Avery Johnson (born March 25, 1965) is an American basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball team. Johnson spent 16 years in the National Basketball Association as a player, and subsequently served as the head coach of two NBA teams: the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He led the Mavericks to their first NBA Finals appearance and to three consecutive 50+ win seasons. During his playing days, Johnson was known as the “Little General” for his small stature (by NBA standards), his leadership skills as a point guard and floor general, and his close friendship with former San Antonio Spurs teammate David “The Admiral” Robinson.
Johnson was signed by the Seattle SuperSonics and spent the next 16 years playing in the NBA. On October 28, 2004, Johnson retired from playing and signed as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Don Nelson. Johnson had played under Nelson from 2001–2003, and it was understood from the beginning that he was being groomed to eventually succeed Nelson as head coach. His transition from assistant to head coach came five months later on March 19, 2005, after Nelson resigned.
On April 5, 2015, ESPN reported that Johnson had verbally agreed to become the new head basketball coach at the University of Alabama, replacing Anthony Grant. The following day, the university officially announced Johnson’s hiring.
Career highlights and awards
NBA champion (1999)
NBA Sportsmanship Award (1998)
No. 6 retired by San Antonio Spurs
2× NCAA assists leader (1987–1988)
2× SWAC Player of the Year (1987–1988)
NBA Coach of the Year (2006)
NBA All-Star Game head coach (2006)