He was asked about the possibility of coaching several marquee names all at once – pending the huge blockbuster trade agree to last week by the Nets and Celtics.
“There’s only one name," he said.
That’s a powerful statement from Kidd and a great way to lay down the law early on in his coaching tenure.
Assuming the trade with the Celtics goes through without any problems, the Nets will probably feature a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. Combined, that Nets unit has 35 All-Star appearances.
Pierce and Garnett are destined for the Naismith Hall of Fame, and Williams and Johnson could follow suit one day. Lopez, who is coming off of his first All-Star appearance, still has a ways to go before those discussions can even begin, but his career arch is still ascending.
Too many cooks spoil the brew and with all five of these players sharing the court, at least two of those five will be getting less shots than they did last season.
It would not be a surprise if nobody on the team averages as much as 20 points per game.
In the 2002-03 season, Kidd led his Nets all the way to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games. That year, Kidd led the team in scoring with 18.7 points per game. His fellow starters—Jason Collins, Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson and Kerry Kittles—were talented players, but certainly lack the firepower of the new Nets.
Certainly, all five of Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Lopez can average in the neighborhood of 15 points per game, and if they did, the Nets would certainly be in business—at least offensively.
It’s another story altogether defensively, which will be tackled another day.
But if Kidd’s plan of having these players gel right away works, we probably will not see any particular player consistently fill up the score sheet. Good ball distribution originating with D-Will and and even Pierce should help the team utilize all of their weapons.
Johnson may emerge once again as the go-to late-game option, but Pierce has also shown in his career that he can be a strong closer, as well. In the final seconds, the more players on the floor that can hit big shots, the better.
Kidd has been there and done that, and that is the message that he will attempt to sell his team on.
It is not the name on the back of the jersey, it's the name on the front.
While the Nets will be laden with big names and star-power, Kidd’s responsibility is to stay true to his word that Nets—not “Williams,” “Johnson,” “Pierce,” “Garnett” or “Lopez” – is the only name he or anyone else should worry about.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.