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Hello Coach – Jason Kidd Introduced In Brooklyn

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Outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn fans clamored around the building trying to get a glimpse of the growing throng of media inside the arena, media members who, just like the fans, were waiting for the Nets to make the official announcement that the winds of change were about to sweep through the franchise again.

Media played with their cameras and fiddled with phones, waiting for the 2pm conference to start, and then Kidd walked in wearing a classy, well-tailored, dark suit, glanced to his left at the jumbotron proclaiming, “Hello Coach! J. Kidd Back Where He Belongs” and took his place at the podium next to GM Billy King for his first official presser as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. For the second time in as many years the Nets are moving towards a new future.

Only this time, they’ve brought back some of their past from New Jersey to lead them in Brooklyn.

Kidd was named the team’s coach for the next three seasons – a move that surprised many, not only because of the expedited manner that the situation was handled, but the fact that the organization named a coach with no prior experience. One that is only one month removed from playing himself.

Billy King will either look like a genius if Kidd manages to achieve success similar to what Mark Jackson has in Golden State, or he may very well be the guy who set the franchise back three years by hiring a rookie coach.

King said the team didn’t “start out looking for Jason,” but Nets’ brass was impressed by the vision put forth by the point guard legend.

“I think any time you make a hire, I think it’s a risk,” King said. “But one thing about Jason, people have counted him out a lot of times, and he’s proven them wrong. I’ve known him for a long time, and with his work ethic, I believe he’ll be good. I don’t worry about the risk.”

Kidd says he’s up for the challenge.

“I’m a rookie,” said Kidd. “I go from being one of the oldest players in the league to now a rookie coach. I’m very excited about the challenge. I think being here in Brooklyn we have a special opportunity to achieve that status as to being a championship-type-caliber team, and I’m looking forward to being part of that, helping with the structure and sharing things I [brought to the table] as a player such as being unselfish, communicating and being tough, and hopefully I can get that across to the guys.”

While Kidd lacks coaching experience, he hopes to make the transition from player-to-coach smoother by bringing in experienced guys such as former New Jersey coach, Lawrence Frank, a guy that Kidd says “would be a great candidate.”

Kidd will have to implement a system for these Nets that suits the playing roster they currently have. Last season, former coach P.J. Carlisemo was criticized for utilizing an iso-centric system. Kidd, the definition of a floor-general throughout his playing days, skirted the issue when quizzed on potential structures but, importantly, he has the unconditional support of Brooklyn’s point guard, Deron Williams.

The duo already have a close relationship, although Williams, who was sitting in the front row during the press conference, says he hasn’t had an opportunity to speak with his new coach about the system yet.

“That’s something that he’ll have to figure out,” said Williams. “It’s not something you need to know right now, the coaching staff he selects will have a say in that as well. Ball movement is key [though]. We got in the habit of playing a lot of one-on-one basketball [this year].

“[I] Got a blank paper in my head right now in my head. He’s been doing this for nineteen years – a lot more than I have – he’s won a championship [and] two gold medals.”

Kidd is widely regarded as the Nets’ second most important player of all-time (behind only Dr. J), but success as a coach with this team would catapult him into a new stratosphere. He understands that, but the journey to something special is just as important as well. That’s a message Kidd will stress to his players.

”Understand you’ve got to play hard, you’ve got to play defense and we’re going to grow together. That’s what’s going to make it special.”

 

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Images via: Gemini Keez

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