Atlanta Hawks: Avery Johnson says he’s agreed to coach Nets

Johnson headed to Nets, not Hawks.

Johnson headed to Nets, not Hawks.

One coaching candidate down for the Hawks, three still in the mix.

The Associated Press reported that Avery Johnson says he’s agreed to coach the Nets. Johnson told the AP the team is expected to announce the news on Thursday.

Johnson was among four candidates the Hawks have been considering as the replacement for Mike Woodson. With Johnson apparently out of the running, general manager Rick Sund and Atlanta’s ownership group now will choose from among Dwane Casey, Larry Drew and Mark Jackson.

Casey is a Dallas assistant coach and former head coach in Minnesota. Drew was an assistant under Woodson, who was let go after six seasons. Jackson, a television broadcaster, hasn’t been a coach at any level but was a long-time NBA point guard.

A person with knowledge of the process said Hawks management is still considering all three candidates and will make a decision soon. The Hawks, Cavaliers and Clippers are the only teams yet to name a head coach.

MC

309 comments Add your comment

allan in texas

June 9th, 2010
3:43 pm

I guess Casey is the man. I hope that it works out for the Hawks.

Fresh

June 9th, 2010
3:46 pm

Damn Damn Dammmmmnnnnnnnn!!!!!

Either Drew or Jackson. I don;t want to see Casey anywhere near Atlanta unless he’s on the visitor’s bench.

Jamaaliver

June 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

I guess the list is dwindling. We should have a coach named in the next 48 hours.

Rufus1

June 9th, 2010
3:51 pm

I don’t Want DREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

clarkekent

June 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

this really stinks.. but if its about the money i understand the NEW Jersey owner a bill gates rich times 2 but if its about ASG not agreeing … I’m tick off.

Rufus1

June 9th, 2010
3:54 pm

I don’t want DREW…Getting an endorsement from players you have been with for 6 years that have no toughness or heart, is no enodorsement at all.

Casey or Jackson Pleeeease!

Rock Preston

June 9th, 2010
3:55 pm

I knew ASG and Sund would botch this by p****yfooting around. I bet the mortgage they will never admit that Johnson was their 1st choice since they will have to settle for someone else. They simply have too many chiefs and not enough Indians cause they can never be swift with anything!!!

Melvin

June 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

The Hawks had no intention of hiring Avery. They were waiting on the Nets to hire him so they could hire Casey who they targeted from the beginning. I bet they will announce Casey as the next Hawks coach within 48hrs….

Khao$

June 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

This coaching “search” is a sham. They didn’t want to spend on a high priced coach. It’s that simple. They put Avery’s name in the mix to sell it to the fans. “See we really tried, but we weren’t getting into a bidding war.” That will be the statement. In reality, they knew they weren’t going to pony up. If Larry Drew is the replacement, what did you possibly learn from him that you didn’t know the last six years? How is Casey an upgrade to Woody? We were the 3rd seed for heaven’s sake. Logically, you look to upgrade. We’re in for a long off season. We’ll lose JJ without a viable replacement (we don’t have cap space), we’ll get a low rent coach in here, and the only trading chip we have is Josh Smith (nobody wants Marvin or Bibby).

Wow…

Bones

June 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

For some reason, I don’t have a very good feeling about Larry Drew, simply due to the fact that he spent so many years with Woodson and yet Woodson’s system essentially remained the same throughout the years. This means that either Drew’s input was utilized and simply was ineffective, Drew supported and followed Woodson’s gameplan, or Drew’s input was simply ignored. The last option appears to be impossible (unless it was purely for financial purposes) as it makes little sense for an assistant to remain with the coaching staff if he felt his contributions were taken too lightly or in vein.

With that being said, I’m leaning more toward Casey or Jackson for the head coaching position. We don’t know much about what either of these two are capable of yet. Although, Casey did a very effective job with a below average minnesota roster in his head coaching stint of the past, and this Hawks roster is vastly superior to that old Minnesota squad, there is still no guarantee that he’ll be able to even surpass what Woodson was able to achieve with the team (although it seems quite likely considering the high level of talent and chemistry which the team already has). Furthermore, Mark Jackson seemed to have a great feel for the game in terms of running an offense/team during his years in the league, but we’ll never really know what he is capable of as a Head Coach until he’s given a chance. The question is….is it really worth risking the team’s potential and future to find out what Jackson can do?

