Jason Kidd has still yet to coach a game for the Brooklyn Nets, but it sounds like he already understands how great coaches are sometimes able to get through to their guys by using the media.
When speaking recently about his star point guard and good friend Deron Williams, Kidd expressed the utmost praise.
“He’s better than me. I mean, he can shoot,” Kidd said. “He’s a guy who can set the table, he can get to the basket, he can score. I don’t look at him as me. Again, he’s a little bit better than I am.”
It’s safe to bet that there isn’t another player or coach, current or former, or fan who is willing to buy Kidd’s opinions on Williams for even half a second. After all, Kidd is second on the all-time assists and steals lists, as well as third in history in both three-pointers made and triple-doubles collected.
Williams’ career scoring average is higher than the one Kidd finished with – 17.8 points per game in comparison to 12.6 – but that certainly doesn’t make him the better overall player. This game always has been and always will be about so much more than scoring.
However, Kidd’s comments are still fox-like. He doesn’t truly think this about Williams. He’s really just planting the seed. He’s pushing Williams, cleverly and passively informing him he believes he can be just as good if he taps into a reserve Kidd knows he has.
Great coaches aren’t only about X’s and O’s and preaching to their players during timeouts. Sometimes great coaches know they need to get in their players’ heads and give them that last push, whether it comes off negatively or positively.
Just ask Phil Jackson about this concept. That’s why the Zen Master has 11 rings, after all.