Dallas coach Avery Johnson is trying to do something that no other coach in the modern history of the NBA has ever done: Win the NBA title in his first full season on the job. His 60 wins in the regular season have already earned him Coach of the Year honors, but how do his wins compare with the records of some other notable NBA coaches in their first full season on the job. Take a spin through this gallery and see how much you know.
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A year after leading the University of Detroit to the 1977 NCAA tournament, Vitale took over the Pistons and had a less-than-successful 30-52 record in the 1978-79 season. Luckily for ESPN, Dickie V was fired 12 games into the 1979-80 season, clearing the way for his television career.
3 of 13Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Though he went 50-21 and led the Lakers to the NBA title after taking over for Paul Westhead 11 games into the 1981-82 season, Riley's first full season was 1982-83. L.A. had a 58-24 mark that year and was swept by the Dr. J and the Sixers in the NBA Finals.
4 of 13Manny Millan/SI
In the first of his two forays into the NBA, Pitino led the 1987-88 Knicks to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons as they improved by 14 games and finished with a 38-14 record. He was even better the next season, winning 52 games before leaving to replace Eddie Sutton at Kentucky.
5 of 13John Biever/SI
On the heels of the Pacers' first NBA Finals appearance, Thomas took over for the retiring Larry Bird and held his own during a rebuilding season. The Pacers went 41-41 but were swept by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Sixers in the first round.
6 of 13Peter Read Miller/SI
Tark the Shark chewed on his towel for 20 games in San Antonio but was harpooned after getting off to a 9-11 start. The team won 16 of its first 18 games under Shark's successor, John Lucas, who made a key move by inserting none other than Avery Johnson into the lineup.
7 of 13Manny Millan/SI
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Since Red predates the NBA, this one's a little tricky. Though he went 49-11 with the Basketball Association of America's Washington Capitols in his first pro job (1946-47), Auerbach had a sub-.500 record with his first NBA team, Tri-Cities, which finished 28-29. Of course, Red went on to spend the next 15 years on the Celtics' bench, guiding them to nine championships in his last 10 seasons.
9 of 13Richard Mackson/SI
You'd have to be a real Lakers fan to remember that Magic's cameo appearance was sandwiched between the Randy Pfund and Dell Harris eras. With 16 games left in the 1993-94 season and the Lakers fighting for a playoff spot, Magic coached them to five consecutive wins. He finished with a 5-11 record and decided he'd had enough.
10 of 13John Biever/SI
Before Larry Legend graced the Pacers' sidelines, only three men in NBA history had been named Coach of the Year in their rookie season (Harry Gallatin in 1963, Johnny Kerr in 1957 and Mike Shuler in 1986). Bird's Pacers won a then-franchise-high 58 games in his first season.
11 of 13Elsa/Getty Images
As a player/coach with Seattle in 1969-70, Wilkens went 36-46 as he began paving the way for a career that would see him retire as the winningest coach in NBA history.
12 of 13John W. McDonough/SI
The man responsible for helping Charles Barkley win his only MVP award also coached the 1992-93 Suns to the NBA Finals in his first year as an NBA head coach. Phoenix went 62-20 in the regular season and took the Chicago Bulls to six games in the Finals but lost on a wide-open three-pointer by John Paxson with three seconds left.
13 of 13Peter Read Miller/SI
The first African-American head coach for a major U.S. sports league team, Russell succeeded Red Auerbach in 1966 and had a .741 winning percentage (60-21). Boston's string of eight consecutive titles was snapped that same season, but as player/coach, Russell returned the championship trophy to Beantown for the next two seasons.
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