The first year coach set a goal yesterday to change the Nets' identity, from the bland tasting squad which fell flat last last season to a more flavorful blend of competitors. Kidd understands that GM Billy King did most of the prep work already — acquiring the necessary ingredients to make a champion — on draft night with a blockbuster trade.
"I think the identity," Kidd said at the PNY Center. "It was just vanilla [last season] and I think you guys can see after the trade with [Kevin] Garnett and [Paul] Pierce that it's kind of changed. So, I think we're doing the right thing with changing the identity. It was just there was no flavor and no identity. So with that trade, that changes the whole game."
Kidd is confident, but nervous.
"I think I've always been nervous before every game," he said. "You ask any trainer, I've always taken Pepto just to settle my nerves, because basketball's always been something that you can never control. It's something that you just don't know how it's going to turn out, but once the ball is up in the air, your nerves tend to go away, you just respond and react.
"And so I am nervous, but the nice thing is that we do have some talented players who know how to play, who want to be coached and it's exciting. I think it's an exciting nervousness and I'm very excited about this opportunity."
The arrival of Garnett and Pierce, paired with other new additions like Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko, gives the Nets one of the NBA's top starting fives to go along with quality depth. As they get set to start training camp at Duke in six days, Kidd said one of his most pressing challenges is figuring out the different floor combinations he's hoping to use because the Nets easily can go two deep at every position.
He also has to concoct a plan for Garnett, whom Kidd previously said he wouldn't play in the second ends of back-to-backs, believing it's the best way to preserve the 37-year-old's legs and body so he'll be fresh and available for the postseason. Garnett rejected the idea.
Get more Pepto. Sounds like there's already too many cooks in Kidd's kitchen.