Jason Kidd does not foresee problems coaching good friend Deron Williams
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The situation is a rarity at this level.
As recently hired Nets coach Jason Kidd begins his new career, learning the job on the fly, he also is making another transition: going from being Deron Williams' friend to barking instructions at him. Kidd insists it won't be that big a deal and believes their relationship will continue to thrive.
"Well, we are a family, so my job is to put guys in position to be successful," Kidd said Friday. "His job is to execute that. We are friends, but I'm also friends of [other players]. So I mean, I want those guys to be successful and hopefully they want the same thing for me."
Once he got healthy after a sluggish start, Williams averaged 22.9 points and 8.0 assists and shot 48 percent, including 42 percent from three-point range, in the 28 games after the All-Star break. Kidd is looking for more of the same and plans on getting it out of Williams. That includes allowing Williams to call his own plays.
"I want him to be him. I want him to be a basketball player that we all know he can be," Kidd said. "And we are going to set lofty goals where we want to try, as a coaching staff and teammates, to put him in a position to reach them."
Kidd chuckled when asked if he sees some of his game in Williams. "He's better -- he can shoot," Kidd said. "He can get to the basket, he can score. Another strength is he's a guy who can set the table. I don't look at him as me. He's a little bit better than I am."
No doubt, there's going to be some give-and-take between the two. Kidd, however, doesn't subscribe to the theory that coaches who were former point guards tend to be harder on that position -- or even cater to it at times.
"That's something that has been talked about or maybe seen in the past," Kidd said. "My job is to get the best out of each position. So I can't say I'm going to lean or favor Deron or whoever is playing the point because I've got four other guys out there that I've got to pay attention to."
Bogdanovich agrees. The Nets have reached an agreement with Bojan Bogdanovic, 24, according to a league source. The deal is for three years, with the third reportedly being a player option. A second-round pick whose rights were acquired from the Timberwolves during the 2011 draft, the 6-6 Bogdanovic played for Istanbul-based Fenerbahce the past two seasons.