It’s no secret that NBA teams get scant legitimate practice opportunities during the regular season. Travel, back-to-backs, and the simple wear-and-tear of an 82-game schedule renders the vast majority of “practices” something closer to “shoot-arounds” or “walk-throughs.” Still, some teams take those watered-down sessions more seriously than others. Jason Kidd’s Brooklyn Nets, apparently, weren’t among them.
Speaking with reporters at Media Day yesterday, Nets wing Joe Johnson didn’t exactly say great things about Brooklyn’s practice habits under their former head coach.
Johnson was discussing what it would be like to play for Lionel Hollins when he made the amusing, somewhat accusatory remark. The Nets are unlikely to feel loyalty towards Kidd in the wake of his shady departure from the team, after all. And Johnson’s comments also aren’t surprising considering Kidd is so closely removed from his playing days; most veterans are nagged by the very idea of practice in-season and Kidd was likely no different, acting accordingly in his first year on the sidelines.
But this doesn’t speak well of Kidd either way. He was broadly lauded for turning Brooklyn’s year around at the mid-way point last season by embracing small-ball after an awful start to his coaching career – even before accounting for drink-gate. Johnson’s words, though, make it appear as if the Nets’ second-half success was due to player efforts and happy coincidence as opposed to any major coaching decisions.
We’ll see how Kidd fares with the Milwaukee Bucks this season. The Bucks took a gamble by signing him under such scrutiny, and news like this casts even more doubt on it ultimately paying off.
(Video via PureSportsNY)
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