In a particularly rich give-and-take with Ian Eagle, Billy King and Jason Kidd talked about the Nets future --and King's decision to hire Kidd-- before a group of Barclays Center sponsors Tuesday morning. The Barclays Center Partnership Summit was held at the arena and the Eagle interview was the highlight.
King admitted that he didn't embrace the idea of Coach Kidd as first, but the Nets' ownership --presumably Mikhail Prokhorov and Dmitry Razumov-- wanted him to talk with the Nets great. He also had good news to report on Andray Blatche.
"The idea was brought to me by his agent (Jeff Schwartz) and ownership said, 'you should talk to him.'
"I was resistant because the timing, going right from player to coach, might not be beneficial but then I said if you believe that somebody is going to be a very good coach, and I always felt Jason would be, why wait?
"It's like if you believe LeBron James is going to be a very good player, you take him No. 1. You dont wait for him to have two years experience before you want him. That was my thought process , let's get him and help him grow and develop, because he's been coaching really in the 19 years that he's played."
Kidd admitted no qualms, but did joke he thought he did well for a first interview. He said he told Schwartz to "Maybe see if there's something I can do right away. That's how this came about."
King also revealed what Mike Krzyzewski, who coached him at Duke and Kidd for Team USA, told in him their phone conversation.
"If you hire Jason as your coach, don't bog him down with the minutiae of being a coach right away. Let his instincts take over, don't put him in a box, this coach's box where he's got to do things. Get him a good staff. they can help plan the practices with Jason's input. don't take away his great instincts. But he believed in Jason, thought he'd be a great coach."
As for the next few weeks, King talked mainly in generalities, admitting that "I love to trade" and that the Nets will look at "acquiring other picks." He also noted that Bojan Bogdanovic "wants to come over so I got to see where he fits in" and talked as well about a conversation he had with Andray Blatche Monday at PNY Center.
"We got some things a lot of teams don't have. When it comes out to veterans minimum, for an eight or nine year player, it's a million dollars, they''ll choose us because we have a chance to win. That's what Andray Blatche said. He was in the gym yesterday working out. which is a great feeling to have, to have him be here, working out, to tell you that he wants to be a part of this."
King sort of joked that he'll "give Jason a list (of free agents) to call at midnight on July 1."
On the draft, King said he expects to bring back some of the players he looked at last week so Kidd can get a look at them. He added that the "loves the latter part" of the first round and beginning of the second because its filled with four year college players who can help right away.
Kidd reiterated he expects to install a running game on offensive and an aggressive defense. Both said they are interviewing potential assistant coaches this week.