The San Antonio Spurs on their first back to back of the Rodeo Road Trip limped into Brooklyn with some major players on the bench. Tony Parker (back), Tim Duncan (rest) and Boris Diaw (food poisoning) were all inactive Thursday night against the Nets, but for Gregg Popovich and company, there was work to be done.
Postgame, Popovich spent some time with ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk and stated that he saw a difference in this Jason Kidd then the New Year's Eve debacle when the Nets were seen heading to the locker-room after being blown out by San Antonio, Kidd though frantically pulled every single player back onto the floor to finish up the game, even though there were just a few seconds remaining.
“I think Jason probably feels like he’s been reborn,” Popovich said. “Things looked really bad for a while, everybody’s on him. … He’s got that tenacity and competiveness where he’s just not going to give in.”
Pop nailed it right on the head. When kid retired as a player and was hired as head coach for the Brooklyn Nets, things were looking anyway to be on the up-and-up with the signings of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to bolster a team that on paper, looks good.
From his off the court incidents to the way his team has been performing thus far this season, it hasn't been much of a career, on the coaching side for him to reflect back on.
The article goes on to state that Kidd may have taken a page out of Popovich's book in not being afraid to sit his star players down, maybe something that he picked up from Pop in the summer of 2003?
Remember when the San Antonio Spurs were courting Jason Kidd? During that time, Kidd did get a chance to see exactly how Popovich ran his system and for Kidd, it was an experience in itself.
“He sits at the same table as [the team],” Kidd continued. “All 15 guys sit at the same table and are treated the same from Duncan to the 15th guy. They are all held accountable.”
Maybe the military background that Pop had and what he instills in his players each and every day. Everyone has a role on the team. Though they [Spurs] were without their star players Thursday night, the 'role players' for San Antonio did give it there all and that is what Kidd mentioned to his team at their morning shootaround, according to Youngmisuk.
“They got guys that plug right in and act as Ginobilis and Duncans,” Kidd warned.
Gregg Popovich though had some encouraging words for Kidd and one could possibly live by his statement that he gave in leaving the postgame interviews:
“It is difficult [to learn coaching on the fly], obviously all the pressures from every which way,” Popovich said of Kidd. “Those people that stick with it, have some perseverance, some standards and are strong enough to stick with them in the right way, good things can happen. And that’s what happened for him.”