Multiple stories reporting Avery Johnson‘s firing on Thursday described Brooklyn Nets players as “blindsided” by the news. By any normal standards, this should have been a shocking development: the reigning NBA coach of the month, who was given a thrown-together roster, getting the boot after a rough stretch in the schedule.
Nothing is shocking given the situation, however — not when the team in question employs both Billy King and Deron Williams.
Williams is known, fairly or not, to be bad news for coaches. When Jerry Sloan, the most entrenched coach in professional sports, announced his retirement during Williams’ final season with the Utah Jazz, the point guard earned a reputation as something of a coach-killer. Until now, that reputation was more than a little exaggerated. One unemployed coach does not a coach-killer make. Two fired coaches, on the other hand, may warrant such talk.
Yet few people associated with professional basketball have had a more toxic touch with coaches t...