Jason Kidd talked about player development, the role of Gerald Wallace, the goals in both the draft and free agency, and how he wants to win a championship --this year. in an interview Wednesday afternoon with NetsDaily.
The headlines: expect young players to get more minutes "because you have to see who can handle what;" how he believes Gerald Wallace "has has a lot more to give;" how he agrees with Billy King on the needs for the off-season and whether he's seen anyone who's impressed him yet in the draft workouts: "no, not yet."
The interview took place just before Kidd threw out the first pitch before Wednesday's Yankee game at the stadium. He spoke more about recruiting assistant coach candidates, saying so far, he had spoken only with Lawrence Frank and Roy Rogers.
Here's the transcript...
Player development was a big issue for the fans, as well as management and ownership, throughout the season. You've played on veteran teams and young teams. What's your philosophy on developing young players?
"I think we have a chance to develop everybody, not just the young players. When you talk about the season, its 82 games, a marathon. You need everyone to pitch in and help. I look forward to developing from the veteran guys to the rookies. You're going to see the young guys play a little bit more than they have in the past because you need to develop them. You also have to see who can handle what. So that's the way I'm going to approach it."
Is there an area where you think the development of players already have on the roster can be a big help to the team this year?
"You look at the core, they're still young, guys who are still young who've been in the league a little bit. Joe (Johnson) and Deron (Williams) and Gerald (Wallace), these guys they all understand what it takes to win and what it means to work on your game. I'm going to have a head start in the sense that those guys can talk about what they do, how they can help these young players to develop to become better ball players."
At the press conference, in your answers, you seem to be saying Gerald's days are not numbered, as a lot of people thought based on what his stats were this year. Am I correct in thinking there's a lot more there?
"Oh yeah! I think there's a lot more that Gerald brings to the table. As an ex-player, seeing him on the floor with the things that he causes on the defense, what he gives the opponents. So I think he has has a lot more to give and my job is to get him to that level that I think he should be."
You've talked about him being a point forward as well?
"I think when you look at his ability. He brings a lit to the table. He can dribble, he's a guy who can makes the right decisions, he's athletic, he can handle the ball. There's talk that he lost his confidence shooting the ball, but he's a guy who can stretch the defense, knock down a three. So, there's a lot that he brings. Again, he can handle the ball so Deron and Joe don't always have to start the offense."
A coach's relationship with his GM is always critical to a team's success. The GM traditionally sets the roster and the coach has to work with it. Presumably you two are already going over the roster looking at what you have and what you need. Billy has said he'd like more three point shooting, more athleticism, and a back-up point guard if C.J. (Watson) decides to leave. That was before he hired you. Are your priorities the same?
"Yes, I'm a big believer that Billy and I have to have our relationship where it's like a team, you can communicate. Yes, he gets the guys and I have to coach them but I'm a big fan of what he believes in. I would have to agree in the sense that we need shooting, if C.J. decides to leave, a back-up point guard and maybe a little bit more athletic, but I'm on board with Billy's game plan and I'm a big supporter."
Do you see yourself as the kind of coach who's going to be pestering the front office to get you what you think you need?
"No, I'm not going to pester. Billy has been doing this for a long time. He's put together a Finals team. So I trust him in what he thinks the team needs. If there's trades to be made during the season, I believe he can get it done. I think I'm in good hands. He understands what it takes to win."
How do you approach the draft workouts? What are you looking for in a player? Do you get a good read on them from the scouting reports.?
"Right now, I'm looking for guys who know how to play. These kids that are coming out ...we've got what, the 22nd pick... you have to understand, I think Billy said it the other day ... you're going to a guy who's been in college for three or four years, that knows how to play."
And that's what you're looking for, someone who can actually help right away?
"Yeah, you would like someone who can help right away. You know, this is a team that won 49 ball games. So, you're not putting together a team that won 15 games that's going to develop, that's going to take time. You're looking at trying to win a championship so you want someone who can play."
And you're looking to win a championship this year, I presume?
"That's what we all set out to do in the summer, to get better to put together a team that can be competitive and the goal is to win that gold trophy at the end of the day. We want to get better than we were last year so yeah, the goal is to win a championship."
Anyone impress you in those draft workouts?
"The ones that I've seen, no, not yet, no."
What's your day been like, other than having Gary drag you around? Video? Assistant coach recruiting? Any progress in that area?
"We're putting our staff together. So we've interviewed a couple of guys. Meeting a lot of people who work at the practice site. Going to different events for the Nets and right now headed to Yankee Stadium to catch the second half of the double-header."
How active do you anticipate you'll be in the draft war room, with trade proposals and draft positions changing all the time. Do you hope to be an active participant in the war room?
"I would hope so. I will be lightly involved. It will be more Dmitry (Razumov), higher management. You'll be looking at Billy and Dmitry being heavily involved with the scouting staff, who's done most of the work. I will be lightly, I would say very lightly involved. ... because I just got started. They might ask my opinion. That will be as far as it goes."
How do you see yourself interacting with fans?
"Well, it's different right now because everyone calls me 'Coach.' Sometimes I don't respond because I haven't gotten used to that. The fans are a big part of the game of basketball. So I don't see it as any different from the time I was a player."
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