Great stuff on espn.com about the Mavericks future. Of course the future of the coach is debated:
2. Will Mark Cuban fire Avery Johnson? Should he?
Abbott: The Dallas media sure seem to think he will! I have no special insight. But I’ll say this: There seems to be a troubling lack of trust between that city and that team. It is one of the best teams in the NBA, yet there is a tremendous amount of second-guessing going on. Also, if Johnson is fired, won’t Cuban owe an apology to the guy who runs FireAvery.com?
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It was only just two years ago Avery Johnson was in the Finals.
Adande: Mark Cuban rarely follows popular opinion. But in this case his decision should match the public’s. As much as they’ve been at odds this season, they can’t have this issue hanging over their heads next year, when every three-game losing streak will bring questions about Johnson’s future.
Broussard: My guess, based on what sources say, is that he will get fired. Avery’s a great young coach and he’ll get another job quickly, but the Mavs need a fresh voice and a fresh start. And you know what they say: You can’t fire the players.
Bucher: Rumors abound that he will. Should he? No. As much as I believe Avery was crowned a master coach far too fast, he, too, deserves a full summer and training camp to demonstrate he can make the most of what he has.
Ford: No, I don’t think Cuban will fire him. I think it’s difficult for Mark to admit to mistakes, and he’s made several with Johnson. Should he fire him? Yes. Johnson never really let the reins loose on Kidd and he never got really comfortable with the team. Johnson was a good point guard in the NBA — but Kidd has been much better.
Hollinger: I’d bet on it, which is shocking given his record. I’m not sure the players are responding to him the way they used to, but the Kidd trade also makes him a victim of circumstance — the Mavs have played every other card, so the only option left is changing coaches and seeing if the new guy can do better.
Legler: Avery Johnson is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Period. Before Mark Cuban considers firing him he should ask himself who could improve their chances of winning a title. This team competes. They respond to Avery and they are well prepared. The problem lies in their personnel and their mental toughness. The guy is a top-tier coach. End of story.
Sheridan: It stands to reason that he will, because there’s usually a fall guy when a team has slid as far as the Mavs have in the past two years. But I also wonder whether Cuban has had enough of the NBA and will look to get out. Remember, he almost sold the team two summers ago.
Stein: Avery is definitely out. Can’t blame him exclusively for the New Orleans series but this has been building for months. Coach and the owner don’t have the same relationship they once had and the authoritarian intensity that was such a successful contrast to Don Nelson’s style early in the Avery Era is too easily tuned out now. Throw in the scars that linger from the playoff losses to Miami and Golden State and it’s clearly time for a change.