Brooklyn hired Kidd to replace P.J. Carlesimo as head coach even though the future Hall of Fame point guard had been retired for less than two weeks and has no prior coaching experience. Remember, being considered a coach among players for nearly two decades doesn't count.
Lost on no one are the potential perils in hiring a coaching neophyte like Kidd. Even the Nets, who obviously see something in Kidd, cannot say with absolute certainty that he'll be successful, former Olympics teammate and current friend Deron Williams included.
“Nobody knows if he’s going to be a great coach,” Williams told Stefan Bondy of the New York 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."
Indeed he could. There is also the potential for him to crash and burn.
Kidd hasn't been new to anything pertaining to basketball in quite some time. Official coaching is uncharted waters for him. Guiding players that he used to call peers puts him in unknown territory.
Of course his hire was a gamble.
But if you ask Williams, he believes it's a risk worth taking.
“It’s a risk, but I think it’s somebody we can grow with," Williams said. "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.”
One of the biggest questions Kidd will face in his first year (few years?) at the helm is how players he used to call teammates and/or opponents respond to his instruction.
Williams' support is a step in the right direction, but we won't really know how receptive the Nets are collectively to Kidd's instruction until the season starts and they face their first crisis.
The former point man (wow, it feels weird to type that) isn't used to sitting in this type of hot seat on this side of the spectrum.
Once the going gets tough, blame will fall upon his shoulders. He's the coach now; it's his job to motivate his players to win. The moment Brooklyn stops winning or incurs an extended stretch of adversity is when we'll see how good a fit Kidd truly is for the Nets.
“I think he’s been the leader everywhere he has gone," Williams explained. "He kind of changed the culture everywhere he went and won. So that’s what we need.”
Only time, wins, losses and the rest of the Nets' capacity to buy into Kidd as an authority figure will tell if Williams is right.
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