For the second time in as many seasons, Cuban watched his $105.3 million investment exit the playoffs with barely a whimper. Last season it was the fast-breaking Golden State Warriors who sent Dallas packing, dismissing the top-seeded Mavs in six games. It only took five games this season for a young New Orleans Hornets team to bounce Dallas, leaving Cuban seething on the sidelines and in search of a fall guy.
Johnson was it.
But firing Avery Johnson was a stupid knee-jerk reaction to a problem that wasn’t of Johnson’s creation. Unless it turns out that Johnson was the primary force behind the season-killing trade of Devin Harris for Jason Kidd, he just took the fall for the Dallas front office, which thought older-and-slower was the best way to win the wicked West. New Orleans’ Chris Paul blew a hole in that theory, running circles around decrepit Kidd, and Avery Johnson is the one who pays with a pink slip?