Since news broke that Jason Kidd, former New York Knicks point guard as of last week, was interested in the head coaching vacancy in the Brooklyn Nets franchise, everything launched into a frenzied whirlwind. Will they? Won’t they? Can he? All these questions culminated in yesterday’s introductory press conference at Barclays Center.
Finally, everybody could breathe. Inhale. Exhale.
This morning, Kidd was on The Dan Patrick Show, and while he mostly recycled answers from yesterday, there were a few particularly striking moments.
While introducing Jason Kidd to the show, Dan Patrick was taken aback by the words coming out of his mouth:
“He is the new Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets—boy, I’ve known him a long time and I never thought I’d call him coach! Hi, Coach!”
Coach Jason Kidd of the Brooklyn Nets. Sorry, after the rollercoaster ride of the last few days, I needed to a second to let that sink in.
While Patrick made small jokes (Did they interview you? Or you interview them? Did you have a PowerPoint presentation?), Kidd often deflected and tried to remain serious. He is the head coach, after all.
Kidd: “Walking into the old practice facility, I felt like it was home. The butterflies disappeared and we just talked basketball.”
Patrick then zeroed on the Nets’ lack of roster flexibility and their alleged lack of heart, asking:
Patrick: “How do you make a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of fire, you have firepower, but not fire. I looked at that team and they seemed lethargic at times.”
Kidd: “Well, I hope that I can bring that. You gotta do the little things. You have to play defense. One of the short-term goals is: we want to be a 50-win team … That’s where I want to start and you’ve got to start somewhere.”
On the lighter side of things, Patrick asked who Kidd believed was the best point guard of all-time. With no hesitation, Kidd replied with John Stockton and then, after a brief pause, added Magic Johnson.
Patrick: “What did Stockton do better than you?”
Kidd: “I think he had like 5,000 more assists than me … and steals. (laughing)”
Towards the end of the interview, Patrick eased up on the tough questions and Kidd allowed himself to have a little fun as the two went through Kidd’s all-time best starting lineup (Kidd chose Stockton, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Tim Duncan, and Shaquille O’Neal). Patrick teased Kidd about the time he was too sick to participate in a shooting contest they had arranged as a rookie nineteen years ago in Dallas.
Patrick: “And you got sick? Did you get sick that day?”
Kidd: “I was probably sick. I mean, that was nineteen years ago.”
Patrick: “The great ones play through this, Jason!”
Kidd: “Well that answers the question, I’m not a great one—I’m fragile.”
Patrick: “Were you ducking me?”
Kidd: “I wasn’t ducking you. But I got the scouting report that you can shoot. So at that point in my career, I probably wasn’t quite ready for that competition, but I am now.”
Patrick: “Was I better shooter than you in 1995?”
Kidd: “Yes. I can say that.”
Patrick: “That’s what I love about you.”