Jason Kidd OK with reserve status, wants to be on court in crunch time

Jason Kidd, left, and Marcus Camby pose at

Jason Kidd, left, and Marcus Camby pose at a press conference to announce their signing. (July 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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GREENBURGH, N.Y -- Jason Kidd insists he's perfectly fine with it.

With the Knicks likely to match the Rockets' $28.8-million offer sheet for Jeremy Lin, Mike Woodson said Wednesday that Lin will get the starting nod at point guard over Kidd.

The veteran reiterated Thursday that he doesn't have a problem with coming off the bench and serving as Lin's understudy if that's what Woodson prefers.

But those final six-plus minutes of crunch time? Kidd wants in on that.

"I would love to start," Kidd said at the Knicks' practice facility during his introductory news conference with Marcus Camby. "I mean, my job is to make Jeremy better at practice and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, it's about six minutes. That's what I've learned. If I've learned anything in the last 18 years, it's the last six minutes of any NBA game, down 15 or up 15, you can still win or lose. So that's the best part of the game."

Kidd, 39, has watched Lin's game from afar and believes there's plenty of advice he can give, particularly with regard to tempo. Making sure Lin is constantly playing at the right pace, in Kidd's eyes, is paramount in his development.

"He just plays at one gear and it's a very high gear," Kidd said. "We'll sit down and talk about trying to find that fourth and third gear so that he has the energy to finish ballgames.

"We want him to play the whole season. At just one gear, it's hard to play 82 games."

Like Kidd, Camby is ready for his second tour of duty in the metropolitan area. Camby, who played with the Knicks from 1998-2002, initially thought he was going to finish his career in Houston but knew that wouldn't be the case when the Rockets started gutting their roster.

The Knicks and Heat showed interest, and Camby nearly went to visit Pat Riley in South Florida before a deal was finalized with the Knicks. Just how close was he to going to Miami?

"I was going on a plane," Camby said with a laugh. "Of course, with a sign-and-trade, the team that signs you and trades you wants to have different pieces in return. So I guess things didn't work out in that aspect and I guess the Knicks put together a nice package. The meeting I had with coach Woodson and Allan [Houston] and Glen [Grunwald] the other day down in Houston pretty much won me over."

Camby, 38, who was traded to Denver for Antonio McDyess in 2002, said he didn't have to patch things up with Knicks brass to return.

"No, when I got traded from here a long time ago, I just felt that they felt McDyess was the better player," Camby said. "So McDyess is not even in the league anymore and I'm still here clicking and going. No hard feelings or anything. Players get traded in this league all the time. I've been traded numerous times in this league.

"So it's all about how you come back and bounce back, and I've always been a prideful guy about bouncing back."

That's why he's eager to get some championship hardware this time around with the Knicks.

"It was about me coming back home and trying to finish what I tried to get started here many, many moons ago," said Camby, a member of the last Knicks team to reach the NBA Finals in 1999 and the last Knicks team to win a playoff series in 2000. "I'm just trying to be a part of something special. This team has a lot of superstars, a lot of great talent. But it's all about us just trying to put it together. Adding myself and Jason to this team, hopefully we can help this team get a few more wins and definitely make that playoff push."

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