Nets, Knicks trash talk is starting early
Non-stop rhetoric has ping-ponged back and forth across both boroughs, the playful woofing even coming in the simple form of that three-letter phrase used so much in social media circles.
Nets forward Reggie Evans types in a simple "lol" on his Twitter page, this after the Knicks' J.R. Smith responded to Paul Pierce's chatter about hating the Knicks by proclaiming the Knicks were going to win the 2013-14 NBA crown. Jason Terry, never one to back down from tossing verbal barbs, chimed in the other day, cracking that maybe Smith instead meant the Knicks were destined to win a streetball title.
Jason Kidd doesn't mind it all, probably because he's well aware his team features a handful of trash-talking players who have no problem taking turns behind the wheel of their proverbial garbage trucks.
"That's who my guys are," the Nets coach told Newsday Wednesday at Lincoln Center, where he was promoting Reel Code Media's application at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. "They have to be who they are. Some like to talk, some don't. So you probably won't hear Brook [Lopez] get involved in that.
"But Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, that's the makeup of what they like to do. It's all in fun. The game isn't won in the newspapers; it's won on the court. You still have to play the game."
If anyone has a sense of the budding rivalry between the Nets and their counterparts over in Manhattan, it's Kidd. He has the unique perspective of being around when it was percolating during his six-plus years playing with the Nets, only to see it bubble over with passion this past season after the franchise's move to Brooklyn.
Verbal volleyballs aside, Kidd is appreciative of the Knicks-Nets rivalry, something Carmelo Anthony recently said he feels will be the best in basketball.
"It's great that you have two teams that are competitive, both fighting for that one goal and that's to win a championship," Kidd said. "Our players, they do all the talking. Coaches, we just try to draw up a winning game plan."
The Nets, in a sense, tried to get the camaraderie ball rolling last month, when Deron Williams organized a players workout in Los Angeles. Most of the main pierces -- like Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Lopez -- attended.
Williams even posted some of the footage on Instagram.
"The workouts in L.A. were great and the feedback we got back was unbelievable," Kidd said. "Now that's over with and now guys are coming in slowly, working out at the practice facility. We've had a great turnout so far."
Kidd said Pierce, Lopez, Andray Blatche, Andrei Kirilenko, Mason Plumlee, Tyshawn Taylor and Terry have recently spent time at the PNY Center. Kidd seems particularly impressed with Pierce's approach.
"He's a veteran guy" Kidd said. "It just shows his dedication, his leadership. He's working extremely hard. So, you've got a good group of guys already in and you are maybe three weeks away."
They'll officially come together for their first practice 20 days from Wednesday to be exact, although they won't be convening in New York for the initial portion of the preseason. The Nets will hold the first five days of training camp at Duke University, setting up shop in the alma mater of their general manager, Billy King, and steering clear of some of the blinding glare they'll likely face on a daily basis back home.
"I think it's a great call by Billy to have it at Duke to be able to get away from . . . you won't be getting away from all the media, but this kind of brings us closer together sooner," Kidd said. "With the new group of guys, we can get tighter quicker because it's just us, and that was a great call. We talked about it and I seconded it in the sense of getting away, to be able to get closer faster, get the chemistry together and have guys, Kevin talk about how they want it the first year together.
"The guys being together can become a family and start our journey at Duke."
Kidd is slated to have his No. 5 jersey retired before the Nets host the Heat in a preseason game Oct. 17. Typically, such ceremonies take place during the regular season when games actually count, giving it a bit more of a stage so to speak. The raising of the jersey to the rafters normally comes at halftime, keeping the fans in their seats to witness history.
But in Kidd's case, things will be a tad bit different.
"When it was brought up, we felt doing it during the preseason, we could get it where it's not a distraction," Kidd said. "Also, we are going to it before the game so it doesn't take away from the game. I've got older guys, so I don't want them to dry up during halftime. I don't really like doing this type of stuff. I get shy. But this is, again, a great honor and I'm very thankful for [Nets owner] Mikhail [Prohorov] and Dmitry for giving me this opportunity to do this."
Kidd wants others who've been there along the way to share in his accomplishment.
"It's a great honor," he said. "If winning a championship is one of the highest you can achieve, then being able to have your number retired, that ranks right there with winning a championship. There's no better honor because my name and my number is going up, but it's the people that were with me for that ride -- my teammates, the coaches, the trainers, everybody who was with me every day for that 61/2 years -- they're going up there with me."