i expect them to hire another Lon type before they hire a good one like johnson .

YueleBrenner

May 17th, 2010
2:13 pm

I think Avery is going to take the New Orleans job which gives Johnson an opportunity to coach Chris Paul. Who wouldnt jump at the opportunity to coach Paul who probaby is the best talent at point guard since Boston’s Nate “Tiny” Archibald way back from the ’70s.

GeeMack

May 17th, 2010
2:14 pm

PR move only.

After the Hawk quit in all 4 games in the playoff, JJ saying they don’t need the fans, and firing Woody.

This will give the illusion that the organization is serious about winning a title.

GeeMack

May 17th, 2010
2:17 pm

clarkekent

Why would Memphis trade Rudy Gay for Marvin Williams?

tony

May 17th, 2010
2:18 pm

He’s worth every penny. Sign him.

TruthSeeker

May 17th, 2010
2:20 pm

I think he’s going to take the Hornets job as well. Not only would he get the chance to coach Chris Paul, but New Orleans is his hometown.

That said, credit to the Hawks for trying to lure the man who I think is the best available candidate.

Jim Bob the Dawg

May 17th, 2010
2:23 pm

Trade Marvin and Josh for Carmelo, then trade Bibby and Zaza for new sneakers for the entire team. Maybe throw in some Hawks playoff towels to seal the deal.

Jello Biafra

May 17th, 2010
2:25 pm

Trade Mookie for Scottie Pippen to go alongside Smitty. Regardless of what we do though, we aren’t getting past Reggie Millier and the Pacers.

Brandon

May 17th, 2010
2:25 pm

I say go after AJ or Tom Thibodeau

nickz

May 17th, 2010
2:30 pm

Two words: DIT KA

allan in texas

May 17th, 2010
2:32 pm

Avery Johnson must at least have some interest in the job or he would not have agreed to an interview. He would be my first choice.

clarkekent

May 17th, 2010
2:34 pm

GeeMack –
i read they would be interest in moving him … we will be unrestricted nex year. we have a player in his position (signed already)and we have picks.. Atlanta is young enuff not to need picks this year. we are weak in two positions in our starting lineup Pg and SF (if we resign Joe).

atlienforlife

May 17th, 2010
2:35 pm

That’s the best news I’ve heard all offseason! Avery should not leave town without a contract, get it done! After avery we would just be a 3 point shooter and rebounding defensive big off the bench from serious contention!

northcyde

May 17th, 2010
2:37 pm

Question: IS THIS A CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL FAN BASE?

I think we all know the question to that.

For all of the people that just expect this ownership group to go out and spend money, that’s the question that Hawk fans need to ask ourselves. Are we a championship level fan base?

HAWKS ATTENDANCE NUMBERS:

Home wins: 34

Home wins the last 2 seasons: 65 . . ( tied for best 2-year mark in franchise history )

Avg home attendance 2010: 16,545 . . ( 18th in the league )
Avg home attendance 2009: 16,748 . . ( 20th in the league )

Avg home capacity % 2010: 88.3% . . ( 19th in the league )
Ave home capacity % 2009: 89.4% . . ( 20th in the league )

******************************

There have been those on this board who have said . . . “win, and they will come”. Well . . they we came a little LESS this year, despite us having a better product on the floor. So a harsh reality is going to have to be realized by this fan base. Especially the hard core fans in the fan base.

You CAN’T expect management to go ALL OUT to build a championship product, if the fans don’t make more of a commitment to go to the games. 12 of the top 13 teams in home capacity % made the playoffs. And they all had capacity percentages above 95%. This means that the revenue was flowing on a nightly basis. And most of those teams had higher ticket prices than we do.

This year, our capacity % was on the level of the New Orleans Hornets, whose season was decimated with the loss of Chris Paul. Last year, our capacity % was 20th, while the Hornets capacity level was 8th ( at 98.7% ) . . when they were a playoff level team that won 49 games.

If fans are waiting on the Hawks to have a championship caliber team, before they really throw their support behind them, then we might be waiting forever. Without tremendous fan support at home, we really can’t expect management to go to that next level to put the type of team on the floor that we all want.

That’s the reality of the situation.

Shawn

May 17th, 2010
2:37 pm

Enter your comments here

allan in texas

May 17th, 2010
2:38 pm

If the hawks do sign Avery Johnson then I believe that they should try to get Devin Harris from New Jersey. Nothing wrong with Teague, but Harris would be a perfect fit with his old coach.

Shawn

May 17th, 2010
2:39 pm

This is just a formality friends. Spirit are never going to pay him to coach here. If they are really serioius about winning, Don Waddel should have fired long long time ago. This group is a joke and can not wait to do another stupid hiring next.

MSG

May 17th, 2010
2:39 pm

Don’t care who is the coach all I want to do is win.

allan in texas

May 17th, 2010
2:41 pm

Do not let him leave town without a contract Mr. Sund. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ramon

May 17th, 2010
2:41 pm

Its funny how the Hawks don’t realize that if they’re WILLING to spend the money it takes to be a contender, they’re more likely to break even, even with the luxury tax, than they are if they hold onto their money and stay around the same payroll. From a business standpoint you have to spend money to make money.

O'Brien

May 17th, 2010
2:42 pm

Avery Johnson has a regular season winning percentage that is above .70%. But his playoff record is only 23-24. Two first round exits (including one as the #1 seed), and losing in the NBA finals after being up 2-0. As a result, I do have some concerns about his playoff record. I am also concerned about his title of “little general”.

That being said, I have a hard time seeing the ASG pony up the money it would take to hire Avery (if that was the guy Sund really wants). If I’m not mistaken, we had a chance to hire Doc some years ago, but his price tag was too high, so we went with Woody.

