Jan Hubbard of the Star-Telegram catches up with Mavs point guard Jason Kidd at Team USA Olympic practice in Las Vegas.
Kidd the coach killer says he didn’t lop off Avery Johnson this spring.
Kidd has been accused of being a “coach killer,” a label he has disputed. But he’s aware of the talk, so when Avery Johnson was fired by the Mavericks, Kidd told a friend: “They can’t blame that one on me. When I got there, the players all thought he was crazy. And he was.”
The story just confirms what everyone thought, Avery didn’t let Kidd do his thing so it was a waste to make the trade:
When he joined the Mavericks after the Feb. 19 trade from the Nets, he thought Johnson would employ an up-tempo style that would take advantage of Kidd’s considerable passing skills. Instead, he found that Johnson was a rigid coach who was a domineering presence on the sidelines.
“We ran the first couple of games,” Kidd said. “And then we stopped. A lot of times, our offense was used to set up our defense. We slowed it down instead of getting out and running and putting pressure on [opponents] after missed shots or even makes. We were pretty much — not just myself, but everybody — looking over to the sideline, trying to figure out what was going to be called.”
Kidd is at his best in the open court, operating without constraints and creating easy shots for teammates. But he found that he had little freedom with Johnson.
It was noted during the season that Kidd probably spent more time looking at the sidelines for instructions in three months under Johnson than he had combined in his 13-year career. When asked Saturday if he had any problem with that observation, Kidd said: “That’s fair.”