YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits interviewed Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd prior to his ceremonial first pitch in Wednesday night’s New York Yankees-Los Angeles Dodgers game.
How much are you looking forward to getting things started here?
I would like– I wish the season was starting tomorrow, so we can get it underway. But I’m excited about the process, and I’m looking forward to being the head coach.
What’s the first order of business for you? Do you look at draft stuff, are you evaluating the team as a whole?
All of that, I guess you could say. I’m looking to fill a staff first, looking at the draft prospects, watching draft workouts, so there’s a lot going on right now.
Most people retire, they take a vacation. You retire, and you say ‘I want to be a head coach.’ What made you want to get into coaching immediately?
Well I thought… the biggest thing is, I knew I could play a lot of golf, and that I was going to look to need a job, but there were a lot of head coaching opportunities, and I thought I could be one and be successful at it. My agent found a great opportunity, talked to (Nets general manager) Billy (King), and it all worked out.
They often say point guards know the game the best. Obviously you leave things on the floor and translate into coaches, oftentimes. How much do you play into that, and how much do you think that will help you as a head coach?
I hope that– don’t put that type of pressure on me. But the point guard position is very important. They have the ball maybe 95% of the time, and there are a lot of successful point guard coaches. So hopefully I can just follow Mark Jackson’s footsteps, he was a point guard and had a lot of success in his first year. So he’s the blueprint, and they do have successful point guards, but you need to have a good team. I think I have that.
How important is your relationship with Deron Williams going to be moving forward to having that success?
Well, we have a good relationship already. We’re good friends, and it is a business. My job is to make him the best point guard, and put him in a position to be successful, and I think at the end of the year last year he played extremely well, so I hope he can build on that.
Talk about some of the fun stuff around here. I saw you talking to C.C. Sabathia, who makes his way to Brooklyn pretty often. Andy Pettitte… were you getting some pointers on throwing out the first pitch?
Well it’s funny, because C.C.’s from the Bay Area, I’m from the Bay Area, so I thought- I told him I should’ve been a pitcher too. But then you have Pettitte, who was my age and still playing, so I told him to represent the older guys. But those guys, they’re just congratulating me, and they’re great guys. First-class.
C.C.’s a big guy, loves basketball. Think he could’ve made it as a basketball player?
Oh, for sure. He could’ve been a 2 or 3. He definitely could’ve been a 3 in this league. I know he’s an athlete, and he’s from the Bay Area, so he can definitely play basketball.