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Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.

Hardaway Sr.: Trade makes Kidd's job easier

Tim Hardaway works for the Heat, so he's aware of what it takes to win a championship.

Hardaway, who's a community liason and scout for the franchise he played for from 1996-2001, thinks the Nets did themselves some serious justice by landing sage veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with Jason Terry in that blockbuster deal that came together during draft night Thursday.

"Man, helped Jason Kidd with his coaching," Hardaway said at the Knicks training facility in Greenburgh Friday after his son, Tim Hardaway Jr., was introduced as the team's first-round draft pick. "Now he really don’t have to coach. He’s got guys out there that can coach themselves.

"Even with Deron Williams, and now you’ve got Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they can police the team. They’re proven winners, they’re established winners. They want to win. They put two or three guys with Terry there too, all he’s got to do is just go out there and make sure they run an offense, make sure they’re playing defense. They’re going to police themselves."

Hardaway expects the Eastern Conference, with the revamped Nets and a healthy Derrick Rose leading the Bulls, to be much more competitive than it was this season. The Heat's path to a possible three-peat certainly won't be easy.

"Everybody in the East is getting better, the Knicks, Indiana, Brooklyn now -- we don’t have to worry about Boston no more," Hardaway said. "Everybody is getting better. That’s why you draft and that’s why you get free agents, to put the pieces to the puzzle together and have a good team."

Tags: Tim Hardaway Sr. , Tim Hardaway Jr. , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce , Brooklyn Nets

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