(NY Daily News)
Getting Deron Williams refocused is near the top of Jason Kidd’s to-do-list as head coach of the Nets.
In a stunning development, recently retired New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd was named the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Kidd will sign a three-year deal — which will be announced at 2 p.m. EST. at Barclay’s Center.
The hiring of Jason Kidd will either go down as one of the great “under the radar” moves in recent memory or the Nets decision to bring in a big name to pace the sidelines will blow up in their faces. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was impressed with Kidd’s presentation and eventually convinced along with team advisers that Kidd is ready.
The 19-year veteran expressed his familiarity with team personnel and his coaching philosophy. His hiring reunites him with the former New Jersey franchise he led to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. In six-plus seasons with the Nets, Kidd averaged 15 points 7 rebounds and 9 assists per game.
One of the coaching perks Kidd has coming in is his relationship with current Nets point guard Deron Williams. Nets management believes Kidd be able to energize Williams — whose career in Brooklyn has been pedestrian at best. Williams is looking to shed the “coach killer” label he has obtained over the years. Kidd has two of the most important components in Williams and center Brook Lopez to work with. Jump starting Joe Johnson’s game can go a long way on the Nets improving on this season’s No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
In another development, the Nets interviewed with Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw for five hours. In the end, their man was Kidd — whose relationship with Williams and his presence when he walked into a room were his biggest selling points to Prokhorov. Lawrence Frank — who coached Kidd during the Nets run at two championships will be his lead assistant. Frank’s presence will provide a safety net for Kidd’s lack of coaching experience.
Many believe the Nets made a mistake in passing over Shaw — who is a top candidate for three of the four coaching positions still open in Denver, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Memphis.
To those turning their noses up at the Kidd signing, Doc Rivers’ first coaching gig in Orlando came without any prior assistant coaching experience.
Kidd’s biggest obstacle will be making the adjustment from being one of the guys to embracing the role of teacher, authority figure and disciplinarian.
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