The Hawks’ search: Is Avery Johnson pushing too hard?

There’s a growing belief in NBA circles that Avery Johnson is scaring some folks. It’s thought his chance of landing the New Orleans job, for which he seemed the leading candidate seeing as how he’s from the city, went bad when he apparently pushed to be named not just coach but director of basketball operations. Maybe Phil Jackson could get away with such a stance; Avery Johnson cannot.

The Hornets have apparently moved on to other candidates, and Johnson has since been interviewed twice by the Hawks. This makes some sense — he’s a high-profile guy who has taken a team to the NBA finals — but it shouldn’t be read to mean Johnson is the Hawks’ No. 1 choice.

The belief here — and it’s only a gut feeling from the outside; Rick Sund isn’t talking — is that Johnson is not the leader in the Hawks’ figurative clubhouse. The belief here, as it has been all along, is that Sund is favorably disposed toward Dallas assistant Dwane Casey, with whom the Hawks met over the weekend.

Again, I could be wrong. But Johnson seems to be pushing hard on several fronts — first with Philadelphia and New Orleans; now Atlanta and perhaps New Jersey — and general managers don’t always respond well to such tactics. As we know, Sund is a cautious man. He might not be ready to decide anything anytime soon. And the Little General is a man in a hurry.

138 comments Add your comment

NCHawksfan

May 23rd, 2010
10:33 pm

They need someone!

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
10:34 pm

You available, NCHawksfan?

J.J.M.

May 23rd, 2010
10:34 pm

J.J.M.

May 23rd, 2010
10:37 pm

in avery johnson voice “the lost sereies finale is awesome”

show me state

May 23rd, 2010
10:38 pm

We just need a good disciplinary coach……..whoever that may turn out to be……

Bill

May 23rd, 2010
10:39 pm

I’m with you Mark…I like Casey. Hope they give him a chance.

Matt B.

May 23rd, 2010
10:41 pm

http://www.fairtax.org

Vote out the moochers in November!!!!

norcrossfan

May 23rd, 2010
10:43 pm

how do you think the hawks choice for coach will affect their dealings with joe johnson (and free agency)?

JeJe

May 23rd, 2010
10:44 pm

I DONT WANT DWANE CASEY. SUND NEEDS TO LET HIS DAMN SEATTLE OBSESSION GO. HE IS NOT IN SEATTLE ANYMORE

DWANE CASEY HAS DONE NOTHING IN THIS LEAGUE

BRING THE NATIVE DISCIPLINARIAN AND FORMER COTY SAM MITCHELL HERE OR ANY PG COACH

Reid Adair

May 23rd, 2010
10:45 pm

If Avery Johnson is pushing, that doesn’t explain why the Hawks supposedly gave him a second interview before talking to others – including Dwane Casey – even once.

But hopefully Rick Sund can see what’s going on and stay away from Johnson.

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
10:46 pm

I wouldn’t get overly concerned with the order of interviews, Reid. I told you they’d get around to Dwane Casey, and they have.

Real Talk

May 23rd, 2010
10:48 pm

Ok let me get this straight, Avery Johnson took a team somewhere the Atlanta Hawks have never been before the NBA Finals which is a big accomplishment itself but seriously what has Dwane Casey accomplish to prove he can push a veteran team to the next level besides being Rick Snud homeboy?

CG

May 23rd, 2010
10:50 pm

What happened to Ty Corbin??? He seemed a legit option!!

Bill

May 23rd, 2010
10:55 pm

Hawks need to sign Joe Johnson……asp.

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
10:57 pm

They’re not going to sign Joe before July, Bill. He’s off-limits to everyone because he’ll be a free agent.

Hawks Fan

May 23rd, 2010
10:57 pm

Who else is on Hawks list. Hadn’t heard crap about other interviews.

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:00 pm

They had a phone interview with Dean Demopolous, a Portland asst.

GADAWGG4LIFE

May 23rd, 2010
11:01 pm

avery johnson is not the answer for what ails the hawks; bring back jon koncak

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:02 pm

Agreed. More Koncak never hurts.

BigDawg

May 23rd, 2010
11:08 pm

Mark,

Since you know everything about baseball, football, hockey, tennis, and basketball, I am pullng for you to be named the Hawks coach. I emailed Richt several times to give the defensive Coord job to you and Schultz but Richt hired someone else instead.

GADAWGG4LIFE

May 23rd, 2010
11:13 pm

From the looks of things Stan Van Gundy could be available very soon

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:15 pm

I don’t think Stan Van Gundy gets fired. He did take the Magic to the finals last season.

THEKINGPATIENCE

May 23rd, 2010
11:19 pm

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT MB AVERY JOHNSON IS PUSHING AWAY TEAMS BY PUSHING TO HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT HE DO WHATS BEST FOR HIM IN THE LONG RUN. CAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THE NBA COACHING LIFE SPANS OR NOW TWO MAYBE THREE YEARS AND YOUR MAD CAUSE PUSHING TO HARD SO HE WANT GET A RAW DEAL LIKE HE DID IN DALLAS WELL TOO BAD I SAY GOOD FOR HIM. AND DWANYE CASEY GOT HIS CHANCE IN MINNOSTA WITH A HEALTHY KG IN THE PRIME OF HIS CARRER AND COULD’NT GET THE JOB DONE AND THEN THE NEXT YEAR THEY GAVE HIM A YOUNG TEAM FULL OF TALENT ON THE RISE THAT HE COULD TEACH AND COACH UP AND GUESS WHAT HE STILL COULD’NT GET THE JOB DONE AND YOU SERIOUSLY WANT HIM TO BE THE NEXT COACH OF THE HAWKS ARE YOU REALLY AND TRUELY BEING FOR REAL? COME ON NOW LOL! YEAH NEED TO STOP PLAYING AND THE HAWKS NEED TO STOP PLAYING AND BRING IN AVERY JOHNSON A TOP NAME COACH THAT WILL ATTRACT TOP NAME FREE AGENT AND SUPERSTARS. AND STOP ALL THIS MEDICORED LIKE THE HAWKS OF PASS. GO AVERY JOHNSON PUSH THE HAWKS AS HARD AS YOU CAN UNTIL THEY BREAK AND SIGN TO LEAD THIS TEN INTO THE NEXT DECADE.

