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Jason Kidd on how Mavericks won it all

7/3/2013

Jason Kidd has an interesting basketball mind, with which he is making an interesting basketball point.

In an interview with Beckley Mason in The New York Times, the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets has a theory you haven't heard before about how Dallas was able to beat the 2011 Heat for the NBA title. It's about thinking the game like a coach, and it's fascinating stuff.

Kidd: It started back when I was with Dallas. Someone suggested that at some point, you might think about maybe going upstairs or being a coach. So if you’re going to think about being a coach, I would suggest you get a book and just start to take notes as it goes along. So you have something when it’s time to make that decision, you can fall back and kind of look at your notes and see what different coaches did at different points that you wrote down. That’s when it all started, the year before we won a championship [2011]. So it was something that was there.

Mason: So what’s in the book?

Kidd: I don’t want to call them secrets. I do have a book that has stuff that’s everything from different times that coaches — you know, why did he take a timeout here? Substituting patterns, being consistent with the pattern of subs, which always lets guys know to be consistent with when they’re going to play. Different pregame stuff.

Mason: Did having that book help you be more conscious of what your coaches wanted in the moment?

Kidd: It did. You tend to, when you start writing things down, you start looking back, you start to understand why things were done. I think the bigger thing is sometimes just to ask. When you look at a note and you ask [Mavericks Coach Rick] Carlisle, you know, what was he thinking there?

When that started happening, we ended up winning the championship, and I thought maybe it was because of understanding the coach’s philosophy a little better, instead of him just talking about it, seeing it on paper and then kind of going through it.

The implication I get is that there's low-hanging fruit there. Everyone staying in their lanes -- coaches coaching, players playing -- it's keeping some potentially very helpful stuff from happening. When special coaches and special players can bridge that gap and collaborate on a deeper level ... well, here's one guy in a position to know who thinks it can win you a title.