After spending the 2003-2004 season playing with the Golden State Warriors, Johnson signed as a player-coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Don Nelson. Johnson had played under Nelson from 2001-2003, and it was understood from the beginning that Johnson was being groomed to eventually succeed Nelson as head coach. On October 28, 2004, Johnson retired from playing to concentrate full-time on coaching, and his transition from assistant to head coach came five months later on March 19, 2005.
Under Johnson, the Mavericks closed out the 2004-2005 season with a 16-2 run and a first-round playoff victory over the Houston Rockets, before bowing out to the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs. Johnson was named the April 2005 NBA Coach of the Month, only one month after becoming a head coach for the first time.
The 2005-06 season was even more successful for Johnson and was marked by a series of milestones. In November 2005 Johnson again won the NBA Coach of the Month award (his second and second consecutive, following his award from April the previous season), making him the first NBA coach to win the award in his first two months as a head coach. On January 28, 2006, when the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz, Johnson's record as coach reached 50-12, making Johnson the fastest coach to reach 50 wins. In February 2006, he was chosen to coach the 2006 NBA All-Star team for the Western Conference. On March 15, 2006, Johnson set the record for most wins over the course of a coach's first 82 games (the duration of a full season), with 66 wins over the span. Although Johnson ultimately led the Mavericks to the second-best record in the Western Conference, the team entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the west, due to the structure of the 2006 NBA Playoffs seeding.
In April 2006, Johnson was rewarded for this success with the 2006 NBA Coach of the Year Award.
In June 2006, after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, and the Phoenix Suns in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Johnson led the Dallas Mavericks to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. However, the Mavs were defeated in the series by the Miami Heat, losing 4 straight after winning the first two games.
On December 31, 2006, Johnson became the fastest head coach to win 100 games by defeating the Denver Nuggets.
In the 2006-07 season, Johnson's Mavericks had the best record in the NBA with 67 wins and entered the playoffs as first seed. However, his Mavericks eventually lost to the 8th seed Golden State Warriors, led by former Mavericks head coach Don Nelson, in one of the biggest upsets in recent NBA history.
With his win on November 18, 2007 against the Grizzlies, Johnson became the fastest coach to reach 150 wins. ( Wikipedia)
Keep in mind Avery not only had to Coach the talent level that Dallas had, he also had to spoon feed the Mark Cuban ego while trying to coach a vastly talented team. Avery's playing days were spent as a the point guard, the Knicks' biggest weakness. His Star as a player was never as big as Isiah Thomas' or Lenny Wilkins'. However, his floor generalship was perhaps equal or better considering Avery's Championship with the Spurs had nowhere near the talent level that Isiah Thomas had.
With the pipe dream of Lebron James wearing a Knick uniform coming to an end, it's time for Walsh and D'Antoni to go. The Knicks need to rebuild from ground zero. With Mark Jackson's quote " Give me good offense over good defense anyday" recently stated during the last Denver/Laker game, It is not something any diehard knick would agree with, so Mark Jackson's out with this Fanatic. Give Avery the keys to this Knick team and prepare for FULL REBUILD. Let's pray that Walsh's last move as our GM is try to get as many first round picks as he can at trade deadline this year. Let's give a young Coach with a .735 winning percentage a home here in the Mecca. I'm sure Avery would never draft his former roomates friend with a Lottery pick! What do you DIE HARD FANATICS THINK????????
HOOK SHOT. . .
Check out Lives latest Qand A with our friends at Hoops Head North, a Toronto Raptors Blog. Lives nails some tough questions about our Knicks.. . . . Also check out the new Apps for IPhone and Android. To download go to the module in the left sidebar. My technological sophistication only goes so far, so I'm not 100% sure what that means but I hear it's really cool.Previously Related Articles:
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