Will guide Western Conference squad Feb. 19 in Houston
NEW YORK, Jan. 26 --
Dallas Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson
will coach the Western Conference All-Stars for the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Johnson and the Mavericks (32-10, .762) coaching staff earned the honor to coach the Western Conference All-Stars as a result of their 102-93 win over the Golden State Warriors last night at The Arena in Oakland, clinching the best possible winning percentage in the Western Conference through games of Feb. 5.
Head coaches for the East and West All-Star teams are based on teams with the best winning percentage in each conference following the Sunday games (Feb. 5) played two weeks prior to the All-Star Game.
Johnson, in his second season as head coach of the Mavericks, assumed the duties after former head coach Don Nelson stepped down with 18 games remaining in the 2004-05 season. Under Johnson the Mavericks finished out the season (16-2, .889) and advanced to the 2005 Western Conference Semifinals. He is the first coach in NBA history to win NBA Coach of the Month honors in his first two months of coaching (April and November 2005).
As a player, Johnson was undrafted in the 1988 NBA Draft before starting his professional career in the USBL followed by signing as a free agent with the Seattle SuperSonics (August 1988). Johnson changed teams six times in his first six seasons before settling down with the San Antonio Spurs, the team that he won an NBA championship with in 1999.
Flip Saunders and the coaching staff from the Detroit Pistons (35-5, .875) will be on the sidelines guiding the Eastern Conference All-Star Team.
All-Star starters for both the Eastern and Western Conference will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 2, while the All-Star Reserves are set to be announced on Thursday, Feb. 9.
The NBA All-Star Game will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 7 p.m. CT/ 8 p.m. ET. Live audio broadcasts are available on ESPN Radio and on NBA.com in multiple languages.