Avery Johnson firing: Deron Williams says 'I was surprised'

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Nets' star point guard wasn't expecting Avery Johnson to be let go.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams expressed some shock at the news of the firing of the team's head coach, Avery Johnson, on Thursday. Williams says he played no part in the firing of the coach and had no disagreements with Johnson, according to the New York Daily News:

"I was surprised," Williams said in a telephone interview with Daily News. "I never had any conversation with (GM) Billy King about not liking coach, nothing about coach Johnson. Avery was a big reason I came back, because him and Billy. So I was surprised."

As the Daily News points out, Williams was already connected to Jerry Sloan's departure from Utah, so it is natural for outside observers to jump to the conclusion that the point guard pushed Johnson out in this case.

Johnson leaves the Nets after two full seasons as the head coach. He posted just a 60-116 record in New Jersey and Brooklyn. The first two years weren't surprising, as the Nets were building young talent for their move across state lines. The problem for Johnson was this year, after the Nets front office committed plenty of money to improve the team. That has led to just a 14-14 record, including just three wins in the month of November.

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