Spring 2021 Magazine

NEW PODCAST: Avery Johnson - Former NBA Player & Head Coach

THIS IS EPISODE 510 OF THE SPORTS SPECTRUM PODCAST

Avery Johnson is a former NBA champion who played 16 years in the NBA from 1988-2004. In college, he was a two-time SWAC Player of the Year at Southern University (La.) but went undrafted in 1988. However, he made his NBA debut later that year with Seattle, and truly made his mark as a player when he joined San Antonio in 1995. He averaged a career-high 13.4 points per game that year and helped the Spurs to playoff berths in 1995, ’96, ’98, ’99, 2000 and ’01.

In 1999, he helped the Spurs to an NBA championship. In Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the New York Knicks, Johnson hit the game-winning shot, giving San Antonio a 78-77 win and the franchise’s first world title. His No. 6 was later retired by the Spurs, and in February 2009 he was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

After retiring following the 2003-04 season, Johnson became an assistant coach with Dallas, and a year later he was named the head coach. In his first year as an NBA head coach, he led the Mavericks to the Western Conference championship and a trip to the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Miami Heat. Johnson was named the 2006 NBA Coach of the Year, and one season later he led the Mavericks to a club-record 67 regular-season victories.

Johnson went on to two other coaching stops with the Nets in the NBA from 2011-2013, and in college at the University of Alabama from 2015-2019.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Johnson about his journey of faith in Christ, how he lived out that faith as an NBA player, his favorite Michael Jordan story, the teachable moments from ESPN’s Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance,” and how he’s been coping with life during the pandemic.

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Allan Houston – 2-time NBA All-Star
Harvey Pendleton – San Antonio Spurs Team Chaplain
– Kristen Ledlow, NBA Host/Reporter

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