Jason Kidd was meeting the media Monday night at the Garden when Knicks coach Derek Fisher reached through a wall of cameras to shake the Bucks coach's hand.
After some banter, Kidd said to Fisher, "C'mon, rookie coach.'' Fisher laughed and bounded away down the hall.
A year ago, Kidd was the rookie coach with the Nets immediately after retiring as a player with the Knicks.
Fisher made the jump this year and said Kidd is a role model. He called Kidd's player-to-coach jump "groundbreaking . . . Before his jersey was even dry.''
Kidd spent one season with the Nets before engineering his departure and ending up in Milwaukee with the young Bucks. He returned to the area as the Knicks hosted the Bucks in a preseason game and had nothing but praise for Fisher.
"I think it's a smart play,'' he said of Fisher's decision to coach. "You look at Derek's career, he's going to be a great coach in this league. His personality, he's never going to panic. He's been in big games during seasons and the playoffs. The championships he's won. He has all the ingredients to be one of the best coaches in this league, given time.''
Kidd didn't give the Nets job too much time, but he said he learned a lot in his rookie year in Brooklyn.
Asked what he learned about most, Kidd said: "Injuries. You can't protect against them. You just have to go to the next guy up, and if you're not a deep team, it could put you in situations where you have to lean on guys heavier. And then patience. Understand it's not how you start the race but how you finish.''
Kidd's time in Brooklyn ended abruptly, but it sounds as if he's not too emotional about how things turned out.
"It's always a business,'' he said. "That's the first thing. It's a business, and second it's the game. That's just the nature of professional sports, from being traded, cut, fired.''