Tuesday, January 21, 2014
King: Kidd is 'the one voice right now'
By Ohm Youngmisuk
Billy King preached patience with Jason Kidd from the start of the season.
Now, the Brooklyn Nets general manager is starting to see the results he envisioned for his rookie coach and the roster he assembled, with the Nets having won seven of their past eight games going into Tuesday's clash with the Orlando Magic.
King said he has seen Kidd grow as the first-year coach altered the team's offensive and defensive schemes. During an interview on ESPN New York 98.7, King was asked how Kidd has changed since the demotion of Lawrence Frank.
"I think Jason is really coming into his own and is getting a feel for it," King said on The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show. "It's just not the fact that Lawrence is not there. I think just Jason has a better understanding of managing the game, managing the team. He's the one voice right now."
"When Brook [Lopez] went down, he changed the lineup and went small, which allowed us to play better defense," King added. "And he put an offense in, actually probably the end of November, and guys are starting to understand it and understand their roles."
King said it wouldn't matter who was coaching the Nets, as the team was going to struggle initially with injuries to Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Lopez, among others.
"The one thing you got to remember, we were very banged up," King said. "I don't care if you had Phil Jackson or Pat Riley sitting there, with the injuries we had, it was hard to win games. You couldn't put that on [Kidd] as a coach."
Nets deals: A couple of minor trades the Nets made became official Tuesday. Brooklyn officially acquired Marquis Teague from Chicago in a trade for Tornike Shengelia. The Nets and Pelicans also completed a deal that sent Tyshawn Taylor and cash to New Orleans for the draft rights to Edin Bavcic.
"It's funny I drafted him in Philly," King said of the Bosnian forward who was selected by the Raptors with the 56th overall pick in the 2006 draft and dealt to Philadelphia in a draft-day deal. "Bavcic, I don't think he will come over. We took a long shot on him in Philadelphia, and it didn't work out.
"But what we like in Teague is he is very quick. Looking down the road, when we gave up picks, we knew we need to acquire some young players going forward. Now we know we have a young point guard; we have a young center/power forward in Mason Plumlee."
King said the extra roster spot created by the trades, along with the Nets' $5.25 million disabled player exception for Lopez, gives the team some roster flexibility if it feels the need to add another player down the road.
"There is a possibility," King said of potentially using the disabled player exception. "That's what now having a roster spot, you have that flexibility ... or if a player gets waived before March 1, if that is a guy you want to add, you can do that as well."
Nets fact: The Nets became the first team in NBA history to play three successive games in three different countries, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Nets played at Toronto on Jan. 11, beat the Hawks in London on Thursday and routed the Knicks at MSG on Monday.