When the Brooklyn Nets made the bold move to hire Jason Kidd as the team's head coach on Wednesday, everyone wanted to hear from star point guard Deron Williams. He spoke out in an exclusive interview after the move became official, and although he said the move is a "risk," he admitted that he's "excited" about the opportunity to play for Kidd (via the New York Daily News):
"Nobody knows if he's going to be a great coach," Williams said Wednesday in an interview with the Daily News. "It's going to take him a couple years to adjust. But at the same time, he could be a great coach off the bat
"It's a risk, but I think it's somebody we can grow with. I think it's somebody we're definitely going to respect and listen to. And I'm excited about the ways he's going to help me as a player and a leader."
Williams and Kidd have both developed a reputation of being difficult to coach over the course of their NBA careers, so there is already speculation that their personalities will clash when the Nets hit a rough patch. Expectations will once again be high for Brooklyn next season, as the payroll is high and veteran stars are inserted at most positions in the starting lineup. Kidd won't have the luxury of making mistakes on the job during his first stint as a head coach, because the Nets are operating in a small window as a contender.
The key to Brooklyn's success will be maximizing Deron Williams' talent on the floor, which is something the team hasn't been able to do so far. Williams, who has played against Kidd in NBA competition and as his teammate in international competition as part of Team USA's 2008 gold medal team, says he's not concerned about a personality clash and insists he will be fine if Kidd has to be hard on him. From the NY Daily News:
"At the time, that was kind of the thought (that we needed a veteran coach)," Williams said. "I think when you look around the league and you see kind of what (Shaquille O'Neal) said with the recycled coaches, that doesn't always work either. . . . I think (Kidd) sees the game at a different level than a lot of people. He's going to have to learn on the job, but I think he's also going to put a good staff behind him where he can learn on the fly."
"I think he's my coach so he's going to have to yell at me. He's going to have to let me know when I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. I don't take it personal," added Williams, who plans to attend Kidd's introductory press conference at Barclays Center. "He's about winning, and I am, too. And that's all that matters."
The Nets will introduce Kidd as the team's new head coach during a press conference on Thursday. Visit NetsDaily for complete coverage.