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Former NBA coach Avery Johnson negotiating a buyout with Alabama

Former NBA player and ex-Nets coach Avery Johnson is reportedly negotiating a buyout with Alabama — where he’s been the head coach since 2015.

Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the 53-year-old is being bought out of his contract.

After 16 seasons as a player, Johnson took his talents to the sidelines as head coach. The first team he helmed was the Dallas Mavericks — a team he led to the NBA Finals in 2006 — the same season where he was crowned Coach of the Year.

However, he struggled to replicate or extend his success in the succeeding years. After spending four seasons with the Mavericks, then three with the Nets franchise, he flocked to the amateur level to coach.

In four years with the Alabama Crimson Tide, he tallied a subpar 75-62 record. In this span, he did some good work by recruiting the likes of Collin Sexton and John Petty. He also led the school to its first  NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 — breaking a five-year curse.

However, it looks like Alabama expected more from Johnson. His firing, which was reportedly a mutual decision between the two parties, is a clear indication that the school is moving to a new direction. Will this signify a return to the NBA? Or will Johnson look to continue coaching at the collegiate level?