Kevin Garnett dunks on his new coach, Jason Kidd.
ORLANDO- Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd spoke to media for the first time since the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets blockbuster trade became official Friday afternoon prior to the Nets final summer league game at the Amway Center.
The final iteration of the trade sends Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph, three first-round draft picks (2014, 2016, 2018), and the option to swap first-round draft picks in 2017.
Kidd said he hasn’t spoken to Kevin Garnett since draft day, when he tried to convince his draft classmate to waive his no-trade clause so the deal could go through.
“My pitch was, you have an opportunity to win a championship again,” Kidd said. “Being able to, not just win a championship, but being able to teach these guys what it takes to win. (Robin) Lopez, (Andray) Blatche, DWill, Joe (Johnson), being able to show them what it takes to win.”
Garnett has always been a player who is not only concerned with his own basketball legacy, but also feels it’s important to pass on the knowledge he has gained over the years to the younger generation, like that knowledge was passed on to him. It’s no surprise that Kidd’s pitch, Doc Rivers’ departure, and the chance to continue to play with Pierce convinced Garnett to waive his no-trade clause.
Kidd said he also spoke with Pierce after he was hired to be the Brooklyn Nets head coach. Pierce showed his former divisional rival support, according to Kidd.
“When I talked to Paul, he was excited for me because he thought this was something that the league needed, to get some new blood in there as coaches,” Kidd said. “It’s going to be a great combination of them being able to help me and me being able to help them. I’ve got guys who understand what it takes to win, who’ve pretty much seen everything.”
Kidd’s closest connection could be with Jason Terry, with whom he won a championship in 2011 as teammates on the Dallas Mavericks. He was quick to point out that, as much as Garnett and Pierce’s veteran leadership will be key, so will Terry’s presence.
“When you talk about Paul and KG, you can’t forget about Jason Terry,” Kidd said. “He’s also won a championship and he also knows what it takes to win. JET has done it all. He’s started, he’s played the point, played the two, won 6th man of the year.”
Terry had a disappointing season in Boston, though he shot well in the playoff series against the New York Knicks. Perhaps the expectations were too high for Terry, who was expected to essentially replace Ray Allen. While Terry’s scoring numbers were down slightly from his career averages and his defense was porous, he shot the ball about as well as he has throughout his career.
When asked about how the veterans would fit in with their new team, Kidd only seemed concerned they may be too unselfish, trying not to ruffle any feathers.
“I’m glad that they are all in their thirties. If they were all in their twenties, it might be a little different,” Kidd said. “These guys all understand what it takes to win, what it means to win. They’ve all sacrificed, and when you talk to them, or when they talk to their teammates, that’s going to a key word they share. You have to sacrifice to be a winner in this league.”
Kidd made it clear that Garnett and Pierce will also have to sacrifice minutes to stay fresh for the playoff run–and that he’ll make sure they don’t play too many minutes, even if they aren’t too happy about it.
“You just cut the uniform off. That’s all, that’s easy,” Kidd joked.
“We’ve already started working on that. Being able to say I sat in that seat, being able to talk to KG, Paul and JET about those situations, hopefully they’ll listen and understand the bigger picture. I’ve always called the regular season dress rehearsal for the real season of trying to win that championship.
“I can share that knowledge, but KG and Paul sometimes can be stubborn because they are warriors and they want to be out there and help,” Kidd said. “Sometimes, when they look in that locker, their jersey won’t be in there, so that’s the best way to keep those guys minutes down.”
You can listen to the full interview in the embedded audio player below.