Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd explained Friday why he decided to coach the team’s summer league squad next month.
“I think it’s the best thing to get right into it,” Kidd told ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM's "Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco." “I know that a lot of times head coaches don’t coach summer league, but this gives me time to work on different parts of the game, learning to be a coach, but also my philosophy and plays and the defensive stuff that I’ll get to put in as my system, so I get to see if it works. If it doesn’t work [I get to see] what changes I have to make and work from there.”
Kidd said the key to overtaking the New York Knicks as the top team in New York City is winning a championship.
“I think winning takes care of all that,” Kidd said. “If you can win and be consistent. The Knicks have a great player and a lot of talent over there, those guys that I played with. And we did lose in that second round. But Indiana’s a good team, and sometimes you’re gonna end up losing sometimes in the playoffs because you ran into a better team or a team got hot. So I think the Knicks are going in the right direction. They do have some people that they have to sign back, but I think it’s a great rivalry. It’s very healthy for the city and I think the one thing if Brooklyn can win that gold ball. That kind of speeds up everything ... and Brooklyn will be the No. 1 team in the city.”
Kidd said Knicks fans don’t have to worry that he knows their system because games are decided on the floor.
“The game is played on the court, there’s no secrets,” Kidd said. “You’ve got one of the top players in the world in Carmelo Anthony. You’ve got a very good coach in Mike Woodson. So are there any secrets? No. The game is played on the court. You’ve got to put the ball in the basket or you’ve got to stop the opponent. So I think it’s a great rivalry and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Kidd said he wanted to emulate Magic Johnson as a player and now wants to emulate Mike Krzyzewski and Gregg Popovich as a coach.
Kidd reiterated that he wants his team’s identity to be predicated on defense.
“I think defensively when you look at winning championships or you look at that franchises that have had success and are always being mentioned year after year, you look at the two that are playing right now, Miami and San Antonio. They rely on their defense,” Kidd said. “... That’ll be the first message that I’ll relay to my guys is you’ve got to play good defense because you can’t always score 100 points every night.”
He also added that he wants the team to be able to get more easy baskets and doesn’t want point Deron Williams to have to carry so much of the scoring load.
Kidd’s biggest worry heading into his coaching tenure?
“I think being patient,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing for anybody that’s been successful at any facet of basket or any sport. I understand that I don’t know everything about the game as a coach or as a player, so I’m going to keep working hard. I know I’m going to make mistakes but you have to fall to become better so I accept all that. The biggest thing is just being patient.”