Friday, December 28th, 2012 at 11:20 am  |  40 responses

Deron Williams Was Surprised By Avery Johnson’s Firing

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

It was a terrible day for Avery Johnson and his family in many ways — not only did he suddenly become unemployed, Johnson’s son angrily melted down on Twitter, and to top it all off, it was also his wife’s birthday.

As soon as news broke of Johnson’s firing, most of the finger-pointing was directed at point guard Deron Williams, who has criticized his former coach‘s offensive system in the media.

According to Williams, the firing came as a total surprise, and he says that the two men had a good working relationship.

Per the NY Daily News:

Just like in Utah two years ago, when coach Jerry Sloan retired following a reported rift with his point guard, Williams was blamed for the departure of Avery Johnson, who was abruptly fired Thursday morning by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

“I was surprised,” Williams said. “I never had any conversation with (GM) Billy King about not liking Coach, nothing about Coach Johnson. Avery was a big reason I came back, because of him and Billy. So I was surprised. We’ve never had an argument, we’ve never had a fight, any disagreements, anything. So, I think it was more kind of what happened in Utah, people still saying I got Coach Sloan fired even though he resigned and that’s going to stick with me for a while.”

Avery Johnson, who took the unusual step of attending the press conference announcing his dismissal, backed up Williams’ claims about their relationship, saying they never had any major issues. But there are reports about a fractured relationship (with Williams and others) behind closed doors. It also didn’t help that Johnson was angling for a contract extension, which ownership wasn’t willing to grant.

With Avery Johnson out of the way, and until owner Mikhail Prokhorov convinces another big name to take over the bench, the increasingly harsh glare in Brooklyn will remain fixed not only on Deron Williams, but also GM Billy King who assembled this very expensive, underachieving Nets roster.

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  • RunNGun

    Just like how he was surprised with Sloan leaving Utah so suddenly…

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    That’s sad man. Poor Avery.. Avery is a class act. Deserved better. He even got involved with that press conference after he got the boot. Coach Johnson has alot of class

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Deron Williams is trolling.

  • King David

    Good Job on the owner’s part, avery is a horrible coach

  • zogs19994


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003246310246 Jason Carter

    Dwill is a whining pussie

  • The Seed

    Avery Johnson is and is not at fault. Also Deron messed up anyway by resigning with the Nets. His career is over and also if Deron thought signing JJ was a good sign he was wrong. #DeronshouldhavewenttoLakers

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    The Lakers were never an option this past summer for him. It was between Brooklyn and Dallas. Dallas had no money to sign any other players if they got him along with Dirk’s contract and Shawn Marion’s contract. He made the right decision. No one gave him a good reason to leave so he stayed.

  • spit hot fiyah

    what was he supposed to say? i was the one who back stabbed him

  • M Cho

    Here’s a simple rule: if you don’t want to look like a coach killer, don’t criticize your coach to the media. LOL

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Whoever ends up being the long term coach for this team, Deron will have to step up and be a leader. No more excuses. Maybe he should talk with his friend Chris Paul about how a leader carries himself. Look at what Chris is doing with Vinny Del Negro. So many people were just waiting for Del Negro to get fired. Is he a better coach than Avery Johnson? Not to me. All Vinny had was two 41-41 seasons with DRose and those boys and two first round playoff exits under his belt. Now he may end up being Coach of the Year if the Clippers keep playing like this throughout the season and finish with one of the two best records in the West. Avery Johnson coached a team to the Finals and already had a COY award. Regardless of the system, if you’re a bad boy with the ball in your hands, you get the job done. This isn’t the NFL where you have system quarterbacks. There are no system PGs. You can either lead guys or you can’t. It’s just 5 on 5. One guy who controls the ball most of the time either gets the job done or he doesn’t. I don’t put much blame on Avery. Deron deserves most of it for playing like trash.

  • justin05

    100% Agreed. The media puts a lot of pressure on these “superstar” athletes so when they don’t get the job done it seems like everyone else gets thrown under the bus. I thought Deron Williams and CP3 were the best 2 pgs in the game a few years ago but that is not the case anymore. Deron is more comparable to the status of Kyle Lowry than CP at this point in his career.

  • pops

    He should’ve went to the Mavericks.

  • robb

    sure you are buddy

  • Caboose

    And Twinkies had nothing to do with ending Eddy Curry’s career.

  • add


  • zogs19994



    true dat

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    I like CP and all, but I wouldn’t at CP as the picture of professionalism. Dude did spend some time demanding a trade.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Behind closed doors he told the organization that he wasn’t going to sign an extension with them. He asked to be traded in a meeting. There’s a difference between what he did and demanding a trade. We never heard from him. Not one reporter said anything about him having issues with a coach. No stories about him blowing up at anyone. The season before he left, he pushed the defending champions to a tough 6 game series almost by himself. The man went to practice with the Hornets after the Lakers trade was interfered with by David Stern. He could’ve easily decided not to make any moves at all until the situation was resolved. There’s nothing wrong with letting the organization know that you’re not going to sign an extension so that they can make a trade and get back something for you. That’s what he did. He did it the right way.

  • robb

    CP3 IS the picture of professionalism.

  • The Philosopher


  • Candlewood Jay


  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Avery has the Mike Tyson squeaky voice… always makes me laugh

  • bringbackthesonics

    i bet he’s surprised that the sky’s blue too

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Cp3 has alot o class. and neve gives upp… it showed in game 1 of the clippers/grizzlies playoff game

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    surprise surprise

  • Anthony Dixon

    no please stop… a couple bad games does not erase his whole career

  • http://www.facebook.com/kumar.ram.73113 Kumar Ram

    ur right, he win nothing so far, if he win nba championship then talk

  • shockexchange

    Whenever the the “Grim Reaper” shows up, coaches disappear. That’s two now.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    That is actually what Deron did as well. Only he didn’t even ask for a trade. Utah moved him because he wouldn’t sign an extension early.

  • Love The Game

    One of these guys needs to step up and lead the team. They all trying to do their own thing on the court. They have great players. Somebody needs to be vocal and set an example with effort. Until they have that, no coach is gonna help them be better.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    What stands out to me is the tension between him and Jerry Sloan. What was the cause of that? Now he says he misses that system.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    I think that was partially Deron wanting to shine and make all star teams and partially Sloan being a hard @ss. I mean, Karl Malone hated him too. But Deron wanted the love CP3 and Nash were getting and felt like the system was keeping his stats down.

  • Caboose

    Chris Paul? The guy who forced his way out of New Orleans?

  • justin05

    His career hasn’t been erased, he just isn’t as good as he was and I don’t think he’ll ever get there again. If Deron played for Toronto his numbers would be barely higher than Lowry’s. Put CP3 on the Nets and that’s a championship caliber team.

  • JAY Z

    on to the next one. on to the next one. on to the next one. on to the next one.

  • Anthony Dixon

    a jumpshot is easy to get back… stop comparing him to cp3 becuase they are different. And if i recall, dwill beats up on cp3 everytime.. He did this year before the struggle. Can lowry do that?