Avery Johnson

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  • Former Head Coach of Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets
  • Former Basketball Studio Analyst for ESPN/ABC

Avery Johnson is a former professional basketball player and former head coach of two NBA franchises: Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. Johnson has accumulated a 254-186 (.577) coaching record. Johnson’s alma mater, Southern University, eventually renamed it’s basketball court in his honor (“Avery Johnson Basketball Court”).

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Avery Johnson is a former professional basketball player and former head coach of two NBA franchises: Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. Johnson has accumulated a 254-186 (.577) coaching record. Johnson’s alma mater, Southern University, eventually renamed it’s basketball court in his honor (“Avery Johnson Basketball Court”).  

On June 10, 2010, after two years as a basketball studio analyst for ESPN/ABC, Johnson was hired as head coach of the New Jersey Nets. He became the first head coach of the Brooklyn franchise when the team relocated in 2012 and was named NBA Coach of the Month for October and November 2012 following an 11-4 start. After Johnson’s three year stint with the Nets, he re-joined ESPN’s television coverage of the NBA. Johnson covers NBA Coast 2 Coast, NBA Tonight and SportsCenter.

In 2005, Johnson succeeded Coach Don Nelson as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. In his first full season as head coach (2005-2006), Johnson led the Mavericks to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Mavericks ended the regular season with an impressive 60-22 mark, and Coach Johnson was named NBA Coach of the Year. In each of his four seasons with the Mavericks, Johnson led the team to 50+ wins and into the playoffs. His overall coaching record with the Mavs was 194-70 (.74), which at the time was the highest coaching winning percentage in NBA history.  

Johnson has always been viewed as one of the hardest working and well-respected men in basketball. As a player, he was nicknamed “The Little General” for the respect he commanded on the court despite his 5’11 frame. He won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1998. During his 16 year career, Johnson averaged 8.4 points and 5.5 assists. In 1999, Johnson played an integral part during the San Antonio Spurs Championship run. Johnson had his jersey number 6 retired by the franchise.  

Coach Johnson is know for his impactful and motivational speeches, bringing as much passion into his speaking engagements as he does into the game of basketball. Johnson’s passion extends to the ministry and mentoring of today’s youth - his motivational speeches are in high demand at churches and schools across the nation. Recently, Coach Johnson has given speeches on college campuses including University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and Texas A & M Corpus Christi. During the 2011 NBA lockout, Coach Johnson spent his time speaking and mentoring teens in schools in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Brooklyn. Through his involvement with the nonprofit organization “Just Say Yes”, Coach Johnson’s mission is to make a positive impact on Middle and High School youth, encouraging them to make good choices in life and stay in school. He has served on the board for a variety of charities including Hunger Blasters and Project Turn Around - a faith based organization dedicated to addressing the social needs of urban youth and their families in the Dallas area. In October 2005, he was co-host of the Katrina Rescue Ride to benefit the Salvation Army and the Red Cross’ relief efforts of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. 

He married his wife Cassandra in 1991 and they have two children together Christianne and Avery Jr.

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