Johnson transitions to full-time role as ESPN NBA analyst

Updated: October 17, 2008, 10:55 AM ET
ESPN.com

ESPN has hired former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson as an NBA studio analyst, teaming him with fellow analyst Bill Walton and host Stuart Scott on the network's NBA Shootaround pregame show throughout the season and postseason.

Johnson
Johnson

Johnson contributed to ESPN's coverage of the NBA playoffs earlier this year. He also will work at times on ABC's GM NBA Countdown show.

"ESPN and ABC has an abundance of terrific talent and I'm glad to launch my career in broadcasting with the premiere sports network," he said in a statement.

Johnson was fired by the Mavs last May after four seasons as coach. He took Dallas to the NBA Finals in 2006 -- he also was named the NBA's coach of the year -- but the team lost in the first round of the playoffs in his last two seasons. The Mavs won a club-record 67 games in the 2007-08 season and were 194-70 with him as coach.

Johnson also had a 16-year NBA career as a point guard and won the championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. He also played for the Seattle SuperSonics (1988-90), Denver Nuggets (1990-91; 2001-02), Spurs (1991, 1992-93, 1994-2001), Houston Rockets (1992), Golden State Warriors (1993-94, 2003-04) and Mavericks (2002-03).

"Avery has excelled in every professional endeavor and we know his success will carry over to his on-air role," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. "His experience and passion for the game will resonate with our fans."

His close association with the Mavs will not dissuade him from critiquing the club on camera.

"I have a job to do, and I will do it," Johnson said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "It will give me great joy to have insights because I worked so closely with some of them for a lot of years."