Hey, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd: Remember how you used to have such friendly little chats with the referees, who looked at you a little differently from some of the other knuckleheads out there because you were a tenured, respected veteran?
Well, welcome to being a rookie.
Kidd, the Nets’ newly installed coach, did his share of barking Sunday in a 76-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons. He instructed, applauded, cajoled and occasionally smiled. He also received a technical foul, for wandering outside the coaching box late in the fourth quarter. Actually, he wandered way outside — beyond midcourt and into the playing area, where the referee Curtis Blair promptly blew his whistle.
Clearly a rookie move.
“So it’s a lesson learned, that I know I can’t go past halfcourt,” Kidd said later with a wry grin, drawing laughter. “Hey, I’ve seen some of these coaches be all the way down on the other end. I can’t follow their lead in that aspect. I learned really quickly where the box is.”
No, you can't follow their lead, Coach. But that's OK. As noted philosopher Kyle Kinane said on his album "Death of the Party", "The exciting part about life is finding out what you can't do, because you don't find out until you try to do something and you're stopped." That's what learning's all about, and that's why you're down in Orlando, Fla., commanding the Nets' Summer League squad — to get whistled for T's while being mad about something involving Peyton Siva. It's not glamorous, but it's a start.
Most importantly, though, you've got to start figuring out what your identity is on the bench. If the rebuilt, retooled and obscenely expensive Nets are going to climb the Eastern Conference ranks and mount a serious challenge to the two-time-defending NBA champion Miami Heat, Kidd's going to have to have not only an accelerated learning curve, but also the ability to get everyone motivated and pulling in the same direction.
It's early yet, but based on what we saw Sunday, it seems like Kidd and his staff plan to rely heavily on the power of the fist bump in accomplishing that goal.
Strong play, Coach Kidd. Pound it out and let the chips fall where they may. Just stay off the court from now on, huh? Last thing you'd want is some savvy, enterprising point guard to dribble up the floor and bump into you. Wouldn't want that, now, would we?
Here's Kidd talking to reporters after the game about the tech, his first coaching experience and more: