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Patience will be critical for Jason Kidd, says Magic Johnson

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Stephen Dunn

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald writes about how great point guards transition from seeing the floor as a player to seeing it as a coach ... and how the difference could be crucial in determining how successful Jason Kidd will be as a head coach.

Murphy writes about Doc Rivers and Magic Johnson, both of whom had no experience as an assistant before sitting on the sideline. Johnson offered a telling lesson for Kidd during a conference call with writers last week.

"Nick Van Exel was our point guard and I used to holler, ‘He’s open, he’s open, he’s open.’ So by the third game in, Michael Cooper, my assistant coach, pulled me aside and said, ‘Earvin, he can’t see like you, so you’ve got to quit hollering that he’s open, because you can see it but he can’t see it.’ And I kept saying, ‘Why? He’s open.’ 

"So I think that he’s going to have to understand that guys are not going to be able to play like him, maybe be dedicated like he was or he can’t expect everybody to be great like him, and so that will be his biggest challenge...

"So I gained a lot more respect for coaches than I had before."

On the other hand, Murphy talks to Dave Wohl, the former Nets player and coach about how Kidd's biggest advantage with players will be the instant respect he gets from Day One ... just as Rivers did.

"When Doc walked into that first locker room (as Orlando’s coach), he had the respect of every player right away. The other thing was that Doc always had a terrific basketball mind as far as X’s and O’s are concerned. He was always thinking about the game. And Kidd has obviously always had that ability to see how things develop on the floor. Jason is going to bring that sense for how he can use his players in the best way."

"Every coach has to deal with impatience to some degree. There’s inherent frustration built into being a player who becomes a coach. Jerry West used to talk about the same thing.

Of course, with Kidd's demeanor, it will be hard to tell if he's impatient. That poker face hides a lot.