Tuscaloosa, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - The University of Alabama has reportedly agreed in principle to hire Avery Johnson as its next head men's basketball coach.
ESPN reported the agreement Sunday for Johnson, who has never coached college basketball, but has plenty of NBA experience.
The Crimson Tide need a replacement for Anthony Grant, whose contract was not retained. They reportedly offered the coaching job to Wichita State's Gregg Marshall, but he turned Alabama down and agreed to remain with the Shockers.
Johnson's last coaching stint came with the Nets during the 2012-13 season. He was also the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and was named the NBA's Coach of the Year for the 2006-07 season. It was after that season the Mavs were upset by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
Dallas was ousted again in the first round the next season, and Johnson was relieved of his duties.
The elder Johnson, nicknamed "Little General," compiled a 254-186 record in the NBA. The Mavs were in the NBA Finals in 2006, but lost to Miami.
By coaching at Alabama, Johnson will have the opportunity to coach in the SEC against his son, Avery Johnson Jr., who is a point guard at Texas A&M.
Grant took over at Alabama in 2009 after a successful stint at VCU, his first as a head coach. The former Dayton forward accumulated a 117-85 record in six seasons with the Crimson Tide.
Alabama only reached the NCAA Tournament once under Grant, when it earned a No. 9 seed in 2012 and lost to Creighton in the Round of 64. It also reached the finals of the NIT in 2011 and lost to Wichita State. The Crimson Tide went 19-15 this past season. That included a loss to Miami-Florida in the second round of the NIT.