Perhaps ready to scratch a coaching itch, Jerry Sloan wouldn't be averse to reuniting with the player he reportedly clashed with before abruptly retiring in 2011.
That would be Deron Williams.
A day after the Nets point guard mentioned his former coach's name when discussing a possible replacement for P.J. Carlesimo, Sloan said he'd listen if the Nets gave him a call. Sloan racked up 1,221 wins before calling it quits after 26 seasons with the Bulls and Jazz, just two weeks before Utah shipped Williams to the Nets.
General manager Billy King, speaking Monday on ESPN radio, said he had yet to contact any candidates. Should King elect to phone Sloan, the Hall of Fame coach wouldn't slide his finger across the ignore function.
"I'm open, I would listen," Sloan, 71, told Comcast SportsNet Northwest. "I haven't done the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called."
Williams said Sunday that he'd like to see the next coach push the Nets toward becoming more physical and assertive. Unsolicited, he mentioned his first pro coach.
"When I played for coach Sloan, I think he had that effect," Williams said. "Just the way he coaches and the way he talked to us every day and the way he prepared us for games kind of rubbed off."
Asked if he'd mind a reunion, Williams said: "I would love to play for coach Sloan again."
King reiterated that he plans to reach out to Phil Jackson and wanted to make it clear that he could coexist with a "big-name" coach, though he insists the Nets aren't hunting for one.
"It's my responsibility to get a coach in here and work with that coach," he said. "I've worked with some big names before. I know everybody keeps saying wants a marquee name. It's not about a marquee name. We want the guy who's going to do the job the best, and for the long term . . . Our players will be fine with whoever we choose as a coach."
Whether Sloan will be in the mix remains to be seen. It has been rumored he might be in play for the coaching vacancy in Milwaukee.
"According to reports, I'm interested in every job that's out there," Sloan said. "That's just not the case. I don't like being linked to every opening. If the right situation presented itself, I will look into it."
Meanwhile, Carlesimo said on ESPN radio Monday that King delivered the news that he wouldn't be back at about noon Sunday. Before that, he said, he didn't have any chats with Nets brass about his long-term future. "There was never any indication during the year, 'Hey, it looks good; hey, it looks bad.' When you don't hear anything, that's not good."