Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/27/12
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 than King. In King’s nine-year tenure as general manager of the Sixers, he presided over five coaches and four coaching changes. Certainly, not all of the turnover was his fault, and he did make some solid hires that did not work out — I would still hire Jim O’Brien to coach my team any day — but that amount of turnover in such a short period of time is still shocking for a franchise that made the playoffs six times in those nine years. Sixers fans will never forgive King for giving them Eddie Jordan and Randy Ayers. Johnson’s fate therefore demonstrates the beauty of being a star player or a lead executive, rather than a head coach. Players can play poorly, as Williams, Joe Johnson and others did in December. Executives can build flawed teams, as King did with this Nets roster. When those inherent faults predictably lead to breakdowns and the losses pile up, however, the coach gets the ax. The only penalty for the players and front office people is a hit to their reputations. Williams and King might not enjoy the things that will be said about them in the coming days, but at least they still have their jobs. That is more than can be said for Johnson. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

Cardale Jones continues to show love toward Ronda Rousey

Joseph Randle on Steven Jackson: ‘He’s at home watching’

Evan Turner reps Ohio State after NBA Africa game

The Wind Up: a wild and crazy trade deadline

DeMarco Murray: fantasy football’s riskiest pick

Jim Harbaugh has interesting name for rival Ohio State

Jimmy Garoppolo: the most interesting QB in the world

San Francisco Giants: impact of adding Mike Leake

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

RB signed by Chiefs day after tweeting them highlight video

Evgeni Malkin had real penguins at his birthday party

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker