ORLANDO, Fla. – There was a relaxed intensity about Jason Kidd at the Orlando Summer League, applauding the effort by players, talking with assistants and yelling instructions from the bench. Then he received his first technical as an NBA coach.
Brooklyn’s new coach got off the bench Sunday, walked across half court to challenge a foul call and was teed up with 2:23 left in the Nets’ 76-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
“It happens,” Kidd said of the technical. “I learned quickly where the coaching box is. I’ve seen some coaches on the other end of the floor, so I can’t follow their lead.”
Still, summer league is providing an opportunity for some much-needed on-the-job training for Brooklyn’s inexperienced leader.
During timeouts, it was Kidd’s assistant – and longtime NBA head coach – Lawrence Frank often with the clipboard, drawing up plays. Kidd intently paid attention just like the players.
“This is training ground for every one – officials, coaches, players,” said Kidd, 40. “We’re all trying to get better.”
At times, it appeared to be coaching by committee.
“I will lean on my staff,” Kidd said. “Every one of the coaches will bring something to the table.”
Kidd, who played 21 years in the NBA, retired after last season and a week later was hired by Brooklyn.
Kidd was certainly the center of attention. When he was on the bench with the Nets, all the other head coaches present – Miami’s Erik Spolestra, Utah’s Tyronne Corbin and recently hired Brad Jenkins of Boston watched from the sidelines.
Kidd, who made the transition from the court to the bench with no previous coaching experience, said he wasn’t nervous in his debut.
“Didn’t it look normal?” Kidd asked.