G-Unit

May 17th, 2010
2:46 pm

Nothing implied here, but just wondering since I am not an NBA fan:”Is there something comparable to the Rooney Rule of NFL that must be followed for the NBA?” I just noticed that all the individuals mentioned for the Hawks job were African-American.

Ramon

May 17th, 2010
2:47 pm

O’Brien, I understand your concerns. But the West has always been only a 8-9 game difference between the 1 seed and the 8 seed during those seasons. I love the fact that AJ played under Pop, and that along is a selling point for me.

Ramon

May 17th, 2010
2:48 pm

G-Unit Tom T out of Boston isn’t white. Also Mike Fratello (whom I’m sure will be interviewed), and Majerle isn’t white.

dap01

May 17th, 2010
2:48 pm

The Fanbase did not make one defensive switch during the playoffs. The Fanbase did not call one ISO plan. What’s the point?

Section 303

May 17th, 2010
2:49 pm

I think Avery Johnson is probably my first choice. So, glad the Hawks are willing to interview him. He will be costly, though (we all know this). Thinking Casey has to be the favorite.

Simpdawg

May 17th, 2010
2:50 pm

GeeMack,
You want to know why Memphis would trade Rudy Gay for Marvin Williams. One of the reasons would be team chemistry, and that other player by the name of OJ Mayo. You see Rudy Gay wants to be the man in Memphis, but I think the Grizzlies organization would rather have OJ Mayo as the face of their franchise, and Marvin Williams would fit in nicely with their young franchise. Marvin Williams doesn’t care if he’s the team leading scorer. Marvin just wants to play basketball.

allan in texas

May 17th, 2010
2:52 pm

Coach Avery Johnson, PG Devin Harris, SG Joe Johnson, SF Rudy Gay, PF Josh Smith, C Al Horford. I like the sound of that.

Ramon

May 17th, 2010
2:52 pm

Hey, who’s harder to understand, Avery or Magic??

F-105 Thunderchief

May 17th, 2010
2:52 pm

Heck, I’d coach ‘em for $1.78 million.

doc

May 17th, 2010
2:53 pm

northcyde, have you checked to find out where the level of spending of the owners is in comparison to the others? … ummm about 15 to 20th. i think it is 18 but dont have time to check. so is that the same you should expect from fans? so should i buy into that? sorry, i didnt buy tix to waste my money this playoffs and didnt waste my time really the last two months going to my season tickets seats which i had a hard time giving away because i didnt like what i was seeing. wont go se ethe braves either until i see major league plays. yes, i am a discerning sports fan who knows about the product i am seeing. i go to the symphony and enjoy everything because i dont know sh!t about it.

spend money to get talent. when they spent money and time searching for the key to replace hunter with and found mario i said, i am done. now you can spend your money anyway you want just dont expect me to be that stupid. your incomplete data that doesnt look to ownership expenditures is only for what you want to see, kind of your mo.

Daniel

May 17th, 2010
2:53 pm

norhtcyde- The Atlanta fan base doesn’t have to “earn” a championship level team. The ownership (and players, sometimes) would like you to believe that, but the truth is they earn the championship. Remember two years ago, Atlanta out drew Orlando.

G-Unit

May 17th, 2010
2:54 pm

Ramon,
Thanks for the info about possible coaches. I did not know of these other possible coaching candidates. But, is there anything like the Rooney Rule for the NBA?

Ramon

May 17th, 2010
2:55 pm

G-Unit, no there’s not.

Section 303

May 17th, 2010
2:55 pm

northcyde, couldn’t you argue that without a championship commitment from management, the fanbase will not grow?

As someone who goes to almost every game, I’m sick of hearing how bad the fans are or how the Hawks have no fans. I’ve seen the crowds grow at Philips over the past 3 seasons. I think, as long as the Hawks continue to win, they will keep growing.

For now, though, the Hawks have to win back the respect of a lot of the sports fans in this town. Way too many no show efforts (game 3 Milwaukee & the entire Orlando series), Joe’s stupid fans comments, and players bickering with one another….winning back respect is something the Hawks have to focus on now. A lot of people are just turned off to them right now…even more so than usual.

SWAT Native

May 17th, 2010
2:56 pm

You’re a funny guy, Jello Biafra. And, I’m old enough to recognize the Dead Kennedys reference.

Steve

May 17th, 2010
2:58 pm

come to Atlanta, Avery!!!

Rich Mccay

May 17th, 2010
3:01 pm

northcyde: Question: IS THIS A CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL FAN BASE?

What Atlanta fans want is a team that can when it ALL. The braves win and lose attendance same with the hawks. people in atlanta want more than a winner, they want a team that can compete for the big prize. Too many people in atlanta have come to the realization that the hawks could not handle the playoffs under woodson and the Braves don’t have the talent to win. Hence low turnouts for both in recent years

ant banks

May 17th, 2010
3:02 pm

SMOKE AND MIRROS,

they interview big guns and then sign a no name. what message will that send the fan base? the way the hawks handle their business over the past 10 yrs doesn’t lend me to believe that they will hire avery johnson,

1.runnin’ the organization on the cheap.
2.bringin’ in an assistant in woody 6 yrs ago.
3.fractured ownership
4. 2.5million will not get avery here. maybe 4mil would but hawks ain’t spendin’ 4mil for a coach.

Jimbo24

May 17th, 2010
3:03 pm

Betcha the Hawks don’t win 53 games next year!

Grandad

May 17th, 2010
3:11 pm

What’s with the color thing?
I don’t care if he’s pink / strike that / I don’t
care if he’s Portuguese. As long as he’s the best
man for the job.
Ramon – if ‘Thunder Dan’ ain’t white, what is he?
Sunburnt?

I would love to hear ‘drmaryb’ interview – Ave. Johnson!
That would be a hoot.