Avery Johnson ‘Will Be Tough Not To Like’

Avery Johnson joined the coaching profession in October of 2004 becoming a Dallas Mavericks assistant. Five months later he was handed the mantle as head coach following the resignation of his mentor, Don Nelson. Kevin Stacom, a veteran NBA scout currently with Dallas, was a former player in the league for six seasons and 1974 All-America guard for Providence.

Avery Johnson and Kevin Stacom first crossed paths with the Golden State Warriors in 1993.’BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com spoke to Stacom about Johnson, the new head basketball coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“He was always very nice, polite and a great leader on the court,” said Stacom.

Winning in the competitive SEC is extremely difficult. Succeeding on the road is a luxury capable of tipping the scales in a team’s favor with regards to an evaluation by the NCAA Division 1 Selection Committee. “The year we had the best record in the NBA (2006-07), he won a lot of tough road games because he never gives up,” Stacom said. “He is a real competitor and stresses the defensive end of the floor. Our guys really bought into that style and that is the only way you win on the road – defend and rebound when no one is cheering. There were some games we were out of it and he brought us back. I thought that was one of his strong points.”

Dallas finished with an overall 67-15 record, 31-10 on the road that year.

Alabama is hoping the hire of Avery Johnson will enhance the caliber of talent interested in becoming part of the program. Stacom projects the charismatic former point guard will succeed on the recruiting trail. “He is a very bright guy,” Stacom said. “I think he will be a great role model for all of those kids. He has a lot to offer young men and demonstrates great leadership qualities. He is a very good communicator and well-spoken. The commanding presence will carry over when he goes into the homes of all the high school prospects. He will be tough not to like.”

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