Avery Johnson took the Alabama head coaching job earlier this month and he’s making the difficult transition of taking an NBA background and transitioning to the collegiate level. Thankfully for Johnson, he’s colleagues in the Crimson Tide athletic department with one of the best coaches in all of sports in football coach Nick Saban.
Johnson and Saban are touring together and reaching Alabama fans, according to a report from Alex Byington from the Decatur Daily. On the Crimson Caravan Tour, Johnson is doing everything he can to learn about coaching at Alabama and coaching at the college level. Since Saban has been so successful with the Crimson Tide — while also coaching for a time at the professional level — the two coaches share some common traits.
“This trip is about partnering with Coach Saban. I’m talking to him about how we want to improve the basketball product, on and off the floor, and continue to grow a relationship with a coach that I’ve been a fan of for a long time,” Johnson said to Byington. “Riding in the car, (we are) talking about coaching situations and leadership tactics, and management styles, trying to get the best out of players, and high basketball IQ, (and) players making split-second decisions that can be critical to the success of the team.”
The two coaches have already made a stop in Huntsville and also plan on making some additional stops in the coming weeks.
Saban probably can’t offer much help to Johnson on beating Kentucky or becoming a more consistent SEC powerhouse than Florida in the basketball scheme of things, but he does know how to recruit at Alabama and has been awfully successful dealing with college athletes. Johnson can also take some advice from Saban on dealing with Alabama fans and boosters and these trips should help ingratiate him into the Alabama athletics family.