Mike Woodson expected Jason Kidd to coach -- and be outstanding

Mike Woodson talks to media at the Knicks'

Mike Woodson talks to media at the Knicks' training facility in Greenburgh. (May 21, 2013) (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

LAS VEGAS -- Add Mike Woodson to the list of NBA folks who predicted Jason Kidd had a future as a head coach.

The Knicks coach said Wednesday that he told Kidd early last season when he was a member of the Knicks backcourt that "one day you're going to be a helluva coach."

Of course Woodson didn't think that day would come so soon. Last month, Kidd retired with two years remaining on his Knicks contract as a player to become the Brooklyn Nets coach.

Woodson said Wednesday before the Knicks' second day of summer-league practices that Kidd will be a good coach because "he sees things that other players don't see."

Woodson also doesn't think the transition will be too difficult because of the Nets' veteran-laden roster.

"The beauty about his situation is he's got good personnel to work with," Woodson said. "That's a major start in terms of how you prepare yourself and hopefully he won't put a lot of pressure on himself. The veteran guys will help him along, and that's a good thing, like he helped me."

Kidd, 40, played a big part in the Knicks jumping out to an 18-5 start last season, but the minutes he was logging seemed to catch up with him late in the season. He lost his starting job in the second half and then slumped offensively in the playoffs, moving him out of the rotation and onto the bench.

But Kidd's overall presence was a positive one for the Knicks, one that Woodson said he'll miss.

"Jason's special," Woodson said. "I hated to see him leave."

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