Tipoff was more than two hours away, and Bucks coach Jason Kidd shadowed guard Michael Carter-Williams around the three-point line, watching him like a hawk.
Back in a familiar setting, Kidd was in teaching mode, giving out pointers Monday night at Barclays Center, where his No. 5 jersey hangs in the rafters and where he roamed the sideline while coaching the Nets in 2013-14.
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It's his third trip to Brooklyn since his reportedly failed bid to gain more power in choosing personnel for the Nets led to his exit to Milwaukee.
"It's just another place," Kidd said. "This is a great place and then you talk about New York, you talk about Brooklyn. For me, the Nets will always have a special place because I played [for them] and a lot of good things have happened here. So it's always good to see the Nets."
With no previous coaching experience, Kidd guided the Nets to a 44-38 mark and a first-round playoff series victory over the Raptors, getting things turned around after a 10-21 start that had the team contemplating firing him.
So what was his biggest take-away during his on-the-job training?
"Patience," Kidd said. "We started off slow here with a lot of high expectations, and some people might have forgot that there are 82 games to be played and the season isn't won or lost in November or December. We fought our way into the playoffs, won a big Game 7 [in Toronto]. So just understand patience and being able to manage 15 different personalities."
Kidd said the bench experience he picked up in his lone season in Brooklyn has aided in developing a Bucks roster that features only four players who have been in the league for five seasons or longer.
"My first year I think felt like five years in one," Kidd said. "The expectations we had coming into the season . . . You look at the marathon. Somebody can come out of the gate and sprint, some might get off to a slow start. But again, it's how you finish and where you find yourself in April. I think it also just helps if sometimes things don't go well. You find out the character of your guys,and there's nothing wrong with that, especially being a young team."