In his debut game as the Head Coach of the New York Nets, Jason Kidd also earned his first technical foul. No, it is not yet anywhere near the regular season, rather it is just NBA summer league. The summer league is a ten team developmental tournament for rookies and other prospects of NBA franchises, and does not draw the fans or media attention of other NBA action.
Jason Kidd has approached his coaching of the summer league with the mindset of being in “summer school.” The atmosphere is nothing like a real NBA game, there are no fans allowed, games are actually closed from the public. Only team executives and scouts, as well as a few reporters are allowed to attend the action.
The best point guard in the history of the Nets only took a little more than three quarters to pick up his first technical foul as a head coach. In the fourth quarter of the Brooklyn Nets 76-67 loss to the Orlando Magic, he was penalized for leaving the coaching box. Actually he went a little further than simply leaving the coaching box, he crossed mid-court and entered the playing area.
The loss was the first in a five game series the Nets will play against the Magic this week.
After the game was over Kidd was asked about the foul, which he described as “It’s a lesson learned, and I know I can’t go past half court.” Kidd had a smile on his face as he explained what had happened. “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.”
Certainly not the only step in the learning curve that Jason Kidd will face, it was an early sign that Jason Kidd faces a major adjustment in going from playing to coaching as quickly as he transitioned. Just 50 days before earning his first technical foul as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Kidd was still playing in the NBA. The team announced the decision to hire him as coach just nine days after he hung up his sneakers.
Evidence from his first summer league coaching performance suggests that Jason Kidd is willing to rely on his supporting staff to ease his transition from player to coach. Assistant Lawrence Frank was seen drawing plays on the board during timeouts and intermissions. “I’m going to lean on my staff,” Kidd said, “Not just L-Frank, but [John] Welch will get in there with the board a little bit. A lot of guys bring a lot to the table.”
Although he picked up a technical, Kidd avoided making any other serious mistakes. He even successfully changed his demeanor from player to coach after a Mason Plumlee dunk early in the game. Kidd initially jumped up and began to cheer, then realized that was not appropriate as a coach, sat down and smiled. For the rest of the game he refrained from celebrating and instead yelled out encouragement to his players.
It is “summer school” for the young coach Jason Kidd, although he earned his first technical as a Nets coach last night, he appears to be learning.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express