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View Full Version : Avery Johnson Turns Down Grizzlies



Big R
01-23-2009, 01:57 PM
Avery Johnson has turned down the chance to make a swift return to an NBA bench with the Memphis Grizzlies.

NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com on Friday that the former Dallas Mavericks coach was offered a five-year contract by the Grizzlies to replace Marc Iavaroni, who was fired late Thursday after 1 seasons in Memphis.

Johnson, though, elected to pass on an in-season comeback, preferring to remain in his new role as a studio analyst for ESPN.

"I've said all along [that] at the right time and in the right situation, I will coach again," Johnson said Friday. "I am enjoying my time at ESPN and with my family. I think an awful lot of [Grizzlies owner] Michael Heisley and [general manager] Chris Wallace. I wish the Grizzlies the very best."

The Grizzlies on Friday formally announced Iavaroni's dismissal with the team mired at 11-30 after a 2-15 skid. Assistant coach Johnny Davis has been named interim coach going into Memphis' game Friday at New York.

Sources said that Johnson was the Grizzlies' first choice to take over, with Heisley seeking an experienced coach to lead and mold a young team that has started three rookies -- O.J. Mayo, Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur -- in 25 of its 41 games this season.


Johnson, 43, certainly would have fit Heisley's profile, having posted a 194-70 record in four seasons with the Mavericks, during which he took them to the NBA Finals for the first time in the club's history in 2006 and earned NBA Coach of the Year honors the same season.

He was fired in May 2008 after a second straight first-round exit.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on its Web site early Friday that former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, now an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, will be hired as Iavaroni's replacement and be joined on the Grizzlies' bench by recently fired Philadelphia 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks.


Hollins, 55, posted an 18-42 record as the Grizzlies' interim coach in Vancouver during the 1999-2000 season after replacing Brian Hill following a 4-18 start. Hollins also went 0-4 as the interim coach in Memphis between Hubie Brown and Mike Fratello during the 2004-05 season.




http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3855045

HOZ THE KNICK
01-23-2009, 02:14 PM
avery is stupid that team has a very bright future.

I Am Awesome-O
01-23-2009, 05:54 PM
Well, the good news is that we tried. I can see why Johnson turned down the offer, but I also think he is making a mistake. In a couple of years, this will definately be a legit team.

Here's what I think/hope is going down- Heisley wanted a coach like Johnson for the long-term, and when Johnson turned the job down, Heisley decided to go with a coach for the short-term. Hollins knows the organization already and won't need any time adapting.

Then, after the season, I think Heisley will go after another coach for the long-term this summer, maybe even Avery Johnson again. The good news is we know that Heisley is willing to spend the cash on a big-time coach. As long as he is willing to do that, we will be just fine.

Deezy Dee 24
01-23-2009, 08:46 PM
i am happy too we tried. but man we were so close to gettin a good coach but at least the grizz are tryin man dang.

mzgrizz
01-23-2009, 09:55 PM
Ditto. I really wanted the guy that clenched his jaws so tight that I think he's going to break his face! Maybe he will come around......or maybe someone else will fall out of coaching after the playoffs next year. I am also glad to hear Heisley was going to spring the $$$$$$$ for him!

Spurred1
01-24-2009, 02:13 AM
I'm surprised that Avery declined. This would give him a chance to coach and mold young players to fit his standards. He tried and succeeded for a while with the Mavs. But most of those players were too old and sort of set in their ways. Memphis has a lot of very young potential and probably requires a firm hand.

mzgrizz
01-24-2009, 12:39 PM
Firm hands have not always worked with the Grizzlies....worked awhile with Hubie Brown....didn't work at all with Mike Fratello. Of course, only Warrick is left from the playoff teams we had.....so maybe a tight rein from someone they feel can take them to the next level will transform our talent into performing consistently. It is unlikely to be Lionel Hollins to accomplish that magic treat IMO. I hope Avery will reconsider by season's end.

Spurred1
01-25-2009, 05:39 AM
^Avery might reconsider. Right now, he's not in a hurry to find another coaching job since he is still being paid by Cuban and making $$ working for ESPN. I think Avery is the type of guy whose coaching intensity is incredibly effective at the start, but eventually winds up wearing everyone down. However, it might work better with younger guys in need of a lot of guidance.

FlashTastic One
01-25-2009, 11:28 AM
Well, the good news is that we tried. I can see why Johnson turned down the offer, but I also think he is making a mistake. In a couple of years, this will definately be a legit team.

Here's what I think/hope is going down- Heisley wanted a coach like Johnson for the long-term, and when Johnson turned the job down, Heisley decided to go with a coach for the short-term. Hollins knows the organization already and won't need any time adapting.

Then, after the season, I think Heisley will go after another coach for the long-term this summer, maybe even Avery Johnson again. The good news is we know that Heisley is willing to spend the cash on a big-time coach. As long as he is willing to do that, we will be just fine.

If you hadn't gift wrapped Pau for us, you'd been a contender, imho.

Avery should have took longer than 12-24 hours to consider it though. Grizzlies got some major talent in it's youth. Let's hope you get Blake Griffin, and he doesn't get lost in OKC like Durant.

I'm a Lakers fan, but I'd pay to see Mayo, Gay, and Gasol on a nightly basis. :)

mzgrizz
01-25-2009, 05:26 PM
^Avery might reconsider. Right now, he's not in a hurry to find another coaching job since he is still being paid by Cuban and making $$ working for ESPN. I think Avery is the type of guy whose coaching intensity is incredibly effective at the start, but eventually winds up wearing everyone down. However, it might work better with younger guys in need of a lot of guidance.

Agree with you,Spurred1. I thought his language in declining seemed to leave the door open a bit. This team is needing direction badly.......got to get it from their coach.

mzgrizz
01-25-2009, 05:29 PM
I'm a Lakers fan, but I'd pay to see Mayo, Gay, and Gasol on a nightly basis. :)

You already can!! Just a different Gasol :D

Fear_GAS_OLDier
02-18-2009, 09:00 PM
smart smart smart man, even tho i dont like dude, plus who kicked him in the nuts repeatedly, not normal to have a voice that high

JJ81
02-18-2009, 09:59 PM
Avery is a bad coach