After meeting with Alabama last night, it appears that former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson will be the Crimson Tide’s next men’s basketball coach.
The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt is reporting that Johnson and Alabama have “an agreement in principle” for Johnson to coach in Tuscaloosa. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Johnson and Alabama have a verbal agreement and the contract details are being finalized.
While Johnson has no experience coaching in the college ranks, he has years of experience at the NBA level. After playing in the league for 16 years, he retired and coached the Dallas Mavericks to the team’s first NBA finals appearance in 2006 — losing the title to the Miami Heat — and led the Mavericks to four consecutive seasons with 50 wins or more. Johnson was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2006.
He also coached the New Jersey and Brooklyn Nets, and was fired in 2012.
Johnson does have some ties to the SEC, as his son is a freshman on Texas A&M’s men’s basketball team.
With Alabama missing on hiring Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, the arrival of Johnson has been seen as an outside hire with huge potential. He brings name recognition from his years in the league.
A formal announcement of the hire is expected soon.