The Anthony Grant era is dead. Long live the Avery Johnson era?

hunter fordThe agony is over!   Or is it?   Alabama athletics director Bill Battle did the right thing and pulled the plug on the Anthony Grant era of Alabama basketball.

“The decision was reached only after a great deal of deliberating, but I feel it is in the best interests of the basketball program to make a change in leadership,” Battle said.  “This has been a very difficult decision, as I have the highest respect for Anthony as a coach, as a molder or young men, and as a person.”

The first objective has been accomplished.   Namely, removing a coach, who is a good and honorable person, but could not achieve the goals set before him, and truly earn his millions of dollars.

Now, comes the hard part.

The next decision Battle has to make is to choose a coach who can earn his salary.   Battle must hire somebody who can energize the fan base of the Crimson Tide.   Somebody who can recruit the kind of talent it takes to win basketball games in the SEC, and contend seriously for championships.

Battle has executed the easy part of the “Plan” to make Alabama basketball a competitive force, as it has been in the past.   The more difficult decision to be made is hiring the right “general” to lead the Crimson Tide into future contests.

The first choice should be “The little General”  Avery Johnson.  This Johnson ain’t that little.   Check out his resume’.

Johnson played basketball at Southern University.  He was undrafted after college, but earned a place in the big leagues with his guts and determination.  He played for several NBA teams.

He later coached in the NBA, and took the Dallas Mavericks to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance, and four consecutive 50-plus win seasons.

Nick Saban has earned a reputation as a “game changer” for Alabama football.    Saban is someone recruits, and their families, believe can mold high school kids into football professionals.

Avery Johnson could do the same thing for basketball players.