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Johnson, Mavs have amicable split

Associated Press
DALLAS ó One day after being fired, former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson was complimentary of his boss for the past 3 1/2 years, saying heíll always appreciate Mark Cuban for giving him his first coaching job.
The setting was another reminder of how Cuban treated Johnson; it was at the Ritz-Carlton building that Johnson called home while in Dallas, with a jet service shuttling him to Houston, where his wife and kids lived in the familyís permanent residence.
iA month from now, or a year from now, I donít want to have a public spat. Thereís really no need for that now,î Johnson said. iDid we have some rough periods? Absolutely. Am I proud that we were able to get through those rough periods? Yes, I am.î
Rookie of the Year
BELLEVUE, Wash. ó The Sonicsí Kevin Durant has been honored as the NBA Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Seattle player to win the award ó and perhaps the last.
Atlantaís Al Horford finished second with 390 points, and Houstonís Luis Scola was third with 146 points.
Durant averaged 20.3 points per game for the Sonics, whose owner recently got approval to move the team to Oklahoma City. Coach P.J. Carlesimo will return next season, the team said.
NETS
NEWARK, N.J. ó The owner of the New Jersey Nets insisted his team is not for sale, shooting down a report that investors were being assembled to buy the franchise and move it to Newark.

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