EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If Jason Kidd baked the Nets a cake, chances are he'd pour more than just a teaspoon of vanilla extract into his batter.
Kidd believes the Nets were devoid of some good seasoning during their inaugural year in Brooklyn, lacking that certain something at times with their schematics and personnel. So the Nets new coach is focused on switching things, making it clear he has his eyes on one area in particular as the Nets prepare for one of the most highly-anticipated seasons in team history.
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"I think the identity," Kidd said Tuesday at the PNY Center. "It was just vanilla [last season] and I think you guys can see after the trade with [Kevin] Garnett and [Paul] Pierce that it's kind of changed. So, I think we're doing the right thing with changing the identity. It was just there was no flavor and no identity.
"So with that trade, that changes the whole game."
The arrival of Garnett and Pierce, paired with other new additions like Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko, gives the Nets one of the NBA's top starting fives to go along with quality depth. As they get set to start training camp at Duke in six days, Kidd said one of his most pressing challenges is figuring out the different floor combinations he's hoping to use because the Nets easily can go two deep at every position.
He also has to nail down the plan for Garnett, whom Kidd previously said he wouldn't play in the second ends of back-to-backs, believing it's the best way to preserve the 37-year-old's legs and body so he'll be fresh and available for the postseason.
But he left the door ajar to possibly altering that line of thinking after speaking with Garnett, who told Kidd: "Let's go for it a bit."
Kidd's summer coaching crash course included a two-day clinic at the Clippers' practice facility, where some of the guest speakers included Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.
"There are high expectations," said Kidd, who confirmed he's also part owner of Nets.
" . . . There is a lot of excitement, there's a lot of unknowns. It kind of feels like I just got traded from Phoenix here. Hopefully, it ends a little bit better, but we did get to the Finals that year. Right now we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have players and coaches here willing to face that challenge."