ORLANDO, Fla. - Arms extended with his palms pointing upward at the Amway Center practice court, Jason Kidd was incredulous.
The guy who had racked up 26 technical fouls in 19 seasons as a player had just been given a technical, all because he strayed too far from the coaches' box with 2:33 to play, wandering past midcourt a few steps from the Pistons' bench.
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Kidd couldn't believe it. He sought an explanation from one of the referees, only to be told he'd get one later.
Essentially, the official's message was this: Hey, welcome to the sideline, Coach. Take a seat.
"We were trying to foul a player and the referee missed it and it led to free throws," Kidd said Sunday after making his debut as a coach in the Nets' 76-67 loss to Detroit in summer league action. "So I tried to express to the referees that they missed what we were trying to do. It happens. They are not perfect, we are not perfect. So it's a lesson learned that I know I can't go past half-court."
In other words, Kidd is going to have to strike a few things from memory. And quickly.
"Yeah, I've seen some of these coaches be all the way down on the other end, so I can't follow their lead in that aspect," Kidd said. "I've learned really quickly where the box is, so I deserved a 'T' because I was trying to protect my guys because they were doing the right thing."
Given that Kidd mostly stayed on the bench throughout the game, getting up on occasion to give instructions and offer encouragement, no one could have anticipated that he would lose his cool so suddenly on his first practice test as he prepares for the real exams this fall.
Kidd called out screens, yelling the color-coded defensive scheme he wanted players to run, and also was the brains behind the strategy to foul Andre Drummond in the closing minutes, hoping he'd miss some free throws to keep the Nets within striking distance.
During timeouts, Kidd often deferred to his top assistant, allowing Lawrence Frank to draw up the offensive plays on the dry-erase board before helping to present them in the huddle.
"Coach Frank is a mastermind when it comes to drawing up plays and things like that," Tyshawn Taylor said. "Coach Kidd was talking to us mostly about defense, and when it came to the offense that we had to work on, coach Frank would do it."
Rookie Mason Plumlee said he already sees more similarities than differences when comparing Kidd with longtime Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"Both guys are confident," he said. "When they say something, you don't have to question it. You know they know what they are talking about. It comes from tons of experience. I loved playing for Coach K and I’m sure I’m going to love playing for Coach Kidd. It’s weird saying that -- Coach Kidd."
Just like it was probably felt weird for Kidd to get slapped with a technical after losing his cool.
“I got excited, but as a coach, you’ve got to stay even-keeled about some of the plays," Kidd said. "And also, you get a little upset when something doesn’t go right. It’s all, again, a learning experience. This is summer school for me, and so hopefully I’m going in the right direction."