Sam Mitchell and Avery Johnson came from small schools but had long NBA careers. Known as scrappy defenders, they made certain their teammates delivered. Then after their playing careers ended, they worked their way up the coaching ranks, each winning coach of the year.
Now, after being dumped by the Mavericks and Raptors, they're together in New Jersey. It's no accident. They agreed during the spring that whichever one got a head coaching job would talk to the other about being lead assistant.
Mitchell will have a lot to do with molding the team's four rookies, particularly fellow Georgia native Derrick Favors. Mitchell says he plans to be "demanding but fair" and if the Nets have success, he's hoping for another shot at the big seat on the sidelines. "if I do my job the way I know I’m capable of, and then the right opportunity comes along, Avery Johnson will sing my praises," Mitchell explains.
- NETS: Assisting Avery: Mitchell Leads the Youth Movement - Ben Couch - New Jersey Nets
Still Not Contenders, Nets on the Rise With New Head Coach Avery Johnson - Evans Clinchy - NESN