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Thursday, June 26, 2014
Kidd talks Summer League; free agents

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd has announced Brooklyn Nets assistant Sean Sweeney will coach the club's Summer League team this season.

Sweeney originally joined the organization in December 2011 as assistant video coordinator, working his way up from there.

Sweeney played collegiately at both Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kidd coached the team’s Summer League team last season, prior to his first season as head coach of the franchise.

“I’ll watch. So if I take a phone call I won’t be in trouble. Who reported that?” Kidd joked, referring to “sodagate.”

• Kidd was a big proponent of bringing in Shaun Livingston last season. He doesn’t think he needs to make much of a pitch to Livingston “I’ll maybe give him a phone call just to see how his summer is going.”

“I believed in him then, and I still believe in him now,” Kidd added.

• Kidd reiterated that Kevin Garnett plans on starting his workouts July 1, earlier than he ever has. Baring something unforeseen, Garnett, 38, is expected to play in his 20th NBA season. He was bothered by back problems for much of the 2013-14 season.

“I think if you were to ask him, I think he’s working out sooner,” Kidd said. “I think he’s working out now. Talking to him about his plan to start shooting July 1 is a little bit sooner than when he ever started working out last year. So, for older players, they tend to wait a little longer, but he feels longer, and so it’s a good sign to see him working out, to see Brook [Lopez] working out. It’s good to see everybody in the gym this early.”

“[Getting] the core [back] is very important when you’re trying to win a championship,” Kidd said. “To get KG to come back is great all the way around, for the organization but for teammates and coaches, too.”

• Kidd, making reference to “sodagate” joked at the podium, “I’ll make sure I don’t spill any Cokes.”

• Kidd hopes the Nets can retain unrestricted free agent Paul Pierce.

“I think this is the first time he’s been a free agent, so I think he’s in uncharted territory where he doesn’t know what to do, but he’ll find out that he’ll be courted by a lot of different teams so hopefully we’re the team that can sign him,” Kidd said.

• Kidd said Mason Plumlee has been working on his jump shot. Plumlee made no shots outside the paint last season.

“He’s been working extremely hard on it. Not to the 3-point line but we’re trying to get him out of the black.

• Kidd would like to see Andray Blatche and Alan Anderson back, too.

“I thought those guys were great for us. All of them,” Kidd said. “Alan being the last to sign with us and probably playing the most, but Shaun and Blatche had a great season for us too. They know what we’re trying to do, and we don’t have to start over.”

• Kidd on Deron Williams, who underwent dual ankle surgery: “He’s still on crutches. He’s doing better. He’s doing better.”