There was a relaxed intensity about Jason Kidd at the Orlando Summer League, applauding the effort by players, talking with assistants and yelling instructions from the bench.
Then he received his first technical as an NBA coach.
Brooklyn’s new coach got off the bench Sunday, walked across half court to challenge a foul call and was teed up with 2:23 left in the Nets’ 76-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
”It happens,” Kidd said of the technical. ”I learned quickly where the coaching box is. I’ve seen some coaches on the other end of the floor, so I can’t follow their lead.”
Still, summer league is providing an opportunity for some much-needed on-the-job-training for Brooklyn’s inexperienced leader.
During timeouts, it was Kidd’s assistant – and longtime NBA head coach – Lawrence Frank often with the clipboard, drawing up plays. A focused Kidd intently paid attention just like the players.
”This is training ground for everyone – officials, coaches, players,” said Kidd, 40. ”We’re all trying to get better.”
At times, it appeared to be coaching by committee.
”I will lean on my staff,” Kidd said. ”Every one of the coaches will bring something to the table.”
Kidd, who played 21 years in the NBA, retired after last season and a week later was hired by Brooklyn.
Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor said the system works, especially with Kidd being a former point guard.
”Coach Frank is a mastermind when it comes to drawing up plays,” Taylor said. ”A guy like coach Kidd is someone like me wants to gravitate to. I know he’s did a lot at a high level. Everything is soaking in.”
Kidd was the certainly the center of attention. When he was on the bench with the Nets, all the other head coaches present – Miami’s Erik Spolestra, Utah’s Tyronne Corbin and recently hired Brad Stevens of Boston watched from the sidelines.
Kidd, who made the transition from the court to the bench with no previous coaching experience, said he wasn’t nervous in his NBA debut on the sideline.
”Didn’t it look normal?” Kidd asked.
To some, but it could take others accustomed to seeing Kidd run a team on the floor a little time to get comfortable watching him do it from the bench.