New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton believes in Jason Kidd, who is now the Brooklyn Nets head coach after the two were teammates last season. But Felton also shared another belief on Kidd’s current situation in an interview with nba.com the other day.
“I think he’ll be a great coach, but at the end of the day, he’s not going to have to do too much coaching,” Felton said.
Felton went on to compare Kidd’s loaded starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez to that of Phil Jackson’s six-time champion Chicago Bulls, who boasted the great Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen back in the day. He discussed how players like those are so talented that they don’t need much coaching.
While this is a reasonable notion and comparison in theory, to say that Kidd won’t have to do much coaching overall is invalid. Yes, the starters aren’t going to need too much guidance, but the way Kidd manages his rotation in terms of how minutes are distributed amongst his reserves also falls under the category of “coaching.”
All you have to do to understand the significance of this concept is look at what Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat has done over his last two seasons. He obviously has one of the deeper starting lineups in the league with multiple-time All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh being penciled in every night so long as they’re healthy, but the way he’s made adjustments with his bench during the playoffs over the last two years, especially in the Finals with players such as Mike Miller, Norris Cole and Shane Battier has made him one of the league’s star coaches.
Oh, and a two-time champion as well.
Kidd will have to do much of the same with his bench, as he’ll have to decide whether or when he should use second-year point guard Tyshawn Taylor and rookie forward Mason Plumlee, as well as forward Mirza Teletovic and guard Alan Anderson.
Finding that right combination off the bench is still coaching, and it isn’t easy by any means – something Felton should keep in mind.