Playing career: Seattle, Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Golden State and Dallas (1988-2004).
Coaching career: Assistant with Dallas prior to being Mavericks head coach (2005-2008) and New Jersey/Brooklyn's head coach (2010-2012).
Résumé: It wasn't hard to tell from his playing days that Johnson would become a coach in the NBA at some point. The diminutive leader brought the same toughness that he showed on the court to the sidelines, which helped him guide the Mavs to the 2006 NBA Finals. That same fiery nature also caused him to clash with players and not last in either job for longer than three seasons.
Potential fit with Sixers
John Finger: Johnson has been around a long time in the NBA and has seen a lot. He’s been to the NBA Finals as a player and a coach and he’s been part of a rebuilding process as a player and a coach, too. One has to figure that if a guy could coach the New Jersey Nets and not lose his mind, he could coach anywhere. Even in Philadelphia.
John Gonzalez: I covered him during his first year in Dallas with the Mavericks. He’s smart, defensive-minded, and tough -- which is why he’s probably a bad fit. Johnson, like Collins, has a reputation for getting after his players and eventually wearing on them. I’d love to see the Little General toughen this group up, but the players would likely be less excited about that prospect.
Dei: Johnson has had success as a head coach, but he has also had unexpected disappointments. His record as head coach of the Mavericks was 194-70, but people vividly remember his top-seeded Mavs losing in the first round to the Golden State Warriors. He did not lose his job after that, and instead returned to coach the 2007-08 season when Dallas won 51 games but again lost in the first round. Johnson does not fit the bill of the “up and comer” that the Sixers have said they are looking for.