Whenever football season ends, Nick Saban will have another challenge waiting for him on the hardwood.
Alabama basketball coach — and former NBA star — Avery Johnson challenged Saban to a game of 1-on-1 on Monday afternoon.
“Hopefully that’ll come in January after we win the national championship,” Johnson said (via TimesDaily.com‘s Alex Byington).
Johnson, 50, would obviously be the favorite in such a game.
He played in the NBA from 1988 to 2004, winning the NBA Finals with San Antonio in 1999.
His post-playing career put him on the Dallas Mavericks bench as an assistant, and he quickly rose through the ranks to take the Mavs’ head job in 2005.
Dallas went to the Finals in Johnson’s first full season as head coach, but that was the height of his success. The Mavs fired him in 2008, and then he faced a similar fate after failing to get much out of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets from 2010-2012.
Alabama hired Johnson to take over the basketball program this year, and he’s already built the nation’s fifth-ranked class of 2016 recruits.
He told Byington that Saban’s presence helped make Tuscaloosa an attractive option.
“He’s a pretty big-time guy,” Johnson said. “That’s one of the reasons I took the job.”