NEW YORK (AP) – After playing in the NBA for 19 years, Jason Kidd is nervous about being a rookie coach.
Kidd was introduced June 13 as the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets, less than 24 hours after he was hired by the franchise he led to its greatest NBA success.
“Yes, I have a lot to learn about coaching,” Kidd said, but when he was playing as a point guard, “I felt like I was an extension of the coach.”
Kidd, who succeeds P.J. Carlesimo, said his message to players will be simple: “You’ve got to play hard, you’ve got to play defense and we’re going to grow together.”
Nets general manager Billy King said he’s not concerned about Kidd’s lack of experience on the bench and that any hire is a risk. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Carlesimo wasn’t retained after leading the Nets into the playoffs, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the first round. He went 35-19 after replacing Avery Johnson, who was fired in December.
The move reunites the 40-year-old Kidd with the franchise he led to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002-03, when they played in New Jersey. He spent six and a half seasons with the Nets, averaging 14.6 points, 9.1 assists and 7.2 rebounds, and is their career leader in numerous statistical categories.
He spent last season with the New York Knicks.
Kidd also has a court date on Long Island stemming from a drunken-driving arrest last year. He has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor DWI and is due in Southampton Town Court this Thursday, according to the Suffolk County prosecutors’ office.