Considering the remaining list of coaches, there seems to be a tough decision on hand for Hawks. None of these candidates really jump out at me as being spectacular, but I suppose we’ll just have to hope for the best.

Melvin

June 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Just like I said on yesterday.

Melvin

June 8th, 2010
8:14 pm
“the next coach, who is expected to be named this week” –

I guess the Hawks are waiting for the Nets to announce Avery as their next coach so they hired Casey by default

Casey

June 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Casey is our man!!

i_am_soulstar

June 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

I guess it’s Casey, but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Drew gets it (though I don’t think he will for political reasons).

ASHCAN.

June 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

My choices as the hawks next coach 1.j vangundy 2.B.scott 3. M jackson 4.Fans

Buckhead Basketball

June 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

There were only TWO candidates with Head Coaching experience….Avery and Dwane Casey.

This team NEEDS someone with proven Head coaching experience……you don’t hand over a 50 win team to someone with no experience with the job. You give them a 25 win team!

So, hurry up and Hire Dwane Casey before someone takes HIM!

He is the BEST candidate for the job.

Gary

June 9th, 2010
4:27 pm

I was hoping for a proven playoff winner for a coach, otherwise we are no better off than we were. If we want the Hawks to go to the next level, they need a next level coach. None of these choices fit that. I’m very disappointed if these guys are it.

Mr. Riley

June 9th, 2010
4:27 pm

once again, proof of the hawks moving to slow and not being aggressive…now who do we have left??…jackson=never coached, drew=under wooodson so i don’t trust it, casey=u could go either way with him, but still not a barn burner…man this crap sucks!

bigdave

June 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

“The Hawks had no intention of hiring Avery. They were waiting on the Nets to hire him so they could hire Casey who they targeted from the beginning. I bet they will announce Casey as the next Hawks coach within 48hrs…”

basically.

mykhalc

June 9th, 2010
4:30 pm

all things NOT Woodson…sorry Drew unfortunately the HAWKS fans will never get to know how much better you’d have been as HC had you been given the reigns a few years ago…as you SHOULD have!!!

cp

June 9th, 2010
4:34 pm

Yea Melvin you pretty much called it. I don’t think either side were really that interested in each other. I think Avery wanted that Nets job the whole time and interviewed with the Hawks while he was waiting on the Nets to call him up.. I think the Hawks interviewed Avery just to spark some excitement among the fan base. I wont be shocked if its Drew who gets the job. It is what it is.

lewis

June 9th, 2010
4:34 pm

lewis

June 6th, 2010
11:59 am

My understanding of Dwane Casey: correct me where I’m wrong, not too many good sources on him.

He is widely known as a disciplinarian, but not an authoritarian, he always acknowledges the fact that he has more to learn (breath of fresh air after Woodson’s “what I say goes” methods). Some believe he might have lost control of the locker room towards the end, but a lot of it likely had to do with Garnett, Davis and Blount. He first drove people crazy in Minnesota with his obscure rotations, driving people to think he was a clueless, inadequate head coach. As people saw a terrible defensive team sporting a new, successful style of play (#10 defense in the league), they slowly caught on to his defense first mindset.

