When Jason Kidd was introduced as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets there were many questions revolving around the signing. While many of those questions will still be looming around the coach throughout the season, it seems the matter of whether or not players will feel comfortable playing for him has been answered.
There was never a matter of doubt as to whether or not players respected Kidd and his great basketball IQ, but for a guy who played in the league last season, many wondered how players would react to him now being their superior. The acquisitions of Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Shaun Livingston and Andray Blatche should speak volumes about that concern. These guys are not only ok with playing for the former All-Star point guard but are excited for the opportunity.
In the press conference to introduce the former Boston Celtics to their new home, Pierce, Garnett and Terry could not have had enough good things to say about Kidd and his potential as a coach. Terry, who won a championship with Kidd in Dallas, might be the biggest supporter of Coach Kidd. "He was coaching then. He was phenomenal. I believe this transition will be as smooth as any” said Terry in regards to Kidd’s playing days. He also added that in his eyes Kidd is “the greatest point guard to ever play” and even referred to Kidd has his “best friend.”
Garnett said that “this was something I felt he was built for” in reference to Kidd becoming a head coach. In an interview, later aired on SportsCenter, Garnett spoke about how the close relationship Kidd has with many of the players will be beneficial to his transition. “He is a friend first, and now we have to put in perspective that he’s the coach, and I have no problem with that. The point I’m trying to make in all this is that the communication, the fact that I’m comfortable to talk to a friend about anything, is a great incentive” said Garnett.
Pierce agreed with Garnett and talked about how instrumental Kidd was in making the trade happen and allowing him to feel comfortable with the move “I talked to Jason Kidd, and he was warming me to the fact of coming to Brooklyn, then he started warming me to the fact that they were trying to get Kevin, too.”
Kidd might have felt more like a collegiate coach than an NBA head coach this off-season with all of the recruiting he had to do, but it certainly paid off as he was vital in bringing all of the new pieces to Brooklyn and sat down and spoke with most of the players 1 on 1 before the deals were official.
Andray Blatche sat down and talked with Kidd before his hiring and the coach re-assured him about staying with the Nets “(Coach Jason Kidd) stressed to me that the minutes were going to be there, so don’t get discouraged about Kevin Garnett being here. He said that the minutes are going to be there.”
Overall, Kidd has made an impact in the short time he has been the coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but he still has a lot to prove when his championship-caliber team steps on the court to start the regular season in a few short months.
However Kidd doesn’t seem nervous about the hefty expectations for the team but rather excited, saying on Thursday that "I wish today was October, but we have to wait a little bit."
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