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THE Relationship: How Deron Williams and Avery Johnson mesh is crucial to Brooklyn Nets success


Stefan Bondy takes a look at the relationship that matters most to the Nets, the one between coach and point guard. That relationship is always critical, particularly when the coach used to be a point guard and the point guard is the team's best player. And it helps that the coach has something the point guard craves, an NBA championship ring.

Bondy gets candid comments from both men as well as the team sage, Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse in fact has the most revealing comment.

"Avery’s conscious of it. He’s smart. He’s conscious of how he has to manage Deron," says Nets guard Jerry Stackhouse, who played under Johnson in Dallas. "Before he even came to New Jersey, Deron kind of had a label of being somewhat high-maintenance because of the situation in Utah (with Jerry Sloan)."

"Both of them needed to find the happy medium," Stackhouse tells Bondy. "Avery had to come back a little bit and kind of meet some of the maintenance of Deron, and Deron can’t go down that path where he’s looked at as a coach killer. Now they’re managing their relationship to the betterment of the team."

Williams is aware of Johnson's reputation as a micro-manager and admits to Bondy, "I’ve heard that. At times, he likes to micro-manage the game."