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ESPN: Sam Mitchell To Be Johnson's Lead; Barrise, Loyer Retained

ESPN's Chris Broussard, fresh from his scoop that Rod Thorn is stepping down, is now reporting that former Coach of the Year, Sam Mitchell, will be joining the Nets as Avery Johnson's lead assistant.  Like Johnson, Mitchell was NBA Coach of the Year as head coach of the Raptors.  In fact, the two won the honor in consecutive years, and both lost in the first round of the playoffs.

In addition, Broussard reports that John Loyer and Tom Barrise will be kept on as assistants by Johnson. Barrise was head coach for the last two games of the Nets' 18 straight losses. Loyer took over for one game, and lost, while Kiki Vandeweghe was grieving over the loss of his mother.  The two will join Popeye Jones, a Mavericks assistant under Johnson, on the Nets sidelines.

Broussard reports Chris Bosh has credited Mitchell for much of his development which could help the Nets in pursuit of the Raptor forward. Johnson will hire one more yet-to-be-determined assistant as well, Broussard adds.  Al Iannazzone reported Friday that Johnson interviewed Eric Musselman, former head coach of the Kings and Warriors, last week.