NEW YORK -- During his time in Memphis, Lionel Hollins became known for his ability to develop players.
Deron Williams may not need to develop his game per se, but he would like to return to All-Star form. And the hope is that Hollins can help him do that in Brooklyn.
Just a few years ago, Williams was considered the best point guard in the NBA. Not anymore. But maybe, just maybe, Hollins can coach him up and fix that.
“I haven’t seen him up close until last year [when Hollins worked in the media], and he was hurt a lot,” Hollins said Monday at his introductory news conference. “I just see somebody that needs to get healthy and get his confidence back.
“You’ve gotta be healthy and you’ve gotta be in good condition to do what you want to do as a player on the court. You can’t not be in shape and be as good as you want to be. You can’t be partly healthy and be as good as you want to be. I think those are the two things I noticed.”
Williams has dealt with persistent ankle injuries for the past two seasons.
He’s openly admitted that confidence has been a problem.
Williams is being paid like a max player, he just isn’t producing like one. In 2013-14, he averaged only 14.3 points and 6.1 assists.
Hollins has already spoken to Williams over the phone but plans to meet with him face-to-face once Williams gets back to New York. He is currently in Dallas.
Nets GM Billy King said Williams is “on track” in his rehab from dual ankle surgery.
• While rumors continue to swirl, King would not reveal much of anything during his breakout session with reporters.
King is in the process of negotiating with unrestricted free agent Paul Pierce. Sources have also said that all indications are that the Nets intend to use their mini midlevel exception to bring Bojan Bogdanovic over from Europe.
King did say he watched tape of Bogdanovic with Hollins in their X’s and O’s meeting last Tuesday.