cdog

May 23rd, 2010
11:20 pm

avery johnson is the obvious choice for the hawks job if the franchise wants to win and go to the next level.forget about all of the yang and bull being thrown around.get johnson and give him what he needs.the hawks need a proven coach, not someone who hasn’t been to the championships or playoffs.we could have kept woodson if they are trying to hire some unproven assistant coach especially the one from the celtics, we don’t have kelvin garnett to make him look good.get johnson at any cost.you are trying to degrade his value its not going to happen.

RobertNAtl

May 23rd, 2010
11:20 pm

This whole thing is beginning to look to me like one of those make-a-change-for-the-sake-of-making-a-change things where we wound up hiring someone considerably worse than the guy we just let go. I already predict a lot of columns next January from smart-ass sportswriters around the country who note that we let a guy go who posted improved records six seasons in a row for a guy who has us swimming around the .500 mark.

Gilk

May 23rd, 2010
11:23 pm

Bradley, this seems to be a recycled piece from a Yahoo report from Sat. What independent sources lead you to this theme of “Avery is overly aggressive” beside the Yahoo article? I want an experienced coach and Casey doesn’t fit that criteria!

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:23 pm

That’s the chance you take when you fire somebody, RobertNAtl. Sometimes the next guy isn’t better. Sometimes he isn’t as good.

And yet … I think most of us believe the Orlando debacle showed the Hawks had stopped listening to Woodson. When that happens, it’s time for a change.

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:26 pm

Mark I have a real, real hard time understanding what Casey has ever done to be the favorite for anything. Folks actually point to the fact that he had a 20-20 record when he was fired as a positive on his resume. I wouldnt mind Avery who took his team to the finals or even Corbin in an attempt to find the next great coach even if it is a risk. I just dont want to see a failed retread here, please. Just because he is a Sund Cronie doesnt mean we should accept this !!!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:27 pm

Have you ever met Dwane Casey, HawkKingBibby?

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:28 pm

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:29 pm

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:30 pm

I know he had a losing record in his only full season with a team that had one of the top 3 players in the nba at the time on it, how often does a team with a top 3 player not make the playoffs much less finish well under .500

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cattle dawg

May 23rd, 2010
11:32 pm

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:33 pm

Garnett wasn’t a top three player in 2005-2006. He didn’t even make third team All-NBA, which wouldn’t have put him in the top 15.

cattle dawg

May 23rd, 2010
11:33 pm

I did read a book by John Wooden.

cattle dawg

May 23rd, 2010
11:35 pm

How come no one has brought up coach K?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 23rd, 2010
11:35 pm

Avery Johnson can afford to push too hard, because if everyone turns him down, he can go back to his cushy ESPN analyst job. Casey, among others, doesn’t have a fallback option that nice.

The Hawks better interview Tom Thibodeau.

Mark Bradley

May 23rd, 2010
11:36 pm

Because nobody seriously thinks Mike Krzyzewski would come here.

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:36 pm

Do you think the Magic have stopped listening to Stan Van Gundy or are they just getting they’re tails kicked by a better team playing better basketball? Why let go of Mike Woodson for a failed coach regardless of whether failed coach has been met by HawkKingBibby or not?

vincent

May 23rd, 2010
11:38 pm

leave it to atlanta to get a no name coach avery johnson the best choice out there. but those dumb goobers wont pick him .they are so cheap I bet you they will go with the asst.

Reggie

May 23rd, 2010
11:40 pm

So if Avery is negotiating with the Hawks for the best deal for him and his family that means he is pushing too hard? I think he should do what right for himself, just as the Hawks are doing.

Rock Preston

May 23rd, 2010
11:41 pm

Get a coach soon!!

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:42 pm

Your blog gave me a sinking feeling that Casey will be the choice because imo if there is one guy on the ” outside as you call it ” that Sund may share some of what he is thinking off the record to its you sir. Please tell me what about what Rick Sund said to you or what went down when you met Casey makes you think he could be a good coach for the Hawks? I know why Gearon and Sund would take him over Avery or Corbin, why would you?

TomB

May 23rd, 2010
11:42 pm

I would have to go with Corbin over Casey. Both good choices but one is a better, imo.

Justin

May 23rd, 2010
11:43 pm

I say they hire Terry Pendleton. Thats just me though.

UGA

May 23rd, 2010
11:43 pm

To Casey’s credit, his T-Wolve team outside of KG consisted of:

Mark Blount- starting center
Mike James- starting PG
Trenton Hassell- another starter

He had this team in the playoffs before McHale fired him…..pretty impressive.

cattle dawg

May 23rd, 2010
11:43 pm

I cant stand to hear Averys voice. There has to be someone else out there,

HawkKingBibby

May 23rd, 2010
11:46 pm

Garnett avr 21 ppg 12 reb and 4 ast a game and the only reason he wasnt on any all nba team is because the team had a horrible record.

Dante Fitzgerald

May 23rd, 2010
11:53 pm

HIre Avery!!!