Every NBA coach operates with a clock hanging over his head that counts down to his eventual departure -- usually not by choice. Such is the nature of a league where only one coach (San Antonio's Gregg Popovich) has been with the same team for more than a decade. Some clocks tick faster than others, however, and whoever replaces Avery Johnson at the helm of the Brooklyn Nets doesn't figure to have much time to spare.
There were justifications for making a change after the Nets followed their impressive 11-4 start with a 3-10 record in December. Deron Williams' criticism of his coach's offense surely didn't help Johnson's cause, and Johnson was never able to get his team's defense playing at even an average level after building a reputation as a defensive specialist as coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Ultimately, Johnson's demise was about expectations. Brooklyn ownership didn't add more than $330 million in future payroll this past summer in order to go .500.