|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd intended to make a splash as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but probably didn't expect anything like what happened Wednesday night.
With 8.3 seconds left in Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers and his team out of timeouts, Kidd, who was holding a cup of soda, appeared to say "hit me" to point guard Tyshawn Taylor in order to stop the game so the team could draw up a last-second offensive play.
After Lakers guard Jodie Meeks made the first of a pair of free throws, giving his team a 96-94 lead, Taylor walked toward Kidd near the sideline and collided with his coach, who was holding a cup of soda at the time. The cup of soda spilled on to the court. While it was being cleaned up, the coaching staff drew up a last-second play. Taylor was subbed out of the game for forward Mirza Teletovic.
Adding to the chaos of the moment, while Nets assistant John Welch drew up the team's final play, two Lakers appeared to be in the middle of the huddle.
Meeks then made the second free throw, and on the ensuing Brooklyn possession, small forward Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer that would've tied the game with 2.2 seconds remaining. The Nets ended up losing to the Lakers 99-94 at Barclays Center.
"Cup slipped out of my hand while I was getting Ty," Kidd said of "Cupgate." "Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball.
"In the heat of the battle, you're trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the cup fell out of my hand."
Video replays appeared to show Kidd saying "Hit me," something Taylor flatly denied.
Said Taylor: "No [Kidd didn't say that]. I wasn't paying attention. I just kind of bumped him. I didn't even know he was holding [anything]. [But] coach was drinking a soda on the sideline. I was like, 'What's he doing?'
"It could ice a free throw shooter and be a timeout when you don't have one, but that wasn't the thought process. I was just coming out, and he was in my way. 'Coach, get out of my way, bro.' "
The rookie coach's seemingly slick move could end up being investigated by the NBA.
It isn't the first time Kidd has done something odd to create a stoppage in play.
Back when he was playing with the Dallas Mavericks, Kidd made contact with Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson as the point guard dribbled up the sideline. Kidd appeared to initiate the contact with Woodson, though he pointed at Woodson as if to show the coach impeded his progress down court.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.