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Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan open to working together again

May 6, 2013, 5:24 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets guard Williams reacts after Chicago Bulls were fouled late in fourth quarter of Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in New York Reuters

Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan went 262-174 and won four playoff series in five-plus seasons together. Since their much-publicized split, Williams has gone 71-77 and won zero playoff series, and Sloan hasn’t coached in the NBA.

Williams obviously wants to return to winning more often than not, and Sloan sounds like he wants to return to the sideline. With Williams’ Nets in the market for a coach, could a reunion be in order?

Mike Mazzeo‏ of ESPN:

Deron Williams said he’d love to play for Sloan again, and believes he would bring the toughness out of them #Nets

Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest:

Nets General Manager Billy King has yet to reach out to the Hall-of-Fame coach. And if he did so, Sloan isn’t against the idea of coaching his former All-Star point guard.

“I’m open, I would listen,” Sloan told via phone. “I haven’t done the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called.”

Let’s pause to remember how bad their relationship was just two years ago, when Sloan abruptly resigned as Jazz coach. Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

The increasingly contentious relationship between Sloan and Williams boiled over when they clashed at halftime of a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The showdown between Sloan and Williams became so heated on Wednesday, at least two Jazz players feared that the coach and star could come to blows – even though the confrontation ended before reaching that point.

As both have probably learned, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Their history aside, Sloan would actually be an excellent choice to coach Williams and the Nets. Sloan probably isn’t looking for a lengthy rebuilding project, and the Nets have the talent to win playoff series right now. He could get help get them over the hump.

But both Sloan and Williams must know they’d face an enormity of media attention if the Nets hire Sloan, and the probing would continue at even the slightest hint of disharmony throughout the season. Maybe, though, dealing with annoyances like that are worth it in the end.

  1. supremekingz - May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Now that’d be a good look for Brooklyn. There’s no reason a team with that much talent took a first round exit to a Bulls team competing with about 6.5 healthy bodies

  2. melkipershero - May 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Grass isn’t always greener. D-Will gets that now. I also think Dwight might wish he had Stan back as well considering the team he played on (Magic) was perfect for him with 3 point shooters all around him.

  3. thomaskouns - May 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    If Sloan coaches the Nets, history will repeat when the team goes South.

    At some point, Williams might realize that it’s not the coach or the system but him- truly great 20mil + players can succeed in any system which is why they are great.

    • fanofevilempire - May 6, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      If they both now realize they weren’t so bad together that can make a huge difference.
      I think it could work if they agree.

  4. jackvcr - May 7, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Williams is fortunate he and Sloan did not come to blows. Williams only thinks he’s tough. Sloan would have slapped the crap out of Williams.

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