Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Kidd: Nets get London curfew
By Mark Woods | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
LONDON -- Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd revealed that a 2 a.m. shutdown has been set for his team in London ahead of Thursday's game with the Atlanta Hawks.
Given that the pubs in the city generally shut by midnight, Kidd doesn't expect to find half his roster downing ales before hitting a local club.
"My players are probably mostly asleep so I don't have to worry," he smiled. "We have a curfew but I won't check any beds."
With January providing a wakeup for the Nets, Kidd acknowledges the challenge now is avoid allowing the trans-Atlantic diversion to lull his side back to sleep as they bid to make a concerted push into Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Such concerns are a contrast from 12 months ago when, with the New York Knicks, he came to the UK with nothing more to worry about than making assists and baskets.
With all the early upheaval of his tenure, including the disintegration of his working relationship with former lead assistant Lawrence Frank, this has been a tougher transition than he could have imagined.
But, Kidd stated: "It's been a great learning experience. I've learnt a lot in a short space of time. I've been very blessed to have the group of guys I've had. Veterans, guys who play extremely hard, and guys who continue to keep fighting each day to get better."
Yet, despite the trials, it has still been fun, he added. "One, the body isn't as sore the next day. But it's still hard not having control of the ball in your hand to help your teammates."
What seems clear is that, with Brook Lopez on the sidelines, Brooklyn is staying with small ball for the foreseeable future, with Kevin Garnett shuffling to center while also stretching opposing defenses, and Paul Pierce causing mismatches at the four.
"[Garnett] is a basketball player," Kidd said. "So he understands what it takes to be successful. He's been in the league for a little bit. Or for him to have to play the five, it's whatever he has to do to help the team.
"Paul will play the four for a while. The guys have enjoyed that lineup and we've had some success with it. When you look at the NBA, there are a lot of small forwards playing so it's something that we did last year in New York and now here in Brooklyn."
Kidd plans to meet with Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov when he arrives in London to see his team play for the first time since opening night. In between, the information blow between the pair has been directed through the Russian's point man in Brooklyn, Dmitry Razumov.
"I've talked to Dmitry throughout the season," he confirmed. "This will be my first time I've talked to [Prokhorov] in a while. He gives us everything we need to be competitive. He's one of the best owners in the league. We've nothing to complain about."