- (Photograph: Reuters/ Adam Hunger)
The Brooklyn Nets announced that they would release head coach Avery Johnson after a 14-14 start to the season in a move that shocked many NBA fans.
Mikhail Prokhorov, principal Nets owner, released a statement about Johnson's release on Thursday after the team went from an 11-4 start to only winning three of their last 13 games.
"The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future," Prokhorov said in a statement on NBA.com.
Johnson became the coach of the New Jersey Nets in 2010 before moving to Brooklyn with the team for the 2012-2013 season. After over two seasons, his record of 60-116 as a head coach for the organization seemed underwhelming for the management staff that released him.
Fans of the Nets and NBA took to Twitter to react to the news that many considered shocking. Some people did not think the move by the Nets organization was a fair to the former head coach.
"Not a fan of the Brooklyn Nets but Avery Johnson didn't deserve to be fired," one person tweeted.
Another person agreed with those sentiments and seemed confused that Johnson was fired after recently being named coach of the month in October and November.
"Wait, didn't Avery Johnson just get coach of the month," the person questioned.
Johnson's son, Avery Johnson Jr. who is reportedly a sophomore in high school, took to Twitter to express his outrage after hearing the news.
"My dad is a great coach, he just got coach of the month and they Fire him. #Smh. Completely new team he had," the son of the former Nets' coach tweeted upon hearing the news. "The expectations were way too high for this team. We didn't even have a losing record.... Didn't even give my dad a full season. #OUTRAGE."
The younger Johnson continued his complaint, blaming the Nets players for the team's record that currently places them at number eight in the eastern conference.
"I'm sorry are [sic] best players couldn't make open shots," he tweeted. "Yeah that's my dads fault totally..."
According to Los Angeles Times reports, Nets assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo will take over for Johnson on an interim basis.