Did Avery Johnson Push for a Dirk Trade?

by February 19, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

And you thought the Jason Kidd-to-Dallas trade was a surprise.

Time to put one more into the ‘Whoa! Didn’t see this one coming’ file: The NY Post‘s Peter Vescey insists that Dallas Mavs head coach Avery Johnson tried (and failed) to get rid of his best player, Dirk Nowitzki.

According to an infallible source, the Mavericks’ coach pressed team owner Mark Cuban to deal Dirk after the NBA’s MVP came up shamefully small against the Warriors in last season’s upsetting first-round elimination, but was overruled.

Johnson, you may recall, famously threw Nowitzki under the bus shortly before the start of this season when he publicly questioned the star’s leadership abilities.

By all accounts, Mavs owner Mark Cuban adores the big German, and it’s probably a good bet that the head coach will be gone long before he ever considers trading away his prized power forward.