Because Atlanta is used to Woodson’s switching defense, I don’t think his rotations will bother the team much. He got players known for being terrible defenders playing acceptable defense. I can tell you he’s not going to run his defense based on the ineptitudes of Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. His offensive schemes however were not the most creative, but based on what I understand far more complex than Woodson’s ISO-Average Jump Shooters. I have not been able to find too much film, but his offensive goals were seemingly to create good spacing, good ball movement, and run a healthy dose pick and rolls.
.
He brought the Wolves record *up* to 20-20, and was fired. Many fans thought he was canned too early. At the time of his departure, he had the Wolves in the 8th playoff spot and again in the top 10 in defense. Casey was fired on January 23rd. The Wolves actually started the month 7-1 with a 20-16 record and overachieving dramatically. They regard him as a very “classy” individual who did what he could with the pieces he had. Watching the Mavericks this year, it’s apparent that Casey is more involved than most assistant coaches, always on his feet giving directions. My biggest fear is that he is a one-sided defensive minded coach (similar to Woodson, though Woodson never had the Hawks playing exceptional D). I read many testimonials that ranted about his rotations and substitutions, a few people also pointed out his inability to call a timely time-out (Woodson anyone?). He is known as a great preparer but not necessarily a great in-game coach. He’s at least decent at developing young talent (Rashard Lewis).

Casey was an assistant coach under George Karl and Nate McMillan in Seattle for 11 seasons (starting in 1994) which means he was apart of that 1996 NBA Finals team. He also coached for 5 seasons in Japan with noted basketball legend Pete Newell leading the National team to their first World Championship appearance in 31 years. According to Dean Oliver, who was with the Supersonics while Casey was an assistant, Dwane does use advanced statistical analysis as part of his coaching toolbox. I think he’s miles ahead of Avery Johnson in that he doesn’t over coach. He’s intense but portrays it in a laid back way, and I think that would go over will with our young squad. I would like the Hawks to hire Dwane Casey as head coach, as well as Mark Jackson as an assistant coach/offensive coordinator. Jackson would also serve as Teague’s tutor. John Hollinger was a big Casey proponent and was completely dumbfounded when he was fired by Kevin McHale and fools that run that organization.

ASG and Rick Sund SUCK!!!!!

June 9th, 2010
4:34 pm

I am tired of supporting a franchise that obviously DOES NOT care about their fan base. I think we all know the Hawks are going to announce Casey or Drew as the next coach. Mark Jackson was basically a token interview just to say we interviewed two big name people (him and Avery). Let’s be real, Casey and Drew should have been candidates for the NJ job since that team was 12-70. The Hawks need to only entertain REAL coaches or persons with the make up to be a great coach (i.e. Thidduo (spelling)) However, Rick Sund is a loser and the bosses he work for even bigger losers!! I pray they move this franchise to Alabama or somewhere else where no one will pay attention and Arthur Blank starts a new one and finally give the great fans of Atlanta a championship team. Please Lord answer my prayer!!

Texas Pete

June 9th, 2010
4:35 pm

I don’t understand why people are so trade crazy. Yes, the Hawks got crushed by the Magic but we knew that was going to happen. This team still won 53 games and is still the 3rd or 4th best team in the East going into the Draft and Free Agency. Trades are always an option but people trying to blow this thing up again are stupid.

1. Sign a real center. I get tired of people playing the Horford was an All-Star at Center card. Horford is an All-Star caliber player who would be one at PF for the next 10 years. As soon as a 2nd great Center emerges in the East, it’ll be that guy and Howard with Horford being the odd man out. It’s Howard, Shaq (living off his legend now) and everyone else in the East as far as centers go. Only some teams have solid enough guys to compete (like Boston). See, the Hawks don’t need to find a player better than Howard or even Horford, they just need a guy who can be a significant presence in the middle. We don’t need an All-Star center, we just need someone to make players like Howard work and keep players like Salmons and Jennings from exploiting the paint.

2. If we find a good solution to #1, the Joe Johnson is fine as is if he resigns with the Hawks. If we cannot find a solution to #1, Johnson has to go. We have plenty of wing players who can score and Johnson is not consistant enough as a scorer in big games to be on the same level as Kobe, Labrone, Wade, and maybe a few other guys in the league. Johnson is better than Pippen was but he’s not a #1 guy who can carry a team on his shoulders. He’s a 1b or possibly would be the best sidekick in NBA history. It’s not an insult, it’s the reality. As I said before, the Hawks are loaded with people who can score at any given moment, so we don’t need a Labrone type player here, but if Johnson leaves, we do need a Wade to replace him and that would be a huge upgrade. Having a Wade here would give fans hope the way we had it when Nique was running the show. It didn’t matter how the Hawks were built season-to-season, we knew we had a chance to win any game with with Nique on the court. We weren’t even afraid of the Chicago Bulls with Jordan or the Celtics with their HOF players the way that we fear the Cavs with Labrone and the Magic with Howard.

