Nets' Kidd takes reigns as head coach

The SportsXchange

Jason Kidd officially began his coaching career Thursday, just 10 days after retiring as a player.

"We've got somebody here who will work his butt off to make sure we go in the right direction," Nets general manager Billy King said as he introduced the former NBA point guard to the media.

Kidd finished his career with the New York Knicks, and became the fourth man to debut as a head coach in the season after leaving as a player since the 1976-77 ABA-NBA merger. He said he is ready for the challenge.

"I have a lot to learn about coaching," Kidd said. "But when I played the game, I looked at myself as an extension of the coach. And now I look at Deron (Williams) to be that guy."

Kidd, 40, said the idea of coaching occurred through a conversation with his agent, Jeff Schwartz, during the weekend before announcing his retirement.

"He asked me, 'What are your plans?'" Kidd said. "'You can only play so much golf before you call me, asking, 'What can I do?'"

Many Nets fans still remember Kidd for his contributions to the franchise. In 2001, he joined a 26-win team and led them to the NBA Finals in each of his first two seasons, though they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively.

Kidd spent 19 seasons in the league with the Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Knicks. He won a championship with Dallas in 2011 and Olympic gold medals with the U.S. team in 2000 and 2008.

Now that he's on the other side of the player-coach relationship, Kidd said he needs his players listen.

"My job is to put guys in the position to be successful," Kidd said. "And also, guys have to be patient and listen. Because I was a player, I felt like I knew everything, and so it's always going to be where we can communicate and we can agree to disagree sometimes. I guess that's what a coach has to understand, too."
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