Reading the children's classic The Little Engine That Could might be the easiest way to understand what Avery Johnson has gone through to make it in the NBA.
Like the little blue engine from Watty Piper's story, Johnson is an inspiration. Like the little blue engine, Johnson is much smaller than his counterparts. Like the little blue engine, Johnson has had to persevere. And like the little blue engine, Johnson's goal is to climb a mountain.
I think I can - I think I can - I think I can - I think I can.
Click here to read the rest of our story on Avery Johnson from our November 1993 issue...
Former managing editor of Sports Spectrum, Dave Branon, wrote "Friends In Deed" for SS's November 1999 issue about David Robinson and Avery Johnson's unique friendship.
Imagine having a nice leisurely breakfast at your local International House of Pancakes when the glass doors swing open and in walk two of the most famous basketball players in Texas.
It happens once in a while in Stafford, Texas, outside of Houston, when the urge hits David Robinson and Avery Johnson to go out for real food among the real people.
"That's one of our favorite spots," says Robinson, who lives outside of San Antonio. "When I go down to Houston to visit Avery, we go to IHOP and get breakfast. We go when Avery treats me..."