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A First Meeting and A Reunion


The Nets are getting ready for the next big milestones in their big off-season--a possible Sunday meeting between the new coach and the new owner at the NBA Finals, then a press conference Tuesday to introduce Avery Johnson to the media.

That next rollout is likely to be as big a deal at the Mikhail Prokhorov event on May 19 and possibly just as dramatic.  Johnson has already exhibited a take-charge attitude: announcing the hire himself on ESPN; taking phone calls from beat writers--in which he said he'd be hiring all new assistants; and, no surprise, expressing great confidence in his former protege', Devin Harris.

In the midst of all that, Johnson said all the right things: "I’m really excited about this. I think it’s a great fit for everybody. I can’t wait to get started."  As for the idea that he wasn't Thorn's first choice (which some dispute), Johnson was philosphical: "I feel great about that, because at the end of the day everything happens for a reason."

But he reserved his most enthusiasm for his impending reunion with his Maverick point guard. "I had a young Devin Harris, who I felt that if we kept him would develop into an All-Star. That happened, but not in Dallas as I would have hoped. Yeah, Devin’s a different guy now. He knows my system. He is now capable of quarterbacking the team."