Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Kidd tricks Nets' quartet
DURHAM, N.C. -- They got put in a trick.
Probably thinking they were going to be able to doing everything just short of sipping on some pina coladas, many of the Nets veterans were rather thrilled when coach Jason Kidd dispatched them to the pool during their Wednesday evening practice session.
Boy, were they apparently duped.
“Nah, see when we went down there, they made it seem like it was going to be all sweet and gravy, we were just going to tread water for a little bit,” Joe Johnson said after practice Thursday at Duke University’s Coach K. Practice Court. “We got down there and [were] swimming laps. Aw, man.”
The way Johnson was talking, his legs and lungs might’ve been still on fire.
“Man, yesterday that was a beast,” he said. “I’d rather been out here on the court than in that pool. - - - -, they ain’t gonna never get me with that one again. Never."
“Phew, it was tough, man. It was tough.”
They were all smiles on the photo Deron Williams posted on his Instagram account, but Kidd knew the joke would be on them when Jeremy Bettle, the Nets strength and conditioning coach, collared them. See, Williams, Jason Terry and Tornike Shengelia had been doing the pool routine during each day’s second practice since the Nets are holding them out of contact for now.
So, Kidd elected to send the other four members of the Nets’ starting five -- Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez -- to the pool with them.
“A lot of times as a player, you go into the pool and you think it’s fun and games,” Kidd said. “So, they had to see that it wasn’t.”
That, they did. It’s been a minute since Pierce worked on his freestyle and backstroke.
“We were just dong a little conditioning, getting up and down in some laps,” Pierce said. “I haven’t swam laps in years, so it was good for some of the veteran guys got in the pool, got some laps in. But at the same time, it’s part of team bonding.”
Kidd said that was also part of his master plan.
“Bonding time,” Kidd said. “I haven’t seen [Deron’s] picture. But I can only imagine in that picture they were all tired. It wasn’t the pool routine or the pool thought that a lot of those guys thought they were walking into. But I got the report that everybody was tired leaving the pool instead of being on floaties.
“A lot of guys don’t want to have to go back to the pool. But it was a good work out and it was a good bonding experience.”