The Nets Conundrum – The Johnson Joke

Here at Le Basketbawl we have no problem spewing the blame. The homeless Nets are an intriguing basketball franchise. For years they were haplessly inept in the middle of NJ. They weren’t sure what market they were– NY/NJ/Philly. Except for the Kidd years they have mired in misery. Don’t bother reaching back to the Doc days of the early 70’s. I was still in diapers! 

Excitement seemed to be abound with the Russian Billionaire flying across the Atlantic to purchase this franchise. I guess things could be worse for the Nets- they could be owned by the NBA like the Hornets (talk about a conflict of interest). All the sudden there are billboards across from the Garden promoting the Nets. They play in Newark until there megaplex is built in Brooklyn. Avery Johnson is hired as their coach and he preaches his winning track record…yawn…5 months later the Nets are 9-25.

I have been walking around with this scrap of paper from the NY Post written by Fred Kerber. This first paragraph says it all:

“The Nets have been defensively challenged, offensively inept. And now, Coach Avery Johnson grudgingly admits, there’s another way to to describe his team. Clueless.”

When the head coach calls his own players clueless you are in for one long year. Even Paul Westphal hasn’t gone that route in Sacramento and they have he league’s worst record! There is no way that the Nets are going to land Carmelo Anthony when your coach calls the team clueless. Is it me or isn’t Johnson indicting himself? He is the coach his job is to teach them how to play basketball. Johnson claims that there is still hope for his team. He has to say this to try to keep his job. You would think after sitting out of coaching for 2 years as a ESPN analyst that he would have landed in a better position. Heck, he spurned the Sixers and the City of Philadelphia. Why? To take a job with the Nets? Philly fans are perhaps the best in the country. I’ll tell you why – Avery Johnson is a joke!  Mark Cuban figured that out and fired his ass. He is a classic example of falling into the right situation in Dallas. Otherwise he would have been another Fred Carter.

I feel bad for Nets fans. Of course, that would require the Nets to have fans. The Nets are like a poor man’s version of the Clippers. At least the Clippers actually reside in LA. The Nets don’t even have a NY, NY zip-code yet! I’m sure a bandwagon will develop once they have their new billion dollar arena to go with the billion dollar owner. However they will continue to have a losing record as long as Johnson remains their coach. The lights are a lot dimmer on the other side of the bridge. Once Avery is under the bright lights of the “city that never sleeps” his act will fade. He will wilt away still spewing his clueless comments back to ESPN. He is more personality then coach and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Hopefully this conundrum will teach the man humility because all I see is cockiness!

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