At his introductory press conference, new Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd spoke about his relationship with Deron Williams, his plans for the team, and even cracked jokes about his inability to shoot. As far as first impressions go (especially one for the franchise’s best players of all time), Coach Kidd covered most of the vague bases.
Today, on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, Kidd expounded on most of his answers and even went into some new territory. Second impressions prove important, and, needless to say, Jason Kidd has passed that test too; leaving everybody else with just one question: is it September yet?
Mike Greenberg immediately returned to the day Jason Kidd retired, saying: “When they asked you about the next step, you seemed really interested in doing TV. . . Jason Kidd will be here; he’ll be at ESPN. And that moment, just listening to you, it didn’t sound like this idea was in your mind. When did you first get the idea: ‘I want to become a Head Coach this quickly’?”
Kidd: “When we were discussing the retirement over the weekend. . .it was going into media or coaching and trying to find what fit. And so my agent, Jeff, went out and talked to some people and got some responses and I think when we met with the Nets, it worked out.”
Some people (see: Patrick Ewing and Brian Shaw) may not enthralled with Jason Kidd’s continued tone of casualty, but it’s very interesting to hear the perfect marriage seemingly fell into their laps. While coaches like Shaw try again and again, go through interview after interview without landing a leading gig, it speaks towards the strong belief and faith the Nets organization has in Kidd still.
“(Doug Collins) talked at great length about the importance of you getting a really seasoned staff. . .where do you stand as of right now in bringing in a staff?”
Kidd: “Well, that’s the #1 thing right now that I’m focused on. I’m recruiting. I’m in the recruiting process of getting a staff. . . One of my candidates is Lawrence Frank that I’m trying to get. . . I trust him and he understands what it takes to have success in this league.”
And, perhaps, as we’ve as noted before, Kidd would only say “the invitation is out there.” Frank, of course, coached the Nets from 2004 to 2009, after serving as Bryon Scott’s Assistant for three years. He was fired during the team’s 0-16 start in the 2009 season.
Kidd talked about his certain lack of experience as a head coach, but noted that:
“I can’t be upset about other’s opinions. I have to focus on what I can do as the coach of the Nets. There are only thirty jobs in this league and I’m very honored to have one of them . . . Brian Shaw, he will get a job. He’s a good friend of mine . . . and I know he’ll be a Head Coach in this league. But I can’t worry about other people. I can only worry about myself.”
Then came the thousand dollar question– the most important factor and the issue, depending on how it is addressed, could make or break the next few years of the Nets franchise: how will you get Deron Williams back to an elite level?
“My job is to make the game easy for him.”
Simple, succinct and, well… maybe, not exactly the answer everybody was looking for. But, it’s essential to make sure that Kidd recognizes the type of relationship he sees between the Head Coach and PG. In the role that he has always filled, Kidd envisions the point guard as an extension of the coach; and it was his job to put forth their game plan on the court.
And if there’s anyone that knows how to make the point guard position easy, it’s Jason Kidd. Hopefully some of that brilliance can spill into Deron Williams’ veins and invigorate him just as the platelet-rich plasma injections did last February.
As the conversation continued, Greenberg half jokingly asked Kidd if we were going to see him assume the player-coach duel role throughout the year. Despite the fact that this is illegal in the CBA, it seemed as if Kidd, looking to add legitimacy to his claims as a new Head Coach, wanted to seriously dispel those theories for good.
“No, there will be no uniform under my suit.”
Throughout his career, Kidd had never been viewed as a loud or boisterous personality, and when asked whether or not that would translate into coaching, he said:
“I’m not a yeller. I’ll be very respectful . . . I won’t be a yeller. I would like to sit down and watch the game.”
Somewhere, MarShon Brooks must have had the biggest sigh of relief; If he wasn’t sold before on Jason Kidd as the new Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets.—he must be now.