3. Find a future at PG. Unless we find a great PG in Free Agency or a can’t-miss guy slips to us in the draft (won’t happen but just saying), we need to make Teague a starter in 2010-2011 and bring Bibby off the bench. We’ve drafted way too many PGs to not have a young guy running the show now. Teague might not even be our solution for the future, but we need to know what he can do with all the responsibility of a starter. Burn the first 2 weeks of the season on him, sink or swim, so that we know for sure.

In closing, no coach in the world was going to help the Hawks beat the Magic this season. We can argue that another coach might have eased the beatdown the Hawks took but Phil Jackson himself wouldn’t have been able to overcome the Magic in Atlanta. We need the right guy at the helm, but I think our problem today is the same as it was when the Hawks were blown up all those years ago:

We need a Center, we need a Point Guard, and we need a Leader on the court. The only difference is that we’re 40 games better today than we were at the end of Woodson’s first season at the helm and we have several very good young pieces and the best 6th man in the game. Don’t get it twisted people, it’s not as bad as that last series. We are 1 player away, it’s just finding that right piece.

GeeMack

June 9th, 2010
4:36 pm

Another misstep for the Hawks.

lewis

June 9th, 2010
4:37 pm

Dwane Casey the cheater:
In 1988, his name was on an Emery Worldwide Air Freight envelope headed to the father of Kentucky recruit Chris Mills that was found to have $1,000 in it. An NCAA investigation followed, and Kentucky athletic director Cliff Hagan, head coach Eddie Sutton and assistants Casey and James Dickey resigned.Emery wound up settling a $6.9 million lawsuit Casey filed against the company.

Quotes from Dwane Casey:
“As a coach, discipline is the No. 1 thing,” Casey said. “You have to go to class. You have to be accountable, on and off the court. That’s what parents want to hear and I believe that’s what the players want, too…Joe Hall (at Kentucky) was one of the toughest and I still believe in that discipline and accountability.”

“I don’t enjoy being in the spotlight. If I could just be in the gym, in the locker room and the office and out there for games, I’d love it. No disrespect to [the media], but I love the basketball duties of coaching. I could sit in the gym and talk Xs and Os all day. I do miss the closeness that you get with the players as an assistant coach. The one-on-one work, spending time with the players in the summer.”
“All I can control is playing time. If a guy’s not doing what he’s supposed to do, then he won’t play. I don’t think this is a sledgehammer league. I don’t think you can just browbeat guys – there are way too many games. You have to have a system in place, the way you want to play, and you work on it. But to do it with whip and chain doesn’t work”

lewis

June 9th, 2010
4:41 pm

doc

June 6th, 2010
12:42 pm

lewis i have mentioned this before but it may be the most intriguing thing on his resume since we are always without adequate bigs.

“He also coached for 5 seasons in Japan with noted basketball legend Pete Newell leading the National team to their first World Championship appearance in 31 years.”

he knows what good coaching is when it comes to bigs as he worked with newell who is recognized as the best teacher of that position hands down. that in itself is a reason to listen hard to what he offers in an interview if no where else.

Ramon

June 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

Casey wouldn’t be any more of a better hire than Reggie Theus. Now that Avery is gone, I’d hire Jackson over either one of the leftovers. People say Casey has experience as a head coach. But he doesn’t have playoff coaching experience, he doesn’t have experience as a head coach of a team in playoff position. So for the main hump the Hawks are facing, he’s just as inexperienced as Jackson. Basically the top 7 players of last season made the Hawks a 53 win team, not Woody. The Hawks top 7 players are better than most top 7 players that other teams have. I would find it hard to believe Jackson can’t come in and recognize the talent and the kind of talent the Hawks have. I’d take PG experience over assistant coaching experience if the PG is in the TOP 3 all time in assists. Casey got fired, plain and simple! Go for the talent (Jackson) over the experience (Casey)

JD

June 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

What about Byron Scott?

