Jason Kidd admits to butterflies after first stint coaching Nets
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- He was in a familiar setting, the very venue he's been coming to for the better part of the previous two weeks, the same place where he spent a good part of his playing career.
Yet, Jason Kidd still had a few butterflies churning in his stomach Wednesday, because this was the unofficial start of his foray into coaching. So what if this was only a Nets summer league team practice.
"Hey, I had nerves when I was a player in every game," Kidd said. "Someone told me, if you don't get nervous, you don't care. So yeah, I was nervous because I care, and I want to do the right thing and put guys in position to be successful, offensively and defensively."
Although he was engineering a practice with 12 players, only three of whom are expected to be on the Nets' final roster, Kidd's lack of coaching experience seemingly makes it a necessity. He'll be honing his craft and learning on the fly, looking to use the better part of these next two weeks as if he was a student taking classes between the spring and fall semesters, doing a little cramming.
It's as if he's receiving advanced tutoring -- in this case from top assistant coach Lawrence Frank -- in preparing for the next step come October, when training camp is under way."It could be a summer school-type situation where I'm learning from one of the best," Kidd said. "Right now, it's observing, and giving the input, and understanding and getting comfortable with the coaching aspect."
Tyshawn Taylor said is still adjusting to the sight of Kidd wearing Nets' garb with a whistle around his neck.
"I was talking bad about him last year when he hit that three on us and put his foot out and everything," Taylor said, "and now he's my coach. But it's cool, man. It's a different situation that a lot of guys probably aren't used to. He's natural leader, so he's comfortable in his role and he makes guys feel comfortable around him."
Soon, Kidd will be doing that with a lineup that includes Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Kidd can't comment on any of the reported transactions until the league's moratorium ends July 10. But either way, he said expectations haven't changed.
"They were always high," Kidd said. "As a competitor, you have one goal and that's to try to win a championship."
Kidd also suggested it won't be difficult to massage egos.
"There's only one name and that's the Nets," Kidd said. "That's a big name, so that's the way I'm going to coach the guys. It's about the front of the jersey, not the back."
Notes & quotes: Rookie Mason Plumlee, selected No. 22 overall out of Duke last week, signed a four-year deal worth a reported $6.5 million. "It's nice to have that out of the way," he said. "I didn't plan on it taking very long . . . It's nice to have that done." . . . Tornike Shengelia, who was initially thought to be part of the trade package for Garnett and Pierce, told Newsday of the ordeal: "It was a long night, but you know -- I'm good. It turns out this way that I stay, and I'm really glad."