With the game against the Los Angeles Lakers hanging in the balance and the Brooklyn Nets out of timeouts, Jason Kidd pulled perhaps one of the wiliest veteran moves we’ve seen out of the rookie coach.
With 8.3 seconds left and no way to draw up a play for his team, Kidd, holding a glass of soda, looked at rookie Tyshawn Taylor and mouthed “hit me,” imploring his second-year guard to run into him on his way to the bench. Taylor does his due diligence, running directly into Kidd as Kidd held his glass into the air.
The spill caused a stoppage in play, both icing Jodie Meeks at the free throw line and allowing Kidd time to draw up a play, a Paul Pierce three-pointer around a Kevin Garnett screen. Meeks also hit the free throw. Pierce got a clean look, but the ball bounced off the rim, marking Brooklyn’s last chance at a score and sealing the 99-94 Lakers victory.
Watch the replay for Kidd mouthing the words “hit me” to Taylor, then raising his glass to cause the spill.
Kidd, who enjoyed a can of Coca-Cola at his postgame press conference, was coy about his move, not acknowledging his words.
“Cup slipped out of my hand I was getting Ty,” Kidd said. “Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball.”
“In the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand.”
Sure thing, coach.
Taylor also denied that the spill was intentional. “Naw, I wasn’t paying attention,” Taylor said after the game. “I didn’t even know he was holding nothing. Like, coach is drinking soda on the sidelines! I’m like ‘What? What you doing?'”
Taylor acknowledged the benefit of the “accidental” spill. “It might ice a free throw shooter and be a time-out when you don’t have one, but that wasn’t the thought process. I was just coming out and he was in my way.”
He then laughed. “‘Coach, get out my way, bro.'”