MsDee

June 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

Why not hire Larry Drew as HC and then Larry hire Mark Jackson as assistant coach!! It works out in both favor..Larry has 1st hand knowledge of what doesnt work with the Hawks and by hiring Mark will give him the opportunity to have SOME coaching experience under his belt..what u guys think???

Ben

June 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Well the Nets are in a much better position than the Hawks for sure so you can’t blame Avery for taking that job. Nets job is better. They have legit 7footer in Lopez. legit PG in Harris, plus the #3 pick in the draft and a rich owner who actually cares about improving his team. The Hawks have no legit Center, no legit PG, no coach, inept ownership group and were going to lose our best player to free agency. This is a no-brainer for Avery.

lewis

June 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Mark Jackson spits out miserable one-liners after the other 2 commentators explain what’s actually going on

KB

June 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

Didn’t Drew try to leave a few years ago for another assistant coaching job, but Woodson wouldn’t let him? I can’t remember where he wanted to go. Drew may not be as much of a Woody clone as people think. He could have a different coaching perspective and system.

tony

June 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

That was Sund’s plan all alone so he will have an excuse to his mediocre coach(Casey).

cdog

June 9th, 2010
4:55 pm

WHY DID AVERY JOHNSON SNUB THE HAWKS?ONE REASON, RICK SUND. I TOLD YOU ALL, YOU ARE BLINDED BY SUND.INSTEAD OF MIKE WOODSON LEAVING, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUND.ANYONE WHO KNOWS BASKETBALL CAN SEE SUND FOR WHAT HE IS.IF I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT A JOB, IF THE BOSSES WERE SLOWING AROUND UNNECCESSARILY ON ME, I WOULD GO TO THE COMPETITION THAT SHOWED MORE INTEREST IN ME .THATS WHAT AVERY JOHNSON DID.ITS CALLED COMMON SENSE.SOMETHING SUND DOES NOT HAVE.I TOLD YOU ALL, BEFORE ITS OVER WITH, IF RICK SUND IS STILL WITH THE HAWKS IN THE SAME CAPACITY HE’S IN NOW, THE HAWKS WILL BE A HIGH LOSING LOTTERY TEAM FOR YEARS TO COME.

C.A. The one who KNOWS the game

June 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

Mark Jackson is your best bet. He has played point for a long time in the NBA and has shown on and off the court that he knows what he is talking about. Don’t forget that the Atlanta Hawks have been wanting for a point guard for a about six years now. With Jackson in as a coach, he can help Teague become an even better point guard and possibly the one who will help Joe Johnson man up and be a superstar that we all want him to be as well as taking the Hawks to that next level. We all have seen that superb athletic ability in Teague and now it is time to use it. While being an analyst, Mark Jackson has been able to see what the good teams have and what the bad teams don’t have. I am sure he has seen what the Hawks need and with him in as coach he will fix the things that our beloved team need. Mark Jackson will be hero in Atlanta if he signs.

Jerome

June 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

The only way to really get ASG attention is “DON’T BUY TICKETS” to the HAWKS game, blogs don’t work! Use your entertainment money on other things. We will continue to be second class in the NBA if something drastic doesn’t happen. It not like this is an expansion team just starting. “DON’T BUY TICKETS’

HawksMagic

June 9th, 2010
4:57 pm

Marc jackson will get his first opportunity to coach in atlanta…..We will see if it’s a good fit or not.

Big Ray

June 9th, 2010
4:57 pm

At least some people have the sense to see this is more about Avery Johnson and what he wanted, than about something as simple as money.

Your best player may be leaving, and people are worried about paying big money for a coach ? Man, please…

Think back to the first reports and rumors that came out. Was Avery Johnson’s name connected with Atlanta? No, it was New Orleans. And even when it was reported that he would visit here (more than once), his name was already being connected to New Jersey. The man wasn’t so hot on coming here.

