Mavericks Fire Avery Johnson after Another Playoff Flop

Staff Report

The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks today fired coach Avery Johnson.

The league's highest payroll produced a second straight first-round knockout from the playoffs.

Johnson leaves with an impressive resume after three-plus seasons.

But Mavs owner Mark Cuban couldn't tolerate a bottom line of being 3-12 in the playoff since blowing a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA finals.

The final slate on Johnson's tenure: 194-70 in the regular season, 23-24 in the playoffs.

Johnson was a championship-winning point guard for San Antonio during his long career.

He became the Dallas coach-in-waiting when he joined Don Nelson's staff before the 2004-05 season.

Johnson only had to wait a few months. Nellie stepped aside in  March 2005 and the player known as "The Little General" took over.

The Mavs went 16-2 the rest of that season and won a playoff series.

Then, in Johnson's first full season, Dallas went to the NBA finals for the first time and he was named the league's coach of the year.