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Johnson Is Nets' Voice of Authority

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Everyone calls Avery Johnson the "Little General", but Mikhail Prokhorov says his coach recalls someone of a lesser rank.  "He reminds me of a sergeant I knew in the Soviet army. We didn’t mess with him, either," says the Nets owner who remains a big fan of his most prominent employee and dominant personality.

Johnson came into the season as the winningest coach in NBA history, but the Nets' woes have dropped him all the way down to the eighth spot, but no one expected much more and the Nets brass are happy with him. They got exactly what they wanted, as Al Iannazzone notes in a profile of the Nets' coach.

"Our owners signed me up to rub people the wrong way," Johnson said in his often-imitated Southern accent. "They felt this was an environment that needed to be rubbed the wrong way. I’m basically doing not only what my personality is all about, but what I’ve been instructed to do."