May 21, 2010, 9:07 AM EDT
The Little General has options.
Avery Johnson is apparently a popular choice among general managers around the league and could be the guy in New Orleans or New Jersey, according to reports.
The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that he is a frontrunner for that head coaching vacancy — however to return to his hometown he wants more. Johnson is said to want the dual role of head coach and vice president of basketball operations. He wants to be the man, the big cheese, the head honcho.
If true, that could cost him the job. The Hornets have not indicated they want someone in both roles. (Maybe Johnson realizes he’s not getting the job, so asking for too much is a way to save face. Who knows? Just thinking out loud.)
The pace of the head coaching search in New Orleans has slowed because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Seriously. Incoming owner Gary Chouest is an oil man in the Gulf and while it was not his company nor pipeline that burst, he has been devoting almost all his time to helping contain and clean up the spill. Very important work that takes precedence over a basketball coach in everyone’s mind. Well, except the mind of some basketball coaches.
Chouest also has not taken full control of the team. Reports are Johnson — like David Stern before him — is frustrated with the pace of the sale. Lawyers involved have said it’s just a matter of a few minor details but that this is going forward. Soon. As will the coaching hire.
Johnson may not wait, he has options. Like in New Jersey, where he is the leading candidate for the Nets head coaching job, according to the Daily News. Which is interesting, as he doesn’t interview with them until next week.
The Nets just had an ownership change as well and are in the first stages of job interviews for their head coaching gig. But for the record, they are set at VP of basketball operations.
Johnson also has interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks job.
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