Besides, there are a number of reasons to go to Jersey, and not the ATL:

1) Money. It’s unavoidable. But if you have a choice between a multi-headed ownership that you’re not sure about, and a Billionaire who is looking to make a splash…go with the money. Mike D’Antoni did it when he went to the New York Knicks. We know this. He left a winning situation to go to a losing situation. And guess what? NY is STILL a losing situation. But the money was better than what Phoenix would have ever paid him.

2) It’s way, way easier to have some success when you’re coaching a team that is in the building/re-building stage, than it is to take over a team that is trying to go from good to elite. Avery already knows this. His first gig was taking over a 50-win team and trying to get it to the Larry O’Brien trophy. He failed, and he got fired. Why do it again with less talent? Much easier to show how good he is by taking a 12 win team and bringing it to respectability.

Improving from year to year? It worked for Woody, especially for several folks around here. Besides, he gets a solid starting center, some good young wing players, and top 3 pick to work with. Again, why come here?

HawksMagic

June 9th, 2010
4:59 pm

I agree with jarome….if they dont wanna spend money to bring a championship to atlanta, then just dont go and support them. We desirve to have a good team in atlanta. But seems ownership just wants to make money off you jackasses that pay to watch a second hand team.

HawksMagic

June 9th, 2010
4:59 pm

Big Ray

June 9th, 2010
4:59 pm

Somebody put cdog on suicide watch, or go buy him some tickets to New Jersey games. Avery Johnson was his boy, and I hate to see a person suffering from clinical depression.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

HawksMagic

June 9th, 2010
5:02 pm

Hell n.j is in a better situation then atlanta now…they may have a overseas owner but atleast they will spend money

Dan23

June 9th, 2010
5:02 pm

Head coaches in the NBA is just as much about the staff as it is the Head Coach. I think Mark Jackson may be able to bring a decent staff considering his PG experience. I would keep Drew and Price.

HawksMagic

June 9th, 2010
5:03 pm

Mark price needs to be coaching georgia tech….he is exactly what georgia tech needs. good coach!

Big Ray

June 9th, 2010
5:04 pm

I find it funny that some folks think that you pay for a championship by paying for a championship level coach. Well, you would not be getting that in Avery Johnson, who hasn’t won one as a coach.

I didn’t know Avery was the savior for this franchise. Why assume that when he couldn’t save a more talented Dallas squad? I’m not saying he’s a failure, but try and be realistic.

James

June 9th, 2010
5:04 pm

Please not Casey..I’m hoping for Mark Jackson but think it will be Larry Drew.The beat goes on.

Ramon

June 9th, 2010
5:08 pm

I do wish the Hawks could be bought by Arthur Blank! But I’ve wanted the hire to be Jackson all along. I think Jackson has enough pull to put together the best staff out of all the other candidates.

Hoops

June 9th, 2010
5:08 pm

Coaching Thoughts_

I don’t think that ASG really likes or liked any of the coaching candidates that they have interviewed.

1. Casey or Drew are not upgrades from Woodson. If you are going to hire Casey or Drew, then why not rehire Woodson.
2. They didn’t really like Avery Johnson. If so, why wait until the Nets got him?
3. They are afraid of hiring Mark Jackson because of his inexperience. Jackson probably impressed them more than any other candidate.
4. They are waiting on the NBA Championship series to finish so they can see what Doc is going to do. They will approach Doc before they hire anyone.
5. Don’t be surprised if they interview someone else while they wait on the Lakers/Celtics winner to be crowned. Maybe Dan Majerle? I don’t know, but another coach will be interviewed. Why not if you do not want who you have already interviewed???

JMO

tony

June 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

If it’s not Bill Laimbeer or Byron Scott this franchise is DOOM! We need championship people to save this franchise.

Ramon

June 9th, 2010
5:16 pm

Big Ray, your comment is all the more reason I think Jackson is a better hire than Casey. With the exception of Larry Brown, the last 4-5 championship coaches all won titles in their first 4-8 seasons just about. I want whatever coach who can come in and give the Hawks an IDENTITY. And at the moment I don’t see Casey being able to do that. No one remembers anything about Minnesota for the season and half that he was there. Everyone says he was 20-20 as a coach there, but he won less than 30% his first season there.