MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama offered its men’s basketball job to former NBA player and head coach Avery Johnson, a person familiar with the negotiations said Sunday.
The person said Alabama and Johnson, a New Orleans native and former Southern standout, are working on the details of a deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made about the coaching search.
Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle did not return a call seeking comment.
ESPN first reported the contract talks. Johnson has been an NBA analyst for the network since being fired by the Brooklyn Nets in December 2012. He played 16 years in the NBA, much of it with the San Antonio Spurs.
Johnson would replace Anthony Grant, who was fired after making only one NCAA tournament six seasons.
This would be Johnson’s first college coaching job, but he has led two teams in the NBA. He started as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks after retiring in 2004 and was elevated to the head coaching job five months later.
Johnson led the Mavericks to their first NBA Finals appearance and was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2006.
Johnson arrived in New Jersey with a 194-70 record, a .735 winning percentage that was the highest in NBA history.
He was coach during the franchise’s move to Brooklyn. Johnson went from Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November to being fired in the following month after the Nets lost 10 of 13 games.
As a player, he was part of the Spurs’ NBA championship team in 1999. He played for five teams and had three stints with the Spurs.
His son, Avery Johnson Jr., just finished his freshman season at Texas A&M, which also plays in the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama had targeted Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who decided to stay put.