Thursday, July 4, 2013
Taylor eager to learn from Kidd -- and play
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This season, Brooklyn Nets second-year pro Tyshawn Taylor will have the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest point guards of all time: his coach, Jason Kidd.
"[Jason] coaching me and leading me is going to help me out a lot," said Taylor, who is going to see plenty of minutes for the Nets' summer league team in Orlando, Fla.
Tyshawn Taylor, who wore No. 41 as a rookie to represent his draft slot, will switch to 10, his uniform number at Kansas.
"I just want to go out here and leave my imprint on the game, leaving a good impression in my new coach's minds and also my teammates."
Taylor's first season in the NBA was a difficult one. The 23-year-old appeared in only 38 games, averaging just 5.8 minutes, and spent some time in the D-League.
He led the Nets to an overtime victory in Indiana in February and scored a career-high 14 points against the Wizards in April. Those were pretty much his only highlights.
"Look, I want everybody to know that I'm happy to be in the NBA, but I want everybody to also know that I'm not happy sitting on the bench," Taylor said in an interview with Barclays Center TV on the Nets' website that was later taken down.
"How do I do that? I come around the media, I smile a lot. I work hard. 'Oh, he's a good kid, he's happy.' Yeah, I'm happy to be in the NBA. I'm happy to be here everyday with you guys. But I'm not happy I'm on the sidelines while you all are scrimmaging. I'm not happy about that. I don't know how to show both at the same time. It's hard."
Nets GM Billy King plans on bringing in another point guard to compete with Taylor for minutes backing up starter Deron Williams.
"I love the competition, so I think the summer league is huge for me, just improving myself," Taylor said. "It's part of the business, you have to compete, so I'm ready for that."
Asked what he wants to see out of Taylor, Kidd said, "I want to see him in this situation, this setting, being the leader, that's what I'm pushing. I will lean on him heavily. I'm looking for him to put guys in position offensively and defensively."
Taylor's feelings about Kidd have changed now that the future Hall of Famer has made the transition from player to coach.
"I was talking bad about him last year when he hit that 3 on us and kicked his foot out and everything," Taylor joked, referring Kidd's game-winning 3-pointer against the Nets last December.
"Now, he's my coach. It's cool, man. It's a different situation that a lot of guys probably aren't used to, but like I said, he's a natural leader, so he's comfortable in this role, and it's comfortable being around him."