Jason Kidd knows it hasn't been perfect, knows there were critics everywhere early in the season, but as he told Fred Kerber, "it all worked out."
And nothing helped him more than his belief in his players, which has been mutual.
"This is not going to sound right, but I wouldn’t change anything," Kidd told Kerber in an exclusive interview. "You don’t want to be 10-21, but it was a great learning experience. One thing I talked to the guys about is we’ve got to hold on to the rope because when it changes, guys who let go see it change then want to get back on. Teammates tend to not let them back."
He never lost confidence in himself, either. He recalled that even the eventual world champion Mavs had rough patches.
"We lost six in a row and thought the world was coming to an end," Kidd said. "We never made excuses. It’s next man up. That’s how we won the championship. Something I took away from it [was], you need everybody."
And his boss never lost faith that it would work out either.
"Now it’s clear that he is even more talented at coaching than I anticipated he would be," said Mikhail Prokhorov through a spokesperson. "He has his own specific vision for the team, and the players absolutely respect him. I think we will go far together."
How far? Kidd keeps talking about a championship but admits judgment on his job will have to wait.
"That’s a question for the middle of next year because I’ll have a better sense," he told Kerber. "This has been like walking into a dark room. I didn’t know a lot of stuff. As a player I could answer. But as a coach, it comes so fast," Kidd said. "As a player, you get to enjoy a win a little more than a coach because after the horn it’s always, ‘Who do we play next?’ It’s the unknown as a rookie coach."
After rough start, Kidd has Nets rolling toward playoffs - Fred Kerber - New York Post