Communication fits just right with Jason Kidd's Nets

Nets head coach Jason Kidd talks with forward Nets head coach Jason Kidd talks with forward Paul Pierce, right, in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Washington Wizards. (Oct. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Jason Kidd isn't about to fire his tailor. He'll just settle for jokingly firing back at one of his players.

Kevin Garnett laughingly called out Kidd's attire Tuesday night, describing his coach's suit as "tight" after the Nets' victory over the Wizards in their preseason opener.

And Garnett didn't mean it in slang terms. No. In Garnett's estimation, it just didn't have that loose-fitting look.

"That means I didn't play him enough," Kidd said Thursday, adding: "I think also he understands fashion. So I guess he felt my suit was a little too tight. Then the good thing is that his vision is good."

That playful jab from the 40-year-old Kidd to the 37-year-old Garnett shows yet another snapshot of these Nets, a group that's giving off a far different vibe than at this point a year ago.

Garnett's presence and influence are unmistakable, and the Nets genuinely seem to be getting along just fine, working on establishing a close-knit brotherhood.

It's early, and it's only the preseason. But the initial returns are encouraging for Kidd.

"It all starts with communicating," Kidd said. "I think the guys, you can see, are communicating on the floor. And off the floor, this is a family situation in the sense of cheering for one another.

"When you are on the floor, there's no better feeling than when your teammates are into the game on the bench and are cheering for you, and vice versa. When you come out of the game, you are cheering for those guys that are on the floor.

"So yeah, I think as a whole, we're happy. But we still have a long way to go because this is a new group. But we are going in the right direction.''

In one preseason game, the Nets looked as if they had more fun than they did during their roller-coaster inaugural season in Brooklyn. Deron Williams hit the deck a few times in the second half, dropping down for push-ups every time Mirza Teletovic buried a three-pointer.

Garnett mushed Teletovic in the head when the Bosnian native sat on the bench during a timeout, not long after the 6-9 forward threw down a nasty tip-in dunk that brought his teammates out of their seats and nearly had everyone running onto the court in glee.

Alan Anderson kept waving a towel frantically. Garnett erupted with excitement after one sequence in which Reggie Evans stuck with a play after missing a shot and almost tossed in a layup while getting fouled.

The Nets, who were given Thursday off after taking it extremely lightly Wednesday, are on the way to creating a new culture -- as Garnett called it -- among themselves. It's already getting contagious.

"Everybody knows what we are here for and everybody understands all the sacrifices we made," Andrei Kirilenko said after the game. "And we don't want it to be for nothing.''

"At least we are having a great atmosphere. At least we are going to fight. At least we are going to have the chance. We are going to give ourselves the chance."

One of the Nets' early mantras has been "whatever it takes." So that means no back-biting or in-fighting when things don't go right. With their seasoned depth, Kirilenko thinks there's no reason the Nets shouldn't have enough talent to do all the things necessary to make a deep run.

"We don't look for excuses," Kirilenko said. "We don't look at it that the other guys have to do something special. We all have to step and do something. I think everybody understands that. We understand we are not in the best shape right now. We are not in 100-percent game rhythm. But we are getting there. I think this is a little step that's beginning our journey."

Notes & quotes: Kidd suggested that Jason Terry (offseason knee surgery) will get an increased workload in practice Friday. It still appears unlikely that Terry will play against the Pistons on Saturday night. . . . Kidd didn't have any specific update on when Williams (ankle) will begin contact drills in practice.

You also may be interested in: