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Larry Johnson at odds with UNLV


Mike Miller

UNLV’s greatest player is a little miffed at his alma mater right now.

Larry Johnson had choice words for UNLV administration in an interview with GamingToday, and athletic director Jim Livengood, formerly an Arizona AD: “It’s not UNLV Runnin’ Rebels no more, it’s UNLV Wildcats right now.”

At issue? Johnson would’ve liked an assistant coaching job under new coach Dave Rice, who played with Johnson in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Another teammate, Stacey Augmon, did get hired.

“People all over town, wherever I went, asked me if I wanted to coach,” Johnson said. “They wanted me and Stacey, knowing he had been an assistant coach. They had to hire him (as an assistant), knowing they would never consider me.”

But it’s not that simple. Augmon spent years on NBA benches as an assistant coach. Johnson doesn’t have any coaching experience. He says he’d be able to help the school’s recruiting, enticing top-flight recruits who play locally at Findlay Prep and Bishop Gorman, such as 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad.

“It’s all about recruiting and identification with past performers at the school,” Johnson said. The administration turned its back on us and consequently players have left for Texas, Duke and other top national programs. Today, I would probably do the same.”

The whole situation also stinks because Johnson’s frosty relationship with the school had thawed during the years thanks to ex-coach Lon Kruger reaching out to LJ and trying to get him involved. Guess it’s back to the beginning.

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