Kidd on the job for Nets' pre-draft workout
June, 17, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jason Kidd coaching era has officially begun.
Kidd, sporting shorts and a long-sleeve T-shirt, was in attendance at the Brooklyn Nets' latest pre-draft workout Monday at the team's practice facility.
Upon conclusion of the workout, Kidd talked briefly with general manager Billy King, assistant GM Bobby Marks and director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky before leaving the court.
According to the prospects who participated, Kidd did more watching than coaching.
"He's very observant," said Rider point guard Nurideen Lindsey. "He was pretty much just sitting back and observing things. He's very laid-back. He was a great player, so I'm pretty sure he's not going to expect his guys to be anything less than that. He didn't do too much interacting today."
"It's different, man," added North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell, expected to be a first-round pick. "You can tell he knows a lot about the game by the way he analyzes stuff, watches us and whatnot. He just told me to keep playing, keep grinding. He told me I played well and joked with me cause I'm a D-Town [Dallas] kid."
Kidd retired from the NBA exactly two weeks ago, on June 3. He was officially named head coach of the Nets 10 days later.
"Unbelievable," Lindsay said. "I actually tweeted the day that he got the coaching job, I don't think there's anyone more deserving. He's a great guy, a Hall of Fame player. I think he'll do a tremendous job here, and I mean, I would love to play for him. I think Deron Williams is going to do great things for a guy like Jason Kidd. He's just such a great guy to play for, especially playing the same position as him."
Added Mitchell: "It was a little different. To see him get this head-coaching job I was like, 'Wow!' because people are getting fired, and you never know what's going on in the NBA, so it's different. It's cool, though."
Monday marks the start of a busy week for Kidd. On Wednesday, he'll throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. The next day, he'll appear in Southampton Town Court for his DWI case.
"It's a legal matter, and we'll let the legal process play itself out," Kidd said of the court case on "Good Day NY" on Monday morning.
BLATCHE WATCH: Andray Blatche was at the facility working out. Blatche will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Nets want him back but are limited to what they can offer him because they're over the salary cap and don't have his Bird rights. Brooklyn is banking on the fact that Blatche is owed $16 million in amnesty payments over the next two seasons by the Wizards and will have an integral role on next season's team, possibly as its starting power forward.