NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd said he decided to sit Kevin Garnett Tuesday night because the Brooklyn Nets coach wanted to “reward” his veteran power forward with some rest, though Garnett was adamant that his preference was to play.
“We are playing three (games) in four nights and also he has been great for us up to this point in training camp, so I thought it was time to reward him and give him the night off even though he didn’t want to,” Kidd said. “I think he understands that he can get his work in now and then cheer his guys on.”
Kidd added that he understands whether he decides to play or sit Garnett in back-to-back sets is probably going to be a question that comes up all season.
“We both respect each other and like you said, he does trust me. I was just in that seat for maybe the last, as you guys put it, the last 10 years,” Kidd said. “Being an older player, understanding that there is going to be a time when I need him to sit out, yes, he doesn’t want to, but listen, we are going to sit down and talk about it and come out with an answer. Sometimes he might get the benefit of the doubt and sometimes he doesn’t. But that is just, what he said last night, that he does trust me, that’s the starting point.”
The Nets have 20 sets of back-to-back games during the regular season, and Kidd has said he’d like to rest Garnett in half of those games to keep him fresh over the course of the season. Garnett did not like that plan, though he’s trying to respect where Kidd is coming from.
“It always gets better,” Kidd said of his conversations with KG. “When you talk about KG and just his will, he’s a professional, he loves to compete, and you love to have those guys on your team. And any time there is a game, he wants to compete. But also for him, this is his night off.”
“(Kevin and I) talked about it, he’s seeing the plan and again, there are always going to be times where [we] are in agreement or disagreement,” Kidd said. “You have to find what makes sense. And this makes sense to give him the night off. It is preseason but he is a competitor and if you have 15 guys like that, you got a chance to win on a nightly basis. I know I will hear this throughout the season and I have to answer this question, but this is a deep team and I think that is the way he sees it.”
• Kidd was asked how Paul Pierce would respond playing his former team. “That’s a great question, for Paul, probably seeing that green jersey on the other side will kind of be different. But I think he is a professional and he will handle it well,” Kidd said.
• Kidd said Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) is feeling better, and Kidd will see how his versatile forward feels on Wednesday.