- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Asked what his relationship is like with Cuban, Kidd said, “Good. Good. We’ve been emailing each other the last couple months, just checking in on each other, making sure everybody’s good.”
Cuban told the Star-Telegram: “I’m happy for J-Kidd. I’ve actually kept in touch with him. I want him to get his [butt] kicked when we play him [Friday night in Brooklyn].”
Cuban had been upset with Kidd after the point guard gave a verbal commitment to re-sign with the Mavericks, only to change his mind and leave to ink a free-agent deal with the New York Knicks before the 2012-13 season.
But Cuban said back in November that his grudge against Kidd is over.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who won a championship with Kidd in 2011, isn’t surprised his former player became a coach so quickly.
“A lot of things about it made perfect sense,” Carlisle said. “At this point, it’s pretty clear they did the right thing hiring him. He’s doing a fantastic job. Early, they just had a lot of health problems. That’s just hard.”
Asked what's the toughest part of transitioning from player to coach, Kidd said, “I don’t have the ball in my hands. I can’t take a shot. I can’t make a pass.”
• Kidd said “everyone’s good to go,” so that means Paul Pierce, who missed Thursday’s practice due to illness, will play Friday. Deron Williams has said he’ll come off the bench for a third consecutive game. There is no timetable for him to return to the starting lineup.
• Williams was asked about the team’s blue and grey short-sleeve alternate jerseys, which will be worn March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11 and April 15.
“I like the jerseys, personally. I like the concept. I like the Brooklyn Dodgers aspect of it, kind of paying homage to them,” he said. “As far as the sleeves, I’m not completely sold on them. But it’s just different. I’ve played in sleeveless jerseys all my life. It’s kinda weird to throw them on after 20 years of playing basketball.”
• Williams said he is paying attention to the standings now, something he didn’t want to do earlier in the season when the team was struggling.
He said no one has talked about obtaining the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but obviously it’s a goal. He figures it would be very difficult for them to catch the Miami Heat, since they’re 11-1/2 games ahead of the Nets.
The Nets (18-22) are 3-1/2 games behind Atlanta (22-19) for third place.
Bryan Gutierrez of ESPN Dallas contributed to this report.
5dMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo