Thursday, February 14, 2008

George nixes trade and Johnson moves on

The eye of the media storm remained focused on Devean George today, but the veteran swingman remained poised and professional. His part in the proposed Jason Kidd trade has been well-chronicled over the last 24 hours and today in Phoenix he confirmed that he’s not consenting to the multi-player deal with New Jersey.

Whether or not the trade gets resurrected in some form or fashion remains to be seen. The trading deadline is one week away. Avery Johnson was asked again today before the game if he’s addressed the trade rumors with the team.

“We’ve already done that,” he said. “I think I mentioned that yesterday in my pregame press conference. I probably have 100 different weaknesses that you guys print on a daily basis or talk about, communication is not one of them.”

Johnson’s long career survived several trades and releases, including the oft-told story of San Antonio cutting him on Christmas Eve. Situations such as these are just part of business in the NBA and Johnson relayed as much to his team.

“We’ve had that conversation,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’ve been exactly in some of their situations, but I’ve been in similar [ones] before, so I can go back in the archives of some of my experiences and share certain things with them.

“But at the end of the day, 95 percent of these deals never really happen. This one hasn’t been perfectly drawn up, so we have to manage it. That’s my job. It’s not basketball coach. It’s managing injuries, managing playing time, managing highs, managing lows, managing hiccups, managing all sorts of stuff. That’s what I get paid to do. That’s why last night the game was fun.”

Johnson also addressed fans booing George last night at American Airlines Center.

“Some fans booed,” Johnson said. “Not all fans booed. Devean has been pretty instrumental in what we’ve done and he’s just got to keep his head up.

“Right now we’re looking forward to trying to get through this game and hopefully next Tuesday when we assemble for practice, I’m going to have a full team, which I haven’t had in a while. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Johnson expects to have Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Devin Harris back at practice when the team reassembles after the All